Dharwar Craton

The Dharwar Craton is an Archean continental crust craton formed between 3.6-2.5 billion years ago (Ga), which is located in southern India and considered as the oldest part of the Indian peninsula.[2]

The location map of the Dharwar Craton. The shaded area represents the Dharwar Craton. Generated from GeoMapApp (Ryan et al., 2009).[1]

Studies in the 2010s suggest that the craton can be separated into three crustal blocks since they show different accretionary history (i.e., the history of block collisions).[2] The craton includes the western, central and eastern blocks and the three blocks are divided by several shear zones.[2][3]

The lithologies of the Dharwar Craton are mainly TTG (Tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) gneisses, volcanic-sedimentary greenstone sequences and calc-alkaline granitoids.[1] The western Dharwar Craton contains the oldest basement rocks, with greenstone sequences between 3.0-3.4 Ga, whereas the central block of the craton mainly contains migmatitic TTG gneisses, and the eastern block contains 2.7 Ga greenstone belts and calc-alkaline plutons.[4]

The formation of the basement rock of the Dharwar Craton was created by intraplate hotspots (i.e., volcanic activities caused by mantle plumes from the core-mantle boundary), the melting of subducted oceanic crust and the melting of thickened oceanic arc crust.[2] The continuous melting of oceanic arc crust and mantle upwelling generated the TTG and sanukitoid plutons over the Dharwar Craton.[5][6]


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