Bathymetry and sediments on the carbonate platform off western India: Significance of Halimeda bioherms in carbonate sedimentation

  • V Purnachandra RaoEmail author
  • V P Mahale
  • B Chakraborty


Bathymetry across the carbonate platform off western India indicated small-size pinnacles and their lateral coalescence into 2 -6-m high mounds landward, and linear elongated carbonate ridges and troughs, mounds and banks up to a height of 20-m seaward of the platform. Seismic data indicated that these mounds were transparent with no rigid internal structure and can be defined as bioherms. The sediments were abundantly aragonite faecal pellets, Halimeda grains and ooids and their radiocarbon ages ranged from 11 to 7.5 ka BP. It appears that the growth of Halimeda bioherms on the platform was facilitated by intense upwelling during the early Holocene. The terrigenous sediments brought by rivers were deposited in the inner shelf and have not affected the growth of bioherms. It is estimated that the platform comprises at least 1.85 Gt of mass CaCO\(_3\) accumulated during the early Holocene and comparable to those on the Great Barrier Reef. Halimeda bioherms produce abundant carbonate sediments and their growth period represents a geological carbonate sink and release of high CO\(_2\) to the atmosphere. Detailed shallow seismic studies and sediment cores are needed to quantify the exact mass content of CaCO\(_3\) and model climate change during the early Holocene.


Halimeda bioherms early Holocene upwelling carbonate platform western India 



The authors thank the Director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Goa for providing facilities and encouragement. Multibeam bathymetry was collected under Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Project to Dr B Chakraborty, funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi. We thank Dr B G Wagle and Dr S M Karisiddaiah for the bathymetric data. Dr Rao thanks Vignan’s University for providing facilities to execute writing of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • V Purnachandra Rao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • V P Mahale
    • 2
  • B Chakraborty
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringVignan’s UniversityVadlamudi, GunturIndia
  2. 2.CSIR-National Institute of OceanographyDona PaulaIndia

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