T51F-2665: The Dauki Thrust Fault and the Shillong Anticline: An incipient plate boundary in NE India?

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Authors: Eleanor K Ferguson1, Leonardo Seeber1, Michael S Steckler1, Syed H Akhter2, Dhiman Mondal2, Antje Lenhart3

Author Institutions: 1. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA; 2. Department of Geology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh; 3. Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

The Shillong Massif is a regional contractional structure developing across the Assam sliver of the Indian plate near the Eastern Syntaxis between the Himalaya and Burma arcs. Faulting associated with the Shillong Massif is a major source of earthquake hazard. The massif is a composite basement-cored asymmetric anticline and is 100km wide, >350km long and 1.8km high. The high relief southern limb preserves a Cretaceous-Paleocene passive margin sequence despite extreme rainfall while the gentler northern limb is devoid of sedimentary cover. This asymmetry suggests southward growth of the structure. The Dauki fault along the south limb builds this relief. From the south-verging structure, we infer a regional deeply-rooted north-dipping blind thrust fault. It strikes E-W and obliquely intersects the NE-SW margin of India, thus displaying three segments: Western, within continental India; Central, along the former passive margin; and Eastern, overridden by the west-verging Burma accretion system. We present findings from recent geologic fieldwork on the western and central segments. The broadly warped erosional surface of the massif defines a single anticline in the central segment, east of the intersection with the hinge zone of the continental margin buried by the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta. The south limb of the anticline forms a steep topographic front, but is even steeper structurally as defined by the Cretaceous-Eocene cover. Below it, Sylhet Trap Basalts intrude and cover Precambrian basement. Dikes, presumably parallel to the rifted margin, are also parallel to the front, suggesting thrust reactivation of rift-related faults. Less competent Neogene clastics are preserved only near the base of the mountain front. Drag folds in these rocks suggest north-vergence and a roof thrust above a blind thrust wedge floored by the Dauki thrust fault. West of the hinge zone, the contractional structure penetrates the Indian continent and bifurcates. After branching into the Dapsi Fault, the Dauki Fault continues westward as the erosion-deposition boundary combined with a belt of N-S shortening. The Dapsi thrust fault strikes WNW across the Shillong massif and dips NNE. It is mostly blind below a topographically expressed fold involving basement and passive-margin cover. Recent fieldwork has shown that the fault is better exposed in the west, where eventually Archean basement juxtaposes folded and steeply dipping fluvial sediment. Both Dauki and Dapsi faults probably continue beyond the Brahmaputra River, where extreme fluvial processes mask them. The area between the two faults is a gentle southward monocline with little or no shortening. Thus uplift of this area stems from slip on the Dauki thrust fault, not from pervasive shortening. The Burma foldbelt overrides the Shillong Plateau and is warped but continuous across the eastern segment of the Dauki fault. The Haflong-Naga thrust front north of the Dauki merges with the fold-thrust belt in the Sylhet basin to the south, despite >150km of differential advance due to much greater advance of the accretionary prism in the basin. Where the Dauki and Haflong-Naga thrusts cross, the thrust fronts are nearly parallel and opposite vergence. We trace a Dauki-related topographic front eastward across the Burma Range. This and other evidence suggest that the Dauki Fault continues below the foldbelt.

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