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Clay Mineralogy, Palynology and Geochemistry of the Paleogene sediments in Inner Fold Belt of Nagaland, Northeast India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Geology, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai-600 025, India
  • 2Department of Geology, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai-600 025, India
  • 3Department of Geology, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai-600 025, India
  • 4Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College (Autonomous), PG and Research Department of Botany, Mylapore, Chennai-600 004, India

Int. Res. J. Earth Sci., Volume 4, Issue (12), Pages 1-18, December,25 (2016)


The present study frame on the paleoclimate, paleoenvironmental, depositional settings and lithological variations based on lithofacies study, clay mineralogy, palynofossils, organic concentrations and geochemical trace concentration in the tectonic units of Inner Fold Belt of Nagaland. Clay mineralogy in both study areas suggest dominance of Illite followed by Chlorite and less concentration of Montmorillonite and Kaolinite. High contents of Illite and Chlorite suggests that these sediments were derived by the continental erosion of pre-existing rocks, subjected to low intensity chemical weathering associated with a temperate climate. The palynological assemblage consists of pteridophytic spores, angiosperm pollen grains, fungal spores, Algal filaments, woody and organic matter. Analysis of the palynofloral assemblage yielded a total of 14 different dominant and accessory palyno taxa. Out of 14 species 9 species Cyathidites sp1, Lycopodiumsporites sp, Triletes sp1 Triletes sp2, Triletes sp3, Polypodiisporites sp, Laevigatosporites sp, Cyathidites sp2 and Polypodiaceosporites sp belongs to pteridophytes spores, and 4 species Tetracolpies sp, Tricolporites sp and Arecipites 1 & Arecipites 2 sp. belong to angiosperms pollens, and 1 Phragmothrites sp. belongs to fungal spores. Its recorded assemblages and occurrences indicate the prevalence of subtropical to tropical climate under very warm and humid condition, and show an affinity of Tertiary age of non-marine condition. While palynomorph on deep water marine facies do contain several palynofossils assemblages of shallow water/ continental origin as reported from deep sea Bengal fan sediments. Low values of organic matter in both the study locations shows that both may be sourced authigenic chiefly from planktons and plant debris from continental flora deposited in an oxidising environment. Trace element concentration in both the study areas shows up appreciable variation in Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Ni and Cu contents. Whereas in the case of Cd, Co, and Pd the variation is relatively moderate. Appreciable increase in the concentration of Cr, Ni, Zn, and Mn content is observed in Disang black shale and in siltstone. The ophiolite complex which is haphazardly juxtaposed along faults or they consist of lensoid slices interbedded with Disang group of rocks, where the lower Disang sediments are intermixed with pelagic cherts and limestone. Elevated Cr concentration values in both the study areas are indicative of mafic or ultramafic source rock, caused by the mineralised ophiolitic rocks and sedimentary rocks derived from them. The Cd trace concentration of both the study areas is relatively higher than the average Cd crustal abundance. Elevated Cd values are generally indicative of sulphide mineralisation.


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