Geology of granitoids of Pindwara–Abu Road Belt from Mesoproterozoic Delhi Supergroup: Tectonic implications


Granitoids from Pindwara–Abu Road Belt (PARB) are studied to characterize their tectonostratigraphic status in relation to the associated metasediments. The PARB lies along the southern swathes of the Mesoproterozoic Delhi Supergroup (DSG) in the Aravalli Delhi Mobile Belt (ADMB) of the northwestern Indian Shield. The outcrop scale granitoids of the study area are categorized into massive and gneissic variants. The former variety is being prominently exposed as leucocratic variant intrusive into the melanocratic gneisses as well as associated metasediments. Massive intrusive granitoids have been dated previously representing three major regional thermal events of 1000, 850, and 750 Ma. These multiple tectono-thermal events have led to diminished preservation of pristine gneissic character in the granitoids outcropping as dismembered bodies in the PARB. Consequently, the field relationship between the granitoids and associated metasediments is extremely obliterated. The present study, with the help of regional and detailed mapping on different scales and petrography, has attempted to establish basement–cover relationship between the gneissic granitoids and the associated metasediments. Quartzite outcrops are delineated as marker horizons characterizing the contact lithounit between the two. The cover rocks have sheared contact with the gneissic basement, which has a limited patchy outcrop pattern as ‘Remnants’. These ‘Remnant’ outcrops, conceivably behaved as primitive relicts, perhaps acted as a cradle for the proximal metasediments. Earlier studies, based on heavy carbon isotope character, have given an age span of ~1200–1300 Ma for the associated calcareous metasediments of the PARB. The gneissic granitoid, basement to these metasediments, is hence considered to be pre-1300 Ma, older than the massive granitoids (1000–750 Ma). The span of events reveals that the southern terrane of the DSG of rocks, especially the PARB has a younger geological history as compared to the northern terrane of the Delhi Supergroup which has records of 1700–1400 Ma. The events recorded from the PARB of the DSG are younger in age and indicate Meso-Neoproterozoic transition (~1300–750 Ma). Globally, these are correlatable with the Grenvillian orogeny followed by Rodinia Supercontinent, amalgamation, and splitting tectonism in the northwestern Indian Shield.

Research highlights

  • Granitoids from Pindwara-Abu Road Belt (PARB) are studied to characterize their tectonostratigraphic status in relation to the associated metasediments and are attempted to establish the basement-cover relationship between the granitoids and the associated country rocks.

  • Granitoids of the study area are categorized into massive and gneissic variants.Massive granitoid emplacement pertains to the three major Neoproterozoic thermal events that led to diminished preservation of pristine gneissic character.

  • Gneissic Granitoids preserve pristine characters, conceivably behaved as primitive relicts that perhaps acted as a cradle for the proximal metasediments. These gneissic granitoids are henceforth considered to be pre-1300 Ma, older than the massive granitoids (1000 Ma to 750 Ma).

  • Quartzite outcrops are delineated as marker horizons, characterizing the contact lithounit between the gneissic granitoids and metasediments. These granitoids and associate quartzite display regional scale enêchelon pattern of distribution reflecting impact of transpressional shearing.

  • The events recorded from the PARB of the Delhi Supergroup are younger in age and indicate Meso-Neoproterozoic transition (~1300–750 Ma) that are globally correlatable with the Grenvillian orogeny followed by Rodinia Supercontinent amalgamation and splitting in the north-western Indian Shield.

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taken from southeast). (b) Gneissic bands of granitoids in the west of Bhula from PARB (snap is taken from south). (c) Photomicrograph of sub-grains of quartz in recrystallized granitoids of Wasa. (d) Photomicrograph of mylonitic foliation in schistose mylonite along the granitoids flanks at the western contact of Bhula granite with Deldar quartzite. (e) Discrete occurrence of massive granitoid with adjoining metasediment near Paba (snap is taken from south). (f) Photomicrograph of undeformed coarse granular aggregates without preferred dimensional orientation of mineral grains in massive granitoid from Malera. (g) Photomicrograph of asymmetric myrmekitic texture of granitoids from Pindwara. (h) Foliated and sheared amphibolite outcrops from Sanwara (snap taken from southeast). (i) Sheared contact of serpentinite bearing metavolcanics with metasediments near Bor Umri (snap taken from East). (j) Chertified brecciated quartzite rocks of Petari Padar (in plan view). (k) Photomicrograph of boudinaged polycrystalline quartz aggregates along with fine calcite grains in calc-silicate mylonite at the west of Jaba. (l) Photomicrograph of S-C fabric in garnet in biotite–chlorite schist of Pipela. (m) Minor Asymmetric folds of calc-silicates at the west of Bhula (in plan view). (n) Elliptical enclave/xenolith of chlorite-biotite schist within granitoids from Sanwara (in plan view). (o) 1st generation fold (DF1) identified as tight isoclinal fold with NE-SW trending axial trace (axial plane is marked by red dotted line). (p) 2nd generation fold (DF2) identified as steeply inclined/ reclined to upright fold (axial plane is marked by red dotted line). (q) 3rd generation fold (DF3) identified as small scale upright sharp-hinged fold/ Kink fold (axial plane is marked by red dotted line). (r) Type 3 superposition (hook pattern) in the planar view shown in calc-silicate of Malera (F1 axial plane is marked by red dotted line and F2 axial plane is marked by yellow dotted line). (s) Elongated deformed porphyroblasts with mylonitic foliation in granite mylonite from Bhula granite (snap taken from West). (t) Rotation of domino boudin shown in the sheared calc-silicate rock near Malera (snap taken from SE). (u) Dextral rotation of tension gashes in quartz-mica schist along NE-SW shear direction near Pipela (Snap has taken in plan view. (v) Sigma-type deformed porphyroblast in sheared calc-silicate near Malera. (w) Less deformed massive granitoids intermingling with gneissic granitoid (plan view).

Author statement

Ritesh Purohit and Harsh Bhu: Conceptualization, supervision, validation; Kamal Kant Sharma: visualization, mentoring, reviewing and editing; and Riya Dutta: Methodology, investigation, data collection, analysis, preparation of figures, writing and validation.


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The work has been funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under the scheme of WOS-A for RD project (Project Reference No: SR/WOS-A/EA-1017-B/2015) and conducted at the Department of Geology, M L S University, Udaipur, Rajasthan and Department of Geology, Government College, Sirohi, Rajasthan. The authors are thankful to the Heads of the Departments for providing necessary working facilities. The authors are also thankful to the anonymous reviewers, whose suggestions have improved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Riya Dutta.

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Communicated by Rajneesh Bhutani

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Dutta, R., Bhu, H., Purohit, R. et al. Geology of granitoids of Pindwara–Abu Road Belt from Mesoproterozoic Delhi Supergroup: Tectonic implications. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 118 (2021).

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  • Granitoids
  • remnants
  • pristine character
  • Pindwara–Abu Road Belt (PARB)
  • Delhi Supergroup (DSG)
  • Meso-Neoproterozoic transition