Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 29–45 | Cite as

Morphology and emplacement of flows from the Deccan Volcanic Province, India

  • Ninad R. Bondre
  • Raymond A. Duraiswami
  • Gauri Dole
Research Article


The present study is probably the first of its kind in the Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP) that deals in detail with the morphology and emplacement of the Deccan Trap flows, and employs modern terminology and concepts of flow emplacement. We describe in detail the two major types of flows that occur in this province. Compound pahoehoe flows, similar to those in Hawaii and the Columbia River Basalts (CRB) constitute the older stratigraphic Formations. These are thick flows, displaying the entire range of pahoehoe morphology including inflated sheets, hummocky flows, and tumuli. In general, they show the same three-part structure associated with pahoehoe flows from other provinces. However, in contrast to the CRB, pahoehoe lobes in the DVP are smaller, and hummocky flows are quite common. 'Simple' flows occur in the younger Formations and form extensive sheets capped by highly vesicular, weathered crusts, or flow-top breccias. These flows have few analogues in other provinces. Although considered to be a'a flows by previous workers, the present study clearly reveals that the simple flows differ considerably from typical a'a flows, especially those of the proximal variety. This is very significant in the context of models of flood basalt emplacement. At the same time, they do not display direct evidence of endogenous growth. Understanding the emplacement of these flows will go a long way in determining whether all extensive flows are indeed inflated flows, as has recently been postulated.

Most of the studies relating to the emplacement of Continental Flood Basalt (CFB) lavas have relied on observations of flows from the CRB. Much of the current controversy surrounding the emplacement of CFB flows centers around the comparison of Hawaiian lava flows to those from the CRB. We demonstrate that the DVP displays a variety of lava features that are similar to those from the CRB as well as those from Hawaii. This suggests that there may have been more than one mechanism or style for the emplacement of CFB flows. These need to be taken into account before arriving at any general model for flood basalt emplacement.


DVP Flows Pahoehoe Compound Simple Inflation Emplacement 



We have benefited greatly from our correspondence with Profs. G.P.L. Walker, Stephen Self, Laszlo Keszthelyi and Jon Stephenson. We thank Dr. J. Kauhikaua for his encouraging comments, and Dr. R.A.F Cas and Dr. Tim Druitt for their critical and careful reviews. Discussions with Dr. Vivek Kale and Shreyas Mangave were highly illuminating. Ninad Bondre and Gauri Dole are grateful to Prof. K.V. Subbarao for giving them an opportunity to participate in the 'Penrose Deccan 2000' field conference. Ninad Bondre would also like to thank his parents and Zu Watanabe for their encouragement.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ninad R. Bondre
    • 1
  • Raymond A. Duraiswami
    • 2
  • Gauri Dole
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of PunePuneIndia

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