BUNDELKHAND REGION, adjacent to Allahabad, was nothing but an expanse of vast sea that witnessed frequent submarine volcanic eruptions and seemed completely incapable of supporting life.
This scenario that prevailed 3,000 million years ago has been scientifically proven for the very first time in a study carried out in the Mauranipur area near Jhansi by the Allahabad University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
A report of the findings was published in Japan’s prestigious Journal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences on August 8, 2006.
Head of the AU’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Prof Jayant K Pati carried out a detailed survey in the area which had remained ignored till date and was considered a “safe zone” by researchers.
“The characteristic features of the rocks in the Mauranipur area are the first explicit evidence of subduction related submarine volcanism in the Archean Bundelkhand craton,” said Prof Pati.
Explaining the details of his findings, Prof Pati said, “We have concentrated our study on the area and detected a subduction zone. We have found that the rocky surfaces in the Mauranipur area are in the shape of pillows which are formed due to cooling of the lava deposited in layers from the submarine volcanisation.”
Prof Pati said, “The area considered safe was once the centre of volcanic eruptions of such great intensities that despite being covered by sea water the lava managed to reach the Earth’s surface. The lava coming out cooled immediately as it came in contact with the water and solidified in the form of pillow as it failed to travel ahead due to the water.”
“The occurrence of metamorphosed basaltic pillow lava in a close association with serpentinized ultramafic rock, metamorphosed basaltic komatite, volcaniclastic metasediment, and banded iron formation proved that the area was once the centre of submarine volcanic eruptions in the Mauranipur area,” said Prof Pati.
Besides, Prof Pati and his team, in their earlier studies, have also presented a report on the presence of rich minerals in the area. The earlier findings are co-related to their recent findings.
Prof Pati says, “ Mineralisation is favourably located in tectonic setups like the subduction zones as in the Bundelkhand area. The area has probability of minerals that has been proved in our past studies carried out in this area.” The area is rich in molybdenite, gold, iron, pyrophylite-diaspore and base metal (copper, lead and zinc). The analysis of the minerals has been confirmed by a reputed institution, the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) of France,” he added.
“Although the metals present in the area are not so abundant that mining should be started, yet the study provides an option to the mining agencies who can keep the area in reserve for future assignments and thereby provide new avenues of livelihood for the local residents living in deplorable conditions,” added Prof Pati.