Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 12, pp 2231–2256 | Cite as

Resistivity Structure of the Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ) from Multiple Magnetotelluric (MT) Profiles and Tectonic Implications

  • K. K. Abdul AzeezEmail author
  • Martyn J. Unsworth
  • Prasanta K. Patro
  • T. Harinarayana
  • R. S. Sastry


The Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ) is a major tectonic feature extending across the Indian subcontinent. It was formed in the Paleoproterozoic when the Bastar Craton and the Bundelkhand Craton were sutured together. This region is recognized in the geological record as a persistent zone of weakness with many tectonothermal events occurring over geologic time. The weakness of this region may have caused the late Cretaceous/early Tertiary Deccan volcanism to have been localized in the CITZ. The zone is still tectonically active, as evidenced by sustained levels of seismic activity. This paper presents the first systematic investigation of the resistivity structure of the CITZ using multiple magnetotelluric (MT) transects. Two-dimensional (2D) resistivity models were generated for five north–south profiles that cross the CITZ and encompass an area of ~60,000 km2. The models were based on the joint inversion of transverse electric (TE), transverse magnetic (TM) and tipper (Hz) data. All the profiles showed a low resistive (10–80 Ωm) middle to lower crust beneath the CITZ with a crustal conductance of 300–800 S. The presence of an interconnected fluid phase and/or hydrous/metallic minerals appears to be the most likely explanation for the elevated conductivity that is observed beneath the CITZ. The presence of fluids is significant because it may indicate the cause of persistent weakness at crustal depths. A northward dip of both the crustal conductive layer and coincident seismic reflections favor a northward polarity of the subduction process associated with the formation of the CITZ.


Central Indian Tectonic Zone resistivity magnetotellurics fluids subduction polarity 



Azeez thanks the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, for the support of his visit to the University of Alberta under the BOYSCAST fellowship. We thank Alan Jones and Gary McNeice for generously allowing us to use their MT tensor decomposition code. A part of the MT data used in this study was collected under CSIR-Network Project [SMM004]. The enormous effort made by all field members in collecting the MT data is kindly acknowledged. Motivation and support by the Director of CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute is greatly appreciated.


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© Springer Basel 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. K. Abdul Azeez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martyn J. Unsworth
    • 2
  • Prasanta K. Patro
    • 1
  • T. Harinarayana
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. S. Sastry
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.CSIR-National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI)GandhinagarIndia
  4. 4.MadanapalleIndia

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