Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Palaeomagnetic reconstruction of continental plates: A brief study on Indian subcontinent using world palaeomagnetic database

Bitihotri Rit

Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Haridwar 247667

Dr. S Mohanty

Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad 826004


The Earth acts as a giant bar magnet with Geocentric Axial Dipole (GAD) almost parallel to its rotational axis. Presence of this geomagnetic field leads the minerals with different magnetic properties (e.g. ferro-, para-, diamagnetism etc.) to orient themselves throughout the surface of the globe during deposition/crystallisation. The geomagnetic orientation data (i.e. inclination) act as markers to identify the palaeolatitude of the continents at the time of acquisition of magnetic polarity. The current site data combined with the inclination and declination data one can find the Virtual Geomagnetic Pole (VGP) position correspoding to the paleolatitude. The positions of Indian Subcontinent against the available VGP are reconstructed with specific time frame. The Precambrian data from the North Indian Block and South Indian Block indicate the ~1.9 Ga collision and formation of Central Indian Tectonic Zone related to the Satpura Orogeny. The Neoproterozoic reconstruction shows the position of India, West Australia and East Antarctica. A collisional orogeny had taken place around 1.1 Ga. This is probably the time of evolution of Eastern Ghat Mobile belt. During Mesozoic and Cenozoic Era, Indian block was moving rapidly towards north and collided with the Eurasian Plate.

Keywords: virtual geomagnetic pole, palaeolatitude, palaeoproterozoic, neoproroterozoic, phanerozoic


VGPVirtual Geomagnetic Pole
NIB North Indian Block 
SIB South Indian Block 
SIWA South India- West Autralia 
CITZCentral Indian Tectonic Zone
GaBillion Years/ Giga Annum 
 MaMillion Years/ Mega Annum


The Earth is thought to have an initial molten state after its formation. Since the beginning of the solidification of the molten crust, the continental blocks have changed their positions throughout the geological time. There were many phases of continental separation when floating crustal masses were broken up to form different paleo-oceans or collided to form supercontinents (e.g. Columbia, Rhodinia, Gondwana, etc.) or gave rise to new suture zones and mountain belts (e.g. Central Indian Tectonic zone, Palaghat Cauvery Shear Zone, Satpura Orogen, Eastern Ghats Orogen, Himalayan Orogen, etc.). Roger and Santosh (2002) and Zhao et al. (2002) identified the presence of a supercontinent “Columbia” during 2.1-1.8 Ga. After breaking of this Palaeoproterozoic continents, and subsequent amalgamation of different blocks the supercontinent Rhodinia was formed in the Neoproterozoic period of 1.3-0.9 Ga. Rhodinia Supercontinent started to break up at 825 Ma. The major rifting took place at 750 Ma, and continued up to 530 Ma, until the complete formation of the Gondwana Supercontinent (Li et al., 2008). It is very important to identify the position of different continental blocks with respect to the events of continental collision and separation to perceive the knowledge of biological evolutions and geotectonic events in geological past. Many methods like petrological identity, isotope analysis, palaeontological evidences, palaeomagnetic reconstruction, etc. have been adopted to understand the crustal changes in the past, and several hypotheses have been advocated.

The paleomagnetic magnetic reconstructions are based of the principle that the Earth has a liquid outer core and due to the movement of that liquid ferromagnesian material in outer core, a moderate to strong magnetic field is created;the Earth itself acts as a giant bar magnet or Geocentric Axial Dipole (GAD). This magnetic dipole is nearly parallel to the rotational axis of the Earth and keeps changing its orientation. The minerals with different magnetic properties (e.g. ferromagnetic, paramagnetic, diamagnetic etc.) get aligned in the presence of this geomagnetic field during deposition or crystallization. The geometric representation of the alignment of these magnetisms can be useful to identify the past geomagnetic pole position and palaeolatitude (or the latitude where the rock was actually formed). The Virtual Geomagnetic Pole (VGP) is a concept which is very useful for reconstructing the pole position of a sampling site during the geologic past. From a series of VGPs of different geologic ages, an apparent polar wandering curve can be drawn. Reciprocating the VGPs, actual position of those site in past can be reconstructed. By using palaeomagnetic data, the path of today’s Indian subcontinent through the geological past can be reconstructed. The reconstruction of continental mass in the Phanerozoic period gives reliable results for areas with no deformation and metamorphism, but the Precambrian palaeomagnetic data are not that much reliable because of intense tectonic deformations and metamorphism. Some undeformed and unmetamorphosed dykes and magnetic mineral complexes are present in the Precambrian cratonic areas. The palaeomagnetic data obtained from these rocks are very crucial to reconstruct the continental positions older than the Cambrian age.

The peninsular India has four Precambrian cratons, the Aravalli-Bundelkhand craton in the north of Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ), and the Bastar, Singhbhum and Dharwar cratons in the south of CITZ. The palaeomagnetic data from these cratons can be used to understand their relative positions in the past and the time of the Precambrian orogeny, i.e. the Satpura Orogeny by collision of South Indian Block (SIB) and North Indian Block (NIB) (Bundelkhand versus Bastar-Singhbhum-Dharwar craton) along the CITZ. Further, the evolution of the Eastern Ghat Orogeny can be traced from the paleomagnetic data combined with the geochronological data. For this we have used the Western Australian and the East Antarctic cratons which were adjacent to India in the reconstruction of Rodinia. We shall try to reconstruct the position of the different cratons of the Indian subcontinent from the Precambrian age to the Recent using the VGP data. To calculate the VGPs, inclinations, and declinations are required along with the geographic latitude and longitude of the sampling site. The best palaeomagnetic data are collected from unmetamorphosed and undeformed magnetic mineral deposits or rock suites like Iron ore complexes, volcanic traps, mafic dykes, and Fe-rich sedimentary rocks.


General Geological setting of the cratons related to the palaeomagnetic reconstruction of the Indian subcontinent

The Bundelkhand is the triangular Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic craton (Fig. 1) present between the latitudes 240 30’N and 260 00’N and longitudes 770 30’E and 810 00’E with an area of ∼29,000 km2 (Sharma, 1998). The Great Boundary Fault is present in the west of the Bundelkhand Craton; the north-eastern side of this craton is delimited by the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plains and the south and south eastern part is bounded by the Narmada–Son lineament. The south western margin is marked by the Deccan Basalt. Palaeoproterozoic rocks of the Bijawar and Gwalior Groups are exposed in the SW and NE parts of the craton. The arcuate Vindhyan basin overlies the craton in the south and south-eastern sections (Goodwin, 1991; Naqvi and Rogers, 1987; Pati et al., 2008; Meert et al., 2010, Pradhan et al., 2011). This craton has highly deformed granite greenstone Archaean basement (~3.5 Ga) and 2.5 Ga old granitic plutons and quartz reefs. Along with the felsic suit, mafic dykes and dyke swarms are also present in this craton (Sharma and Rahman, 2000). Three mafic dyke swarms intruded this Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic basement. The older dykes of 2.15-1.5 Ga (Rao, 2004; Rao et al., 2005; Basu, 1986; Sarkar et al., 1997; Sharma and Rahman, 1996), and the Great Dyke of Mahoba (age 1.1-1.0 Ga) provide paleomagnetic and precise geochronological data to reconstruct paleo-positions of the craton in Proterozoic. (Pradhan et al., 2012).

The Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic Singhbhum craton (Fig.1) spreads over the East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Saraikela-Kharswan districts of Jharkhand and Mayurbhanj and Kendujhargarh districts of north Odisha and occupies an area of approximately 50,000 sq. km. The triangular Singhbhum craton is delimited to the north by the North Singhbhum Mobile Belt (NSMB), the Eastern Ghats Belt to the southeast and the Bastar craton to the southwest (Saha, 1994). The craton is composed of Older Metamorphic Group (OMG) with green schist- to amphibolites-facies supracrustals and tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite, Singhbhum Granite Complex with granitoids and tonalities (SGC) and Iron Ore Group (IOG) the green schist facies platformal sediments and banded iron formations interlayered with mafic and felsic volcanic rocks (Kumar et al., 2017).

The Bastar craton is a 500 km2 crustal block in south-east India (Fig.1). It is delimited to the north by CITZ and to the southeast by the Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt. The eastern boundary is defined by Mahanadi Rift and the Godavari Rift is present in the western boundary (Ramakrishnan and Vaidyanadhan, 2008). The undifferentiated crystalline gneissic basement is about 3.51 Ga old (Sarkar et al., 1993). There is also a supracrustals component with phyllite, schist, quartzite, meta-carbonate and interbedded meta-basalts though their stratigraphic position is debated (Ghosh, 1941, Crookshank, 1963). Mafic dyke swarm with trend NW-SE to WNW-ESE is present in the Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic basement of the Bastar craton (Meert et al., 2011). Both metamorphosed and unmetamorphosed mafic dykes are present. It indicated two different emplacement events (Crookshank, 1963). Three major suites of mafic dykes were identified which include the older suite of metamorphosed amphibolite dykes, an younger suite of fresh or unmetamorphosed dolerite dykes and a suite of high-Mg boninite dykes (Ramchandra et al., 1995; Srivastava and Singh, 2003, 2004). .

The Dharwar craton (Fig. 1) is demarcated by the Deccan Traps in the north, the Eastern Ghats and the Godavari Rift in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Southern Granulite Terrane in the south (Rogers, 1986; Naqvi and Rogers, 1987). The Dharwar protocontinent consisting Dharwar, Bastar, and Singhbhum cratons, is separated from the northern Banded Gneiss Complex (Aravalli-Bundelkhand protocontinent) by the CITZ (French and Heaman, 2010). The Dharwar craton is subdivided into eastern (EDC) and western (WDC) craton by N-S trending Closepet Granite (Friend and Nutman, 1991; Ramakrishnan and Vaidyanadhan, 2008; Naqvi and Rogers, 1987).

The East Antarctic Craton is a high-grade metamorphic terrain which is exposed along the coastal belt of the Enderby Land, Kemp Land, Mac Robertson Land and Princess Elizabeth Land (Mohanty, 2015). It is a Precambrian high grade polymetamorphic terrain with at least three orogenic events. The Mawson Craton which is composed of Terre Adélie terrane, Miller Range, and other tectonic units surrounding them, has been conjoined with the Gawler Craton of Australia in the so-called Mawsonland configuration (Fig. 2) since Archaean (Liu et al., 2018) and considered to remain connected with the Western Australia until the breakup of Pangaea at ~85 Ma (Seton et al., 2012).

The Yilgran Craton of Western Australia is one of the oldest continental crusts of world (Figs 2, 3). The craton is divided into five subdivisions, namely the Narryer Gneissic Terrane, the Murchison Province, Southwest Province, Southern Cross Province and the Eastern Goldfield Province. The Narryer Gneissic Terrane (3.6-3.8 Ga) has Manfred Complex, Meeberrie Gneiss, Dugel Gneiss, and younger gneisses and metasediments. The Manfred Complex comprises layered mafic-ultramafic complexes of age ~3.73 Ga (Kinny et al., 1988). Banded gneiss of monzogranitic composition, the Meeberrie Gneiss (3.68 Ga, Kinny et al., 1988) is unconformably overlain by a high grade metasedimentary sequence. Many mafic dike swarms of Palaeoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic age are also present in the Yilgarn craton (Myers, 1995; Şengör and Natal, 1996; Chen et al., 2003; Collins, 2003; Evans et al., 2003; Cawood and Tyler, 2004; Halilovic et al., 2004; Occhipinti et al., 2004; Sheppard et al., 2004; Cassidy et al., 2006; Mohanty, 2015)

    Generalized geological and tectonic map of the Indian subcontinent with the Precambrian mafic dyke swarms cross-cutting various Archaean cratonic blocks. C: Cuddapah basin; Ch: Chhattisgarh Basin; CITZ: Central Indian Tectonic Zone; GR: Godavari Rift; M: Madras Block; Mk: Malanjkhand; MR: Mahanadi Rift; N: Nilgiri Block; NS: Narmada–Son Fault Zone; PC: Palaghat–Cauvery Shear Zone; R: Rengali Province and Kerajang Shear Zone; S: Singhbhum Shear Zone; V: Vindhyan Basin [Taken from Pradhan et al., 2012; andFrench et al., 2008]
      Tectonic map of Australia and Antarctica in Gondwana, showing the proximal fit between Western Australia and East Antarctica until Pangea break up. Abbreviations: AFO, Albany-Fraser Orogen; BH, Bunger Hills; CCr, Curnamona Craton; M-F-C, Madura-Forrest-Coompana Provinces; MR, Miller Range; NC, Nornalup Complex; TA, Terre Adélie craton; WI, Windmill Islands; WL, Wilkes Land. [Adapted from Liu et al., 2018]

        Reconstruction of Eastern Gondwana showing the proximity of Australia and East Antarctica. The East Antarctic craton and West Australian Craton was connected till the Gondwana breakup [ adapted from Mohanty, 2015 ]


        Geomagnetic data are generated by various researchers throughout the world since the middle of the 20th century. We have taken the palaeomagnetic data for different cratons of India from various published papers. Good number of Palaeomagnetic data are available for the post Palaeozoic rocks in Indian subcontinent. National Geophysical Data Centre (NGDC) has also made an online archive of World Palaeomagnetic Database with the help of Geological Survey of Norway. The data from this databse were also used for reconstructions.

        Plotting the palaeoposition against the calculated VGP’s is done primarily to reconstruct the past continental position. The data have been used with the help of the software GMAP 2003 (Torsvik, 2003). By superimposing the position at different time, we get the relative positions of the continents on the earth’s crust. Later, the positions are compared with the published data from different papers to draw conclusions.

        Paleomagnetic data from India
        SITEAGEVGP LAT ( in Degrees E)VGP LONG ( in Degrees N)REFERENCE
        PhanerozoicUpper Siwalik Sediments, Bhittani Range, Pakistan0-2 Ma73.56255.46Khan and Opdyke, 1981
        Ladakh Intrusive, Kargil46-50 Ma62.7249.7Klootwijk et al., 1979
        Deccan Trap, Dhar Region61-67 Ma29293Rao and Bhalla, 1981
        Deccan Trap, Aurangabad63-68 Ma33287Athavale and Anjaneyulu, 1972
        Gondwana Dyke65-105 Ma33295Athavale and Verma, 1970
        PrecambrianMahoba Dyke, Bundelkhand 1113± 7 Ma-37.8049.5Pradhan et al., 2012
        Dolerite Dyke, Singhbhum Craton1780-1880 Ma23.2169.9Subba Rao and Radhakrishna Murthy, 1985
        Bastar Dykes, Bastar Craton1.88 Ga31330Meert et al., 2011
        Dharwar Dykes, Dharwar Craton1.88 Ga37334Belica et al., 2014
        Older Dyke, Bundelkhand Craton1979± 9 Ma58.5312.5Pradhan et al., 2012

        Paleomagnetic data from Western Australia


        Bangemall Sill Pole, Western Australia 1070 Ma-83.7129Wingate et al., 2002
        Palaeomagnetic Data from Western Australia: The North hemispheric latitudes are considered as +ve and the latitudes of Southern hemisphere are considered as –ve. Longitutdes are counted in East from Greenwich 00.


        Precambrian Reconstruction of the Indian Subcontinent

        The basement of Archaean Bundelkhand Craton is composed of 3.5 Ga old tonalite–trondhjhemite gneiss (Mondal et al., 2002). This craton forms the North Indian Block which is present in the north of Central Indian Tectonic Zone and Satpura Range. The present day South Indian Block is composed of three Archaean cratons namely Bastar, Singhbhum and Dharwar craton. From the palaeomagnetic study of basic dykes of South India (SI) and Yilgran Craton of West Australia shows that he SIB was connected with the West Australian (WA) craton in Archaean age (Mohanty, 2010). But SI got separated from WI in Palaeo Proterozoic (Mohanty, 2011). The Fig. 4 shows the Archaean assembly of SIWA. The Columbian Supercontinent configuration (Fig. 7) by Zhao et al. (2002, 2004) shows the dispersal of SI-WA by 1.8 Ga.

        Evolution of CITZ

        The palaeomagnetic study by Pradhan et al. (2012) on the two suites of mafic dykes in Bundelkhand basement provides the data for our palaeomagnetic reconstruction. The older dyke suite has a concordia age 1.98 Ga and the younger dykes or Great Dyke of Mahoba has concordia age of 1.11 Ga. The palaeolatitudes corresponding to them are equatorial and 210 S, respectively. Mean VGP calculated for these dykes are 58.5 0N, 312.5 0E and 38.70S, 49.50E, respectively.

        The study of Meert et al. (2011) has shown the 1.88 Ga dykes of Bastar craton with VGP 31° N, 330° E. The position of the craton was at very low latitude in southern hemisphere (~ 70 S). The study from Dharwar dykes (Belica et al., 2014) shows VGP at 290 N and 1950 E. The palaeolatitude at this point of time was also same as the Bastar dykes. The Newer Dolerite dykes (1.78-1.88 Ga) of the Singhbhum Craton were studied by Subba Rao and Radhakrishna Murthy (1985). This study gives the palaeolatitude of Singhbhum which is quite similar to that of the Bastar craton. The VGP was at 23.20 N, 169.90 E.

        The reconstruction using the VGP with GMAP 2003 (Torsvik, 2003) shows proximal relation between SIB and NIB at ~1.9 Ga (Fig. 5 ). The Dharwar and Bastar craton were already welded before 1.88 Ma, found from the overlapping position of these two craton. The Singhbhum craton is also having a neighbouring position, which needs some rotational correction. The SIB moved toward the NIB and juxtaposed with it forming a collisional boundary. So the initiation of the Satpura Orogeny and formation of CITZ was around 1.9 Ga (Palaeoproterozoic age).

        The formation of the Eastern Ghats was analysed by examining the positions of India and Western Australia at ~2.4 Ga (Fig. 4), the paleomagnetic data from the mafic dykes of ~1.8 Ga in the Bastar craton and Western Australia (Fig. 6) indicate that the SIB moved away from the Western Australia , and a palaeo Indian Ocean was created at the position of the Eastern Ghats (Fig. 6). This ocean was closed later to form the Eastern Ghats by the collision between India and Antarctica (Mohanty, 2015).

          Archaean–Palaeoproterozoic supercontinent “SIWA”. Arrows marked as NYil and NDhar are North directions for Yilgarn craton and Dharwar craton at ∼2,.4 Ga. respectively. The South India (SI) and West Australia (WA) were separated by opening of Palaeo-Indian Ocean by 1.8 Ga [Adapted from Mohanty, 2011].
            The schematic map denotes the position of Bundelkhand, Singhbhum, Bastar and Dharwar craton in the age window 1.78-1.98 Ga. They are shown with blue and maroon colour respectively in the yellow Indian Subcontinental mass (1.88 Ga.). The purple one is the Bundelkhand craton in 1.98Ga. position. It is clearly seen that Dharwar and Bastar craton were already juxtaposed as South Indian Block at 1.88 Ga. The North Indian Block and South Indian Block were collided at this point of time. So, CITZ related accretion might have already been started during Palaeoproterozoic time (~ 1.9 Ga). This schematic diagram is made from the VGP data given in Table 1 with GMAP 2003.
              The configuration of SI and WA after break up of SIWA. The VGP from Bastar and Dharwar are shown in red and Yilgran Craton in blue. There coeval overlapping proves the separation of WA and SI in 1.8 Ga. (Adapted from Stark et al., 2017)
                Columbia reconstruction by Zhao et al. (2002, 2004). Dark-shaded cratons have palaeomagnetic data available at 1.9 Ga and lighter shaded cratons have no palaeomagnetic data. Legend; Kp=Kaapvaal craton; Zm=Zimbabwe craton; NCB=North China Block; SCB=South China Block; M=Madagascar; SAM=South America blocks (Amazonia, Rio de la Plata); WAfr=West Africa; 2.1–1.8 Orogens (smaller italics); TNC=Trans North China; CITZ=Central Indian Tectonic Zone; TA=Transantarctic; C=Capricorn; L = Limpopo; CA= Central Aldan; Ak = Akitkan; W=Wopmay; TT= Taltson-Thelon; TH= Trans-Hudson; Pe = Penokean; F = Foxe; U = Ungava; NQ = Nugssugtoquidian; K = Ketilidian; Sf=Svecofennian; V=Volhyn; P=Pachelma; KK=Kola-Karelian; E=Eburnean; Taz=Trans Amazonian.

                Evolution of Eastern Ghat Mobile Belt

                Eastern Ghat Mobile Belt is a long narrow high grade metamorphic terrane (granulite facies) along the East coast of India. The UHT metasedimentary rocks and granitoid batholithic emplacements proves a collisional tectonic origin. The Peak UHT metamorphic event took place at ~ 1.2-1.0 Ga. (Pant and Dasgupta, 2017). This metamorphism is similar to the 0.9 Ga. Mawson charnockites of East Antarctica (Young et al., 1997, Halpin et al., 2012)

                After separation of SIWA (Mohanty, 2010), the palaeo Indian Ocean was formed. The sedimentation rate in this basin was high at 1.4 – 1.2 Ga (Upadhyay et al., 2009, Pant and Dasgupta, 2017). The palaeomagnetic reconstruction of India at 1.1 Ga was made by using the VGP of Mahoba Dyke, Bundelkhand craton (Pradhan et al., 2012). The NIB and SIB were already juxtaposed far before 1.1 Ga. So, the data from NIB represents the position of Indian Subcontinent in Neoproterozoic age. There is palaeomagnetic data available for west Australia in Neoproterozoic. The palaeomagnetic data from Bangemall Sill, Western Australia shows VGP of 83.70 S and 1290 E at 1.07Ga (Wingate et al., 2002).

                The position of India was at less than 210 S latitude and Australian block was at Northern hemisphere with little higher latitude (Fig. 8 ). Because of unavailability of VGP from East Antarctica at ~ 1.1 Ga., the possible position of this block is shown in dotted line. Liu et al. (2018) have stated that Western Australia and East Antarctica were connected since the Archaean age and were not separated before Gondwana Breakup in Mesozoic age. So, from the East Gondwana set up of Western Australia and East Antarctica (Fig. 2 and 3), Mawsonland arrangement (Liu et al., 2018) has been used to reconstruct the East Antarctica at 1.1 Ga. (Liu et al., 2018). The very recent study of Liu et al. (2018) provides one VGP for Mesoproterozoic Mawsonland which was collected from Bunger Hill Dykes. Their study confirms the Proterozoic vicinity of West Australia and East Antarctica. The early Rhodinia supercontinental configuration ( Fig. 9) is also conformable with this reconstruction (Pradhan et al., 2012, Weil et al., 1998). Therefore it can be assumed that the major collision between East Antarctica and India had already been started at ~ 1.1 Ga and the palaeo-ocean was closing by this time. The sediments of this basin accreted and faced an active margin related orogeny (Eastern ghat Mobile Belt).

                  Palaeoposition of Indian Subcontinent and Australia at 1.11Ga and 1.07Ga respectively. Therefore, this schematic diagram explains the relative position between India and Australia at 1.0-1.1Ga. Palaeomagnetic data of Mahoba Dyke is taken to plot India (Pradhan et al., 2012). Australia is plotted against the VGP of Bangemall Sill (Wingate et al, 2002). The site locations are encircled in the respective continents. Due to the scarce of palaeomagnetic data from East Antarctic plate, its position is shown with the help of correlation from the proximity of Mawson Craton (East Antarctica) and West Australian cratons (Cawood and Korsch, 2008; Pradhan et al., 2012). A possible active margin is shown along the east coast of India, which is formed due to the compressional force of East Antarctic plate towards India. This collision gave rise to the Eastern Ghat orogeny (Peak metamorphic event at ~1.1, Pant and Dasgupta, 2017), shown in green. 
                    Palaeomagnetic reconstruction at 1.1 Ga. by Pradhan et al. (2012). It is showing the early Rhodinian proximity between India, East Antarctica and Australia.

                    Mesozoic-Cenozoic position of the Indian Subcontinent

                    A large change in latitude was observed during this period (Fig. 10). At the present time, India is lying at an average Latitude of 230N. The Palaeomagnetic study of Gondwana dykes from Damodar valley shows a Palaeolatitude of 320 S (Athavale and Verma, 1970). The VGP calculated here is 33 0N, 295 0E. The age of these dykes are about 105-65 Ma i.e. Cretaceous (Late Mesozoic). So, there is a huge change of ~500 in latitudinal position with in only 105 Ma since the Gondwana separation. The palaeomagnetic data from Palaeogene Deccan volcanics of Aurangabad (63-68 Ma) and Dhar Region (61-67 Ma) shows VGP values of 33 0N, 287 0E and 29 0N, 293 0E respectively ( Athavale and Anjaneyulu, 1972 and Rao and Bhalla, 1981). The palaeolatitude for these two traps were nearly 290 S, some rotational movements were seen here. From the ladakh Intrusives of Kashmir (46-50 Ma) (Klootwijk et al., 1979), the position of India is found to be near the equator. The VGP values for this region were calculated to be 62.7 0N, 249.7 0E. The Upper Siwalik Sediments of 0-2Ma, shows a palaeolatitude of 160 N and VGP of 73.56 0N, 255.460 E (Khan and Opdyke, 1981).

                    The Gondwana break up started during late Triassic to Jurassic (180 Ma) age. But the Indian subcontinent got separated from Madagascar ~ 88 Ma ago (Acharyya, 2000). The movement path of Indian Subcontinent is reconstructed here which shows a rotation followed by drifting (Fig. 10 ). 46-50 Ma spatial data represents the position of India during the early stage of continental collision (Dewey et al., 1989) between Indian Plate and Tibetan Plate. The Himalayan Orogeny started hereby.

                      The schematic diagram of the different positions of Indian Subcontinent during late Cretaceous to Holocene. Index: 1: Present day position; 2: During 2-0 Ma; 3: during 50-46 Ma; 4. During 67-61 Ma; 5: 105-65 Ma. The third position denotes the time of closing of Tethys Sea by continental collision between Indian and Eurasian Plates i.e., starting of the Himalayan orogeny. The data used for this reconstruction is given in Table 1.

                      SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

                      From the palaeomagnetic data available for Indian subcontinent and West Australian Craton, position of Indian Subcontinent is determined for Phanerozoic, Neoproterozoic and Palaeoproterozoic ages. Formation of the Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ) by the collision between NIB and SIB wasaround ~ 1.9 Ga. The South Indian Bastar and Dharwar cratons were already welded as they have given similar VGP at 1.88 Ga. This NIB and SIB collision gave rise to the Satpura Orogen and a weak zone (CITZ) was present in between the two blocks.

                      Evolution Eastern Ghat Orogen was initiated by the separation of the Yilgran Craton of West Australia and SIB which were connected in Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic time; the SIB started to move towards the NIB and collided (~1.9) with it by breaking the continental link between Yilgran Craton. This separation gave rise to a palaeo Indian Ocean which was being filled by sediments. By ~ 1.1 Ga., the Mawsonland started to move towards the India and caused the closing of this palaeo-ocean. Due to this accretion and subduction near the eastern margin of India, Eastern Ghat Mobile Belt was formed. There are several phases of magmatic emplacements and tecto-metamorphic events, with the peak metamorphism (UHT) at 1.1-1.0 Ga, which is conformable with the assumption made by palaeomagnetic reconstruction. So, the age of this collisional orogeny is ~1.1 Ga.

                      Phanerozoic movement of Indian subcontinent: A large change in latitude was observed during the Cretaceous-Tertiary age. The Indian subcontinent got separated from the Madagascar Island at ~ 88 Ma and faced a rotation followed by northward translational movement. The rate of movement was very high at this time.


                      Acharyya, S.K. (2000). Break Up of Australia-India-Madagascar Block, Opening of the Indian Ocean and Continental Accretion in Southeast Asia With Special Reference to the Characteristics of the Peri-Indian Collision Zones. Gondwana Research; 3; 425-443.

                      Athavale, R. N., and Verma, R. K. (1970). Palaeomagnetic results on Gondwana dykes from the Damodar valley coal-field and their bearing on the sequence of Mesozoic igneous activity in India. Geophys. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. 20; 303-316.

                      Athavale, R.N., and Anjaneyulu, G. R. (1972). Palaeomagnetic results on the Deccan Trap lavas of the Aurangabad region and their tectonic significance. Tectonophysics 14; 87-103.

                      Basu, A.K., (1986). Geology of parts of Bundelkhand and Granite Massif Central India. Geological Survey of India Records 117, 61–124.

                      Belica, M. E., Piispa, E. J., Meert, J.G., Pesonen, L. J., Plado, J., Pandit, M. K., Kamenov, G. D., and Celestino, M.; (2014). Paleoproterozoic mafic dyke swarms from the Dharwar craton;paleomagnetic poles for India from 2.37 to 1.88 Ga and rethinking the Columbia supercontinent. Precambrian Research 244; 100-122.

                      Cassidy, K.F., Champion, D.C., Krapež, B., Barley, M.E., Brown, S.J.A., Blewett, R.S., Groenewald, P.B., and Tyler, I.M., (2006). A revised geological framework for the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Western Australia Geological Survey, Record 2006/8, 8 pp.

                      Cawood, P.A., and Tyler, I.M., (2004). Assembling and reactivating the Proterozoic Capricorn orogen: Lithotectonic elements, orogenies and significance. Precambrian Research 128, 201–218. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2003.09.001

                      Chen, S.F., Riganti, A., Wyche, S., Greenfield, J.E., and Nelson, D.R., (2003). Lithostratigraphy and tectonic evolution of contrasting greenstone successions in the central Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Precambrian Research, 127, 249–266. doi:10.1016/S0301-9268(03)00190-6

                      Collins, A.S., (2003). Structure and age of the Northern Leeuwin Complex, Western Australia: Constraints from field mappingand U–Pb isotopic analysis. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 50, 585–599. doi:10.1046/j.1440- 0952.2003.01014.x

                      Crookshank, H., (1963). Geology of southern Bastar and Jeypore from the from the Bailadila range to the Eastern Ghats. Memoirs Geological Survey of India 87, 1-149.

                      Dewey, J. Cande, S. and Pitman, W.C. (1989). Tectonic evolution of the India/Eurasia Collision Zone. Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae 82, 717-734.

                      Evans, D.A.D., Sircombe, K.N., Wingate, M.T.D., Doyle, M., McCarthy, M., Pidgeon, R.T., and Van Niekerk, H.S., (2003). Revised geochronology of magmatism in the western Capricorn orogen at 1805–1785 Ma: Diachroneity of the Pilbara-Yilgarn collision. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50, 853–864. doi:10.1111/aes.2003.50.issue-6

                      French, J.E., and Heaman, L.M., (2010). Precise U-Pb dating of Paleoprotoerozoic maficdyke swarms of the Dharwar craton, India: Implications for the existence of the Neoarchean supercraton Sclavia. Precambrian Res. 183, 416–441.

                      Friend, C.R.L., and Nutman, A.P., (1991). SHRIMP U–Pb geochronology of the Closepet granite and Peninsula gneisses, Karnataka, South India. J. Geological Soc. India 32, 357–368.

                      Ghosh, P.K., (1941). The charnockite series of Bastar state and western Jeypore. Records of the Geological Survey of India 75, 1-55.

                      Goodwin, A.M., (1991). Precambrian Geology: The Dynamic Evolution of the Continental Crust. Academic Press, London, p. 666.

                      Halilovic, J., Cawood, P.A., Jones, J.A., Pirajno, F., and Nemchin, A.A., (2004). Provenance of the Earaheedy Basin: Implications for assembly of the Western Australian Craton. Precambrian Research 128, 343–366. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2003.09.007

                      Halpin, J.A., Daczko, N.R., Milan, L.A. and Clarke, G.L., (2012). Decoding near-concordant U–Pb zircon ages spanning several hundred million years: recrystallisation, metamictisation or diffusion? Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 163, 67–85.

                      Hussain, M.F., Ahmad, T., and Mondal, M.E.A., (2008). Geochemistry of the Precambrian mafic dykes of the central and northeastern parts of Bastar craton, Central India: constraints on their enrichment process. In: Srivastava, R.K., Shivaji, C., Chalapathi Rao, V. (Eds.), Indian Dykes: Geochemistry, Geophysics and Geochronology. Narosa Publishing, New Delhi, pp. 397–412.

                      Kinny, P.D., Williams, I.S., Froude, D.O., Ireland, T.R., and Compston, W., (1988). Early Archaean zircon ages from orthogneisses and anorthosites at Mount Narryer, Western Australia. Precambrian Research 38, 325–341. doi:10.1016/0301-9268(88)90031-9

                      Klootwijk, C. T., Nazirullah, R., and De Jong, K. (1986). Palaeomagnetic constrain on formation of the Mianwali Reentrant, Trans-Indus and western Salt Range, Pakistan. Earth Planet Sci Letters 80; 394-414.

                      Klootwijk, C. T., Sharma, M. L., Gergan, J., Tirkey, B., Shah, S. K., and Agarwal, V. (1979). The extent of Greater India, II. Palaeomagnetic data from the Ladakh intrusives at Kargil, northwestern Himalayas. Earth Planet Sci Letters 44; 47-64.

                      Kumar, A., Parashuramalu, V., Shankar R., and Besse, J. (2017). Evidence for a Neoarchean LIP in the Singhbhum craton, eastern India: Implications to Vaalbara supercontinent. Precambrian Research 292; 163-174.

                      Li, Z.X., Bogdanova, S.V., Collins, A.S., Davidson, Waele, A , B. D., Ernst, R.E., Fitzsimons, I.C.W., Fuck, R.A., Gladkochub, D.P., Jacobs, J , Karlstromk, K.E., Lu, S., Natapov, L., Pease, M.V., Pisarevsky, S.A., Thrane, K., and Vernikovsky, V.; (2008). Assembly, configuration, and break-up history of Rodinia: A synthesis. Precambrian Research 160; 179-210.

                      Liu, Y., Li, Z. X., Piserevsky, S. A., Kirscher, U., Mitchell, U. K., Stark, J. C., Clark, C., and Hand, M. (2018). First Precambrian palaeomagnetic data from the Mawson Craton (East Antarctica) and tectonic implications. Scientific Reports (2018) 8: 16403 DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-34748-2.

                      Meert, J.G., Pandit, M.K., Pradhan, V.R., Banks, J.C., Sirianni, R., Stroud, M., Newstead, B., and Gifford, J., (2010). The Precambrian tectonic evolution of India: A 3.0 billion year odyssey. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 39, 483–515.

                      Mohanty, S. (2011). Palaeoproterozoic assembly of the Napier Complex, Southern India and Western Australia: Implications for the evolution of the Cuddapah basin. Gondwana Research 20, 344-361.

                      Mohanty, S. (2015). Precambrian continent assembly and dispersal events of South Indian and East Antarctic Shields. International Geology Review 57, 1992-2027. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00206814.2015.1048751

                      Mohanty, S. P. (2010). An Archaean supercontinent “SIWA”: spatio-temporal and palaeomagnetic evidence. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Record, 2010/18, 194-195.

                      Mondal, M.E.A., Goswami, J.N., Deomurari, M.P., and Sharma, K.K., (2002). Ion microprobe 207Pb/206Pb ages of zircons from the Bundelkhand Massif, northern India: implications for crustal evolution of the Bundelkhand–Aravalli supercontinent. Precambrian Research 117, 85–100.

                      Morrissey, L., Payne, J., Hand, M., Clark, C., Taylor, R., Kirkland, C. and Kylander-Clarke, A. (2017). Linking the Windmill Islands, east Antarctica and the Albany–Fraser Orogen: Insights from U–Pb zircon geochronology and Hf isotopes. Precambrian Res. 293, 131–149.

                      Myers, J. S., (1995). The generation and assembly of an Archaean supercontinent: Evidence from the Yilgarn craton, Western Australia: Geological Society, London, Special Publications 95, 143–154. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.1995.095.01.09

                      Naqvi, S.M., and Rogers, J.J.W., (1987). Precambrian Geology of India. Oxford University Press Inc, 223 p..

                      Occhipinti, S.A., Sheppard, S., Passchier, C., Tyler, I.M., and Nelson, D.R., (2004). Palaeoproterozoic crustal accretion and collision in the southern Capricorn orogen: The Glenburgh orogeny. Precambrian Research, 128, 237–255. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2003.09.002.

                      Pant, N. C., and Dasgupta, S. (eds.) (2017). “Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt"; Crustal Evolution of India and Antarctica: The Supercontinent Connection. Geological Society London Special Publications 457, doi: https://doi.org/10.1144/SP457

                      Pati, J.K., Raju, S., Malviya, V.P., Bhushan, R., Prakash, K., and Patel, S.C., (2008). Mafic dykes of Bundelkhand craton, Central India: field, petrological and geochemical characteristics. In: Srivastava, R., et al. (Eds.), Indian Dykes: Geochemistry, Geophysics and Geochronology. Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi, pp. 547–569.

                      Pradhan, V. R., Meert, J.G., Kamenov, G., and Mondal, M.E.A.; (2012). Paleomagnetic and geochronological studies of the mafic dyke swarms of Bundelkhand craton, central India: Implications for the tectonic evolution and paleogeographic reconstructions. Precambrian Research 198-199; 51-76.

                      Ramakrishnan, M., and Vaidyanadhan, (2008). Geology of India (Volume 1). Geological Society of India, Bangalore, 556 pp.

                      Ramchandra, H.M., Mishra, V.P., and Deshmukh, S.S., (1995). Mafic dykes in the Bastar Precambrian: study of the Bhanupratappur–Keskal mafic dyke swarm. In: Devaraju, T.C. (Ed.), Mafic Dyke Swarms of Peninsular India. Memoirs Geological Society of India 33, 183–207.

                      Rao, J.M., (2004). The wide-spread 2 Ga dyke activity in the Indian shield—evidences from Bundelkhand mafic dyke swarm, Central India and their tectonic implications. Gondwana Research 7, 1219–1228.

                      Rao, J.M., Rao, G.V.S.P., Widdowson, M., and Kelley, S.P., (2005). Evolution of Proterozoic mafic dyke swarms of the Bundelkhand Granite Massif, Central India. Current Science 88, 502–506.

                      Rogers, J.J.W., (1986). The Dharwar craton and the assembly of peninsular India. J. Geol. 94, 129–144.

                      Rogers, J.J.W., and Santosh, M. (2002). Configuration of Columbia, a Mesoproterozoic supercontinent. Gondwana Research 5, 5–22.

                      Saha, A.K., (1994). Crustal evolution of north Singhbhum-Orissa, eastern India. Geol. Soc. India Memoir 27, 341 p.

                      Sarkar, A., Ghosh, S., Singhai, R.K., and Gupta, S.N., (1997). Rb–Sr geochronology of the Dargawan sill: constraint on the age of the type Bijawar sequence of Central India. In: International Conf. on Isotopes in Solar System, November 11–14, vol. 5, pp. 100–101.

                      Sarkar, G., Corfu, F., Paul, D.K., McNaughton, N.J., Gupta, S.N., and Bishui, P.K., (1993). Early Archean crust in Bastar craton, Central India — a geochemical and isotopic study. Precambrian Research 62, 127–137.

                      Şengör, A.M.C., and Natal’in, B.A., (1996). Paleotectonics of Asia: Fragments of a synthesis. In Yin, A., and Harrison, T. M., eds., The tectonic evolution of Asia. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 486–640.

                      Seton, M., Müller, R. D., Zahirovic, S., Gaina, C., Torsvik, T.H., Shephard, G., Talsma, A., Gurnis, M., Turner, M., Maus, S., and Chandler, M., (2012). Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200 Ma. Earth-Science Rev. 113, 212–270.

                      Sharma, K.K., (1998). Geological evolution and crustal growth of Bundelkhand craton and its relict in the surrounding regions, North Indian Shield. In: Paliwal, B.S. (Ed.), The Indian Precambrian. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, pp. 33–43.

                      Sharma, K.K., and Rahman, A., (1996). Mafic dykes in Bundelkhand granitoids and mafic volcanics in Supra-batholithic volcanosedimentaries (Bijawar). DST Newsletters 15, 17–19.

                      Sharma, K.K., and Rahman, A., (2000). The early Archaean–Paleoproterozoic crustal growth of the Bundelkhand craton northern Indian shield. In: Deb, M. (Ed.), Crustal Evolution and Metallogeny in the Northwestern Indian Shield. Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi, pp. 51–72.

                      Sheppard, S., Occhipinti, S.A., and Tyler, I.M., (2004). A 2005–1970 Ma Andean-type batholith in the southern Gascoyne Complex, Western Australia. Precambrian Research, 128, 257–277. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2003.09.003

                      Srivastava, R.K., and Singh, R.K., (2003). Geochemistry of high-Mg mafic dykes from the Bastar craton: evidence of an Archean boninite like rock in intracratonic setting. Current Science 85, 808–812.

                      Srivastava, R.K., and Singh, R.K., (2004). Trace element geochemistry and genesis of Precambrian Sub-alkaline mafic dikes from the central Indian craton: evidence for mantle metasomatism. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 23, 373–389.

                      Stark, C. J., Wang, X.-C., Denyszyn, S.W., Li, Z.-X., Rasmussen, B., Zi, J.-W., Sheppard, S., and Liu, Y., (2017). Newly identified 1.8 Ga mafic dyke swarm in Archaean Yilgran craton, Western Australia suggests a connection with India. Precambrian Research https://doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2017.12.036

                      Subba Rao, Y. V., and Radhakrishna Murthy, I. V. (1985). Palaeomagnatism and ages of dolerite dykes in Kurimnagar District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Geophysical Journal Roy Astron Soc 82, 331-337.

                      Upadhyay, D., Gerdes, A. and Raith, M.M. (2009). Unraveling sedimentary provenance and tectonothermal history of high to ultra-high temperature metapelites using zircon and monazite chemistry: a case study from the Eastern Ghats Belt, India. Journal of Geology 117, 665–683.

                      Weil, A.B., Van der Voo, R., MacNiocall, C., and Meert, J.G., (1998). The Proterozoic supercontinent Rodinia: paleomagnetically derived reconstructions for 1100–800 Ma. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 154, 13–24.

                      Wingate, M.T.D, Pisarevsky, S.A., and Evans, D.A.D., (2002). Rodinia connection betweenAustralia and Laurentia; no SWEAT, no AUSWUS? Terra Nova 14, 121–128.

                      Young,  D.N. , Zhao, J., Ellis, D.J. and McCulloch, M.T. (1997). Geochemical and Sr–Nd isotopic mapping of source provinces for the Mawson charnockites, east Antarctica: implications for Proterozoic tectonics and Gondwana reconstruction. Precambrian Research  86, 1–19.

                      Zhao, G., Sun, W., Wilde, S.A., and Li, S.Z. (2004). A Paleo-Mesoproterozoic supercontinent: assembly, growth and breakup. Earth Science Reviews 67; 91–123.

                      Zhao, G.C., Cawood, P.A., Wilde, S.A., and Sun, M. (2002). A review of the global 2.1–1.8 Ga orogens: implications for a pre-Rodinian supercontinent. Earth Science Reviews 59; 125–162.



                      I am conveying my cordial gratitude to Dr. Sarada Prasad Mohanty, Professor, IIT (ISM), Dhanbad for guiding me throughout this work. Without his constant help and support, it was not possible to bring up this project. I am blessed to be guided by such an eminent professor with immense knowledge and encouraging behaviour.

                      I would like to express my sincere thanks to IIT (ISM) Dhanbad authority and Department of Applied Geology for providing me the suitable workplace and accesses during my stay in May-July 2019.

                      I would like to acknowledge my parents for helping me throughout this journey. Without their support I could stand no where.

                      Working with Authorcafé was a great experience for me. I’ll like to thank them for providing such a convenient way of expressing the thoughts.

                      It is my duty to acknowledge the software GMAP 2003 Enterprise edition by T H Torsvik which was used to calculate the results.

                      Last but not the least I am overwhelmed to be a part of the honourable SRPF 2019 conducted by Indian Academy of Science, Bengaluru; Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and The National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad. It was the best platform for me to learn about the scientific research works and carrying out a small project.

                      Written, reviewed, revised, proofed and published with