Lithospheric structure below the eastern Arabian Sea and adjoining West Coast of India based on integrated analysis of gravity and seismic data
Four uniformly spaced regional gravity traverses and the available seismic data across the western continental margin of India, starting from the western Indian shield extending into the deep oceanic areas of the eastern Arabian Sea, have been utilized to delineate the lithospheric structure. The seismically constrained gravity models along these four traverses suggest that the crustal structure below the northern part of the margin within the Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP) is significantly different from the margin outside the DVP. The lithosphere thickness, in general, varies from 110-120 km in the central and southern part of the margin to as much as 85-90 km below the Deccan Plateau and Cambay rift basin in the north. The Eastern basin is characterised by thinned rift stage continental crust which extends as far as Laxmi basin in the north and the Laccadive ridge in the south. At the ocean-continent transition (OCT), crustal density differences between the Laxmi ridge and the Laxmi basin are not sufficient to distinguish continental as against an oceanic crust through gravity modeling. However, 5-6 km thick oceanic crust below the Laxmi basin is a consistent gravity option. Significantly, the models indicate the presence of a high density layer of 3.0 g/cm3 in the lower crust in almost whole of the northern part of the region between the Laxmi ridge and the pericontinental northwest shield region in the DVP, and also below Laccadive ridge in the southern part. The Laxmi ridge is underlain by continental crust upto a depth of 11 km and a thick high density material (3.0 g/cm3) between 11-26 km. The Pratap ridge is indicated as a shallow basement high in the upper part of the crust formed during rifting. The 15 -17 km thick oceanic crust below Laccadive ridge is seen further thickened by high density underplated material down to Moho depths of 24-25 km which indicate formation of the ridge along Reunion hotspot trace.