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A Preliminary Study on Earthquake Source Properties Based on Geochemistry, Shear Resistance and Melt Pressure of Pseudotachylites, Gangavalli Fault, South India

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Structural Geometry of Mobile Belts of the Indian Subcontinent

Part of the book series: Society of Earth Scientists Series ((SESS))

Abstract

Voluminous pseudotachylites occur along NE-SW trending Gangavalli sinistral strike-slip fault in the Southern Granulite Terrane of South India. We made a field, microscope and geochemistry study of the pseudotachylites, and determined the parent rock composition, frictional shear resistance (τf) and melt pressure (Pm). Based on the result, we made a preliminary interpretation of source property of the earthquake. The pseudotachylite veins belong to two types, (i) the fault veins were produced by in-situ melting, these were used to compute the τf during coseismic slip, and (ii) the injected veins formed due to dilation of the pre-existing weak planes, these have been used to calculate the Pm. The pseudotachylites bear chemical similarity with charnockites in that they show andesite to granite composition in TAS diagram, calc-alkaline trend in AFM plot, possess REE fractionation with LREE enrichment and lack Eu anomaly. Hence, pseudotachylites were derived from melting of the charnockite. Further, the pseudotachylites are dominated by hexagonal β-quartz clasts that suggest the maximum temperature of melting was at 1550 ℃. The fault veins exhibit thickness/displacement ratio varying between 0.03 and 0.1. Assuming that there is no loss of melt from fault veins, maximum shear resistance is estimated at 48.95 MPa, characteristic of large magnitude-earthquake. The injected veins are thicker, show varied geometry and dominantly are aligned in NE-SW direction. The melt pressure Pm > σ2, stress ratio Φ = 0.87 and driving pressure R′ = 0.9 were calculated from stereoplot and 3D Mohr circle. Higher stress ratio indicates σ2 ≈ σ1 that leads to flip-flop of σ1 from horizontal to vertical. This was probably the result of stress drop during stick-slip mechanism.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay for providing support for the field work. We convey our gratitude to prof. S. C. Patel and Mr. Anil Kanta Champati for providing us EPMA instrument for chemical analysis and Mrs. Trupti V. Chandrasekhar for providing XRD facility. We thank D. Selvaganapathi for extensive help during fieldwork in Salem, Tamil Nadu.

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Behera, B.M., Thirukumaran, V., Sharma, N.K., Biswal, T.K. (2020). A Preliminary Study on Earthquake Source Properties Based on Geochemistry, Shear Resistance and Melt Pressure of Pseudotachylites, Gangavalli Fault, South India. In: Biswal, T., Ray, S., Grasemann, B. (eds) Structural Geometry of Mobile Belts of the Indian Subcontinent. Society of Earth Scientists Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40593-9_8

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