Deep seismic reflection studies investigating the exposed Archean lower continental crust of the Southern Granulite Terrane, India, yield important constraints on the nature and evolution of the deep crust, including the formation and exhumation of granulites. Seismic reflection images along the Kuppam-Bhavani profile reveal a band of reflections that dip southward from 10.5 to 15.0??s two-way-time (TWT), across a distance of 50??km. The bottom of these reflections beneath the Dharwar craton is interpreted as the Moho. Further south, another reflection band dipping northward is observed. These bands of reflectivity constitute a divergent reflection fabric that converges at the Moho boundary observed at the Mettur shear zone. Reflection fabrics that intersect at a steep angle are interpreted as a collisional signature due to the convergence of crustal blocks, which we infer resulted in crustal thickening and the formation of granulites. Anomalous gravity and magnetic signatures are also observed across the Mettur shear zone. The gravity model derived from the Bouguer gravity data corroborates seismic results. The tectonic regime and seismic reflection profiles are combined in a 3-D representation that illustrates our evidence for paleo-subduction at a collision zone. The structural dissimilarities and geophysical anomalies suggest that the Mettur shear zone is a suture between the Dharwar craton in the north and another crustal block in the south. This study contributes significantly to our understanding of the operation of Archean plate tectonics, here inferred to involve collision and subduction. Furthermore, it provides an important link between the Gondwanaland and global granulite evolution occurring throughout the late Archean. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Crustal structure and tectonics of the northern part of the Southern Granulite Terrane, India