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Mafic volcanics of Raialo Group in Tehla area, Alwar sub-basin: First report of pillow lavas from the North Delhi Fold Belt, northwest India

Abstract

The rocks of Raialo Group in the Alwar sub-basin of North Delhi Fold Belt were investigated with a focus on meta-basic lava flows of the Tehla Formation. The basaltic rocks, now occurring as amphibolites, are medium- to fine-grained and show evidence of greenschist to lower amphibolite facies metamorphism, characterized by dominant plagioclase, hornblende, actinolite, chlorite, and minor, epidote, opaque, and Fe–Ti oxide mineral assemblage. The presence of amygdules and vesicles, well preserved primary igneous texture, and relict pyroxenes, at places, confirm their basaltic lineage. In a single outcrop, located to the northeast of Tehla village, well-preserved pillow structures have been discovered. The pillow structures vary in size (few cm to >1 m) and shape (spheroid, elongate and kidney-shaped), and inter-pillow spaces are filled up with chert, at places. This is the first report of pillow basalt occurrence from the North Delhi Fold Belt. In addition to offering evidence of submarine basaltic volcanism, the mega-pillows, gabbroic lenses, and presence of ultramafic rocks in the region suggest a possible ophiolite setting that needs a detailed petrographic and geochemical evaluation.

Research highlights

  • First report of pillow structures from North Delhi Fold Belt.

  • Identification of mafic- ultramafic association and possibility of an ophiolite setting.

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Acknowledgements

We are thankful to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript that have improved presentation and interpretation.

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Fieldwork and petrographic studies were carried out by MKB and data interpretation, manuscript organization, and writing were done by both the authors.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mukesh Kumar Bairwa.

Additional information

Communicated by N V Chalapathi Rao

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Bairwa, M.K., Pandit, M.K. Mafic volcanics of Raialo Group in Tehla area, Alwar sub-basin: First report of pillow lavas from the North Delhi Fold Belt, northwest India. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 142 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-021-01658-3

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Keywords

  • Pillow basalt
  • Proterozoic
  • pillow morphometry
  • ophiolite
  • Tehla Formation
  • North Delhi Fold Belt
  • northwest India