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Pre-Deccan Campanian acidic volcanism on Laccadive ridge: Implications on the nature of its underlying crust
  • Kondepudi Pattabhiram ,
  • Kanchan Pande,
  • M Radhakrishna
Kondepudi Pattabhiram

Corresponding Author:kvssspram.007@gmail.com

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Kanchan Pande
Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
M Radhakrishna
Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay


The Laccadive-Chagos Ridge (LCR) is a prominent aseismic ridge in the Indian Ocean. The origin and nature of the crust beneath the LCR have been debated. Based on Ar-Ar geochronology of the volcanic basement rocks from ODP wells 713 and 715 from Chagos and Maldives ridges, a hotspot trail model was proposed for the genesis of the LCR. On the other hand, based on geophysical studies, the LCR has been inferred as a continental sliver/hyperextended continental crust which has undergone heavy underplating and Reunion hotspot volcanism. Even though these two different hypotheses differ on the genesis and nature of the LCR, both agree that the ridge experienced extensive Reunion hotspot trail volcanism, making the crust's nature challenging to decipher. We report Ar-Ar ages of two rhyolite rock samples from a well drilled on the Padua bank located on the northern extent of the Laccadive ridge. These acidic rocks are at a depth of ~1700m and ~2300m and underlie the Tertiary sediments forming the basement in this well. The previously determined K-Ar geochronology ages are 60.2 Ma and 102 Ma. The precise Ar-Ar dates of these rocks determined in the present study are 76.2 ± 0.4 Ma and 77.5 ± 0.5 Ma (2σ) respectively. These acidic rocks (78-76 Ma) coupled with onshore acidic rocks of the St-Mary's island (87-84 Ma) and Ezhimala (95-93 Ma) suggest continuous extension between the India and Laccadive ridge after the Indo-Madagascar continental breakup (88 ma). Contrary to the earlier hypothesis, the acidic rocks of Laccadive Ridge are older than the Reunion Plume trail volcanism (62-60 Ma). The geophysical and geochronological evidence suggests that the Laccadive ridge is continental in nature, and the volcanism predates the Reunion plume volcanism. These evidences suggest that the Laccadive Ridge is a continental thinned crust that has undergone rift-related volcanism rather than a hotspot trail.
23 Feb 2023Submitted to AGU Fall Meeting 2022
27 Feb 2023Published in AGU Fall Meeting 2022