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The “Lower Kaimur Porcellanite” (Vindhyan Supergroup) is of Sedimentary Origin and not Tuff

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Abstract

The ‘Lower Kaimur Porcellanite’ from the Proterozoic Vindhyan Supergroup (∼1700–900? Ma) is not only a chronostratigraphic marker but also an indicator of the tectonic setting of the basin. A few other silicified shaly units (porcellanites) from the upper strata have been thought to be tuff. New petrographic (optical microscopic; SEM-BSE), chemical, and U-Pb zircon geochronological studies of the lowermost of these suspected tuff units, however, do not support an igneous origin for these beds. The rocks do not contain phenocrysts or glass shards, but contain remains of mineralized microbial spheres, mudclasts, and other detrital grains that include one datable zircon grain (∼1715 Ma). Their chemical compositions are not diagnostic of tuff. Despite this result, investigations of other porcellanites from Upper Vindhyan strata is recommended, because they have the potential of identifying crucially important tuff beds.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support from Indiana University and Syracuse University. AC was supported by DST INSPIRE Faculty Program, Govt. of India. SS acknowledges the support from DST PURSE II and CAS, Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University. A National Science Foundation equipment grant to J. S. Schieber (EAR-0318769) provided funds for the purchase of the analytical SEM used to acquire the images in this report. Ms. Ruth Droppo kindly adjusted and finalized several illustrations. We thank the extremely helpful anonymous reviewer and the editor at whose advice we have removed extraneous matter and improved the text.

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Correspondence to Abhijit Basu.

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Choudhuri, A., Schieber, J., Sarkar, S. et al. The “Lower Kaimur Porcellanite” (Vindhyan Supergroup) is of Sedimentary Origin and not Tuff. J Geol Soc India 95, 17–24 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-020-1382-7

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