Electrical Conductance Map for the Kachchh Rift Basin: Constraint on Tectonic Evolution and Seismotectonic Implications
Geomagnetic field variations recorded by an array of magnetometers spread across the Kachchh Rift basin are reduced to a set of induction arrows as a diagnostic of lateral electrical conductivity variations. A non-uniform thin-sheet electrical conductance model is developed to account for the salient induction patterns. It indicates that the imaged conductivity anomalies can be related to the sediment-filled structural lows in between the fault bounded uplifts. It is suggested that sagging structural lows preserved the marine sediments deposited during the Mesozoic sea transgression and later developed into first order embayment basins for the deposition of sediments in association with Late Eocene transgression. Depth integrated electrical conductance helped in mapping two depo-centres: along the ENE-WSW trending Banni half-Graben bounded by the Kachchh Main fault on the south and, second, along the Vinjan depression formed in response to the subsidence between the Vigodi fault and westward extension of the Katrol Hill fault together with the westward bending of the Median High. Presence of metamorphosed graphite schist clasts in shale dominated Mesozoic sequence and/or thin films of carbon resulting from the thermal influence of Deccan activity on Carbonate-rich formations can account for the high electrical conductivity anomalies seen in the depo-centres of thick Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments. Additionally two high conductivity zones are imaged encompassing a block defined by the 2001 Bhuj earthquake and its aftershocks. In agreement with gravity, magnetic and seismic velocity signatures, aqueous fluids released by recrystallizing magmatic bodies intruded in association with Deccan trap activity account for mapped high conductivity zones. High fluid pressure in such a fractured domain, surrounding the intruded magmatic plugs, perturb the regional stress concentrations to produce frequent and low magnitude aftershocks in the shallow section of the epicentral track of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.