A new theory of the origin and evolution of the Deccan Traps (India)

Om Prakash Pandey, Janardan G. Negi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Deccan Traps (India) represent one of the largest continental flood basalts, and its origin and phases of evolution have remained puzzling for the earth science community. An integrated analysis of available geochronological, geochemical and geophysical data of post-Mesozoic volcanism clearly rejects the dominating theory of origin from a hot spot (e.g., La Réunion at about 23 °S, 55 °E) in the Indian Ocean. The Deccan Traps show imprints of three events belonging to a worldwide peak magmatism series matching with a galactic catastrophism cyclicity of - 33 m.y. Study further reveals that the Deccan magmas were not directly derived by the partial melting of the deep mantle but appear to have their origin at a depth of less than 40 km as a consequence of crustal rifting and secondary melting caused by the rise of geoisotherms, due to frictional heating generated at the lithospheric-asthenospheric boundary during India's fast south-north journey from Antarctica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-335
Number of pages7
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1987
Externally publishedYes


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