Relict subduction initiation along a passive margin in the northwest Indian Ocean

Dhananjai K. Pandey, Anju Pandey, Scott A. Whattam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The tectonic evolution of Laxmi basin, presently located along western Indian passive margin, remains debated. Prevailing geodynamic models of Laxmi basin include two mutually competing hypotheses, culminating in either a hyper-stretched continental crust or an oceanic crust overlying an extinct spreading centre. The longstanding conundrum surrounding its precise crustal affinity precludes a complete understanding of the early opening of the Indian Ocean. Here, we present distinct geochemical and geophysical imprints from the igneous crust in Laxmi basin obtained through International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 355. The geochemical and isotopic signatures of the Laxmi basin crust exhibit uncanny similarities with forearc tectonic settings. Our observations imply a relict subduction initiation event occurred in the Laxmi basin in the Late Cretaceous-Early Cenozoic that marks a significant Cenozoic plate reorganisation record in the northwest Indian Ocean. New findings therefore warrant re-evaluation of the Gondwana breakup to account for the nascent subduction in the northwest Indian Ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2248
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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