Lithofacies and Granulometric Characteristics of the Kallamedu Formation, Ariyalur Group, South India: Implications on Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Events

  • Mu. Ramkumar
  • T. SuganthaEmail author
  • Jyotsana Rai
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


The Kallamedu Formation, deposited during Late Maastrichtian is the thickest and largest sprawling non-marine/coastal stratigraphic unit of the Ariyalur Group, Cauvery basin, South India. However, it had attracted scanty attention from geoscientists owing to its poorly fossiliferous and weathered nature besides the paucity of good exposures. Understanding the depositional conditions of the Kallamedu Formation was necessitated due to the recent finding of continuous exposure of Maastrichtiah-Danian stratigraphic records namely, the Kallankurichchi Formation, the Kallamedu Formation and the Niniyur Formation near Niniyur and presumption of sauropod nesting site there. In this chapter, we report the textural properties of Kallamedu Formation sandstones and draw inferences on depositional and climatic conditions prevalent. The results indicate that the Kallamedu Formation was deposited under coastal plain environment that was periodically inundated by freshwater overflown from ephemeral river channels. The facies characteristics indicate deposition in river channel, flood plain, and overbank micro-environments located adjoining coastal region. Sediment availability was scarce and thus older sedimentary rocks were recycled through erosion-deposition during flood seasons. Predominance of riverine origin and transport of sediments by rolling and suspension mode are indicated by textural properties. Climatic conditions prevalent were inferred to be dry-humid alternations, principally influenced under seasonal/monsoonal conditions. Massive, monotonous, thick to very thick beds and other contact relationships together with mineralogical and textural properties of the Kallamedu Formation suggest the prevalence of flash floods under the influence of anomalous climatic conditions, that might have destabilized the environmental conditions and destructed the ecological niches, contributing towards dwindling and extinction of taxa during end-Cretaceous.


Benthic Foraminifera Platinum Group Element Planktonic Foraminifera Deccan Volcanism Cauvery Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by research grants from University Grants Commission, New Delhi. Dr. N.C.Mehrotra, Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP), Lucknow is thanked for permitting the scientific collaboration between Department of Geology, Periyar University, Salem and BSIP, Lucknow. He is also thanked for having provided access to necessary research equipment.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyPeriyar UniversitySalemIndia
  2. 2.Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeobotanyLucknowIndia

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