Tectonics of the Andaman Backarc Basin—Present Understanding and Some Outstanding Questions

  • K. A. Kamesh RajuEmail author
  • K. K. Aswini
  • V. Yatheesh
Part of the Society of Earth Scientists Series book series (SESS)


The Andaman Backarc Basin is characterized by active seafloor spreading spurred by the right stepping dextral shear imposed on the trans-basinal Sagaing-Andaman-Nicobar- Sumatra fault system and presents a complex tectonic history owing to some unique geophysical characteristics such as the absence of magnetic anomalies and thickly sedimented spreading center. Recent advances such as high-resolution seafloor mapping, extensive deep penetrating multichannel seismic reflection studies, deep drilling by JOIDES Resolution, GPS investigations and passive Ocean Bottom Seismometer experiment have greatly contributed to our understanding of this complex backarc basin. However, there are many outstanding questions and uncertainties with respect to the evolutionary sequence, emplacement of crustal types and their ages. This brief review is an attempt to bring into focus the present status of our understanding of the tectonics of the Andaman Backarc Basin, to highlight the outstanding questions and to suggest possible ways to address them.


Andaman Sea Back-arc basin Seafloor mapping Tectonics Sumatra fault Magnetic anomalies 



We thank Prof. Sunil Kumar Singh, Director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Goa and Dr. M. Ravichandran, Director, National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa for their encouragement and support. We thank Prof. M. Radhakrishna, IIT, Mumbai for the invitation to write this review, which in fact, has actuated us to take-up of this work. All figures were drafted with the GMT software (Wessel and Smith 1995). This is a CSIR-NIO and NCPOR contribution. NCPOR contribution number B-3/2019-20.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. Kamesh Raju
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • K. K. Aswini
    • 1
  • V. Yatheesh
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-National Institute of OceanographyDona PaulaIndia
  2. 2.National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR)Vasco-da-GamaIndia

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