Subaqueous effusive and explosive phases of late Deccan volcanism: evidence from Mumbai Islands, India

  • Raymond A. DuraiswamiEmail author
  • Martin Jutzeler
  • Archana V. Karve
  • Purva Gadpallu
  • Makarand G. Kale
Original Paper


About 30 m of massive basaltic lava sheets and pillows belonging to the Deccan Traps are exposed at Borivali in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai (India). These lavas are conformably overlain by ~ 100 m of volcaniclastic deposits exposed in the Kanheri Caves. The pillows are plagioclase-clinopyroxene-phyric, very poorly vesicular, tholeiite basalts and commonly develop one to few central large cavities. Pillow rinds are holohyaline with swallow-tailed lanceolate or slender needle-shaped plagioclase and fan-spherulitic or dendritic textures in clinopyroxene that indicate rapid cooling under water. The volcaniclastic succession lying on top of the pillow lavas is chiefly composed of non-vesicular to scoriaceous/pumiceous, basaltic and andesitic clasts. The numerous sediment dykes within the volcaniclastic succession and the conformably underlying pillow lavas imply that the entire sequence was emplaced in a submarine environment. The fluidal texture and quenched margins in some of the volcanic clasts strongly suggest that at least part of the volcanic clasts were produced by underwater explosive eruptions. This study describes subaqueous erupted pillow lavas in context of continental flood basalts and provides a significant analogy to recent submarine-erupted intraplate oceanic basalts. The occurrence of pillow lavas and volcaniclastic deposits well above the present-day high tide line (160 m) indicates either high eustatic sea level during the Danaian age (61.8–62.9 Ma), or post-rifting regional uplift in the western Deccan Traps.


Pillow lavas Volcaniclastic Pyroclastics Fiamme Flood basalts Kanheri caves Borivali Mumbai Deccan Traps 



We thank Dr. Abhay Mudholkar and Dr. JN Pattan of National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, for the XRF and ICP-MS analyses. We also thank Drs Hiromitshu Yamagishi, Jocelyn McPhie and Domenico Doronzo and anonymous reviewers for the constructive comments and sharing reprints and photographs.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia
  2. 2.School of Physical Sciences and Centre of Excellence in Ore DepositsUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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