Geochemistry and constrained 40Ar/39Ar dating of Youngest Toba Tuff glass shards, Purna alluvial basin, Central India

Abstract

Geochemistry and 40Ar/39Ar dating of glass shards of Youngest Toba Tuff ash from two localities, i.e., Gandhigram (G-2) and Hudki (H-1) of the Purna alluvial basin, Central India have been carried out. Major oxides, determined by EPMA, exhibit SiO2 (78.4–79.6 wt%), Al2O3 (11.7–13.0 wt%), Na2O (2.0–2.6 wt%) and K2O (3.4–4.4 wt%) and minor and trace elements, analyzed by ICP-MS, reveal higher contents of LREEs, i.e., La (26.52–27.15 ppm), Ce (50.25–51.26 ppm), Pr (5.02–5.24 ppm), Nd (20.1–21.31 ppm), Sm (3.1–3.36 ppm) and lower values of HREEs, i.e., Tb (0.5–0.57 ppm), Ho (0.5–0.6 ppm), Tm (0.28–0.35 ppm), Yb (2.68–2.94 ppm), Lu (0.45–0.48 ppm) along with prominent dip of Eu. Trace elements show high content of Rb (188.6–200.6 ppm), Sr (37.79–48.14 ppm), Ba (347.9–375.6 ppm) and low Ga (8.90–9.67 ppm), Sc (2.33–3.09 ppm), Nb (10.24–11.6 ppm). The chemical composition of glass shards is similar to the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) ash reported from Indian peninsula and Malaysia including Toba Caldera. The 40Ar/39Ar dates show plateau ages of 0.79 ± 0.02 Ma (790 ± 0.02 ka) and 0.77 ± 0.05 Ma (770 ± 0.05 ka) for ash of Gandhigram and Hudki localities. These dates seem to be geologically meaningless and are not acceptable as the YTT ash is universally considered to be of ca. 75 ka age based on geochemistry, fission track and 40Ar/39Ar dating of ash minerals. Therefore, the dates presently generated through 40Ar/39Ar technique on glass shards are being discarded considering mobile behaviour of Ar isotopes, alkalis in the melts and glass shards due to isotopic fractionation and post-depositional processes.

Highlights

  • Glass shards geochemistry of Toba ash from Purna basin, India suggest its compositional similarities with the YTT ash of several river basins of India, Malaysia, ocean basins and source area of Toba Caldera, Indonesia.

  • 40Ar/39Ar ages of 790 ± 0.02 ka and 770 ± 0.05 ka, on glass shards, are exceptionally high as compared to YTT, therefore, unrealistic and unacceptable, hence, rejected. Literature survey shows that 40Ar/39Ar dating results of volcanic glass shards in particular are influenced by magmatic and post-depositional processes.

  • Sedimentological attributes and lithofacies architecture of ash-bearing successions reveal fluvio-lacustrine set-up of deposition for the ash.

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Acknowledgements

This work has been carried out with the financial aid of SERB, New Delhi in the form of a major research project (no. SB/S4/ES-692/2013) awarded to AKS. The authors are thankful to Dr K Pande and Dr S C Patel, Department of Earth Sciences, IIT, Powai, Mumbai for providing Ar/Ar and EPMA data, respectively. Thanks are also extended to Dr J N Pattan, NIO, Goa for ICP-MS analysis.

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The contributions made by individual authors are as follows: AKS: Collection of field data and samples, photo documentation, lithofacies analysis, sieving of the ash samples, supervision to coauthor during sample preparation, interpretation of the lab data; concept, writing and finalization of the manuscript. AS: Collection of field data and samples, separation of glass shards from bulk ash for EPMA, ICP-MS and Ar/Ar dating, preparation of samples and to assist for EPMA at IITB, Powai, Mumbai; preparation of all figures, geochemical plots and tables; interpretation of the lab data, draft preparation, writing and finalization of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ajab Singh.

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Communicated by N V Chalapathi Rao

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Srivastava, A.K., Singh, A. Geochemistry and constrained 40Ar/39Ar dating of Youngest Toba Tuff glass shards, Purna alluvial basin, Central India. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 10 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-020-01513-x

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Keywords

  • Geochemistry
  • Youngest Toba Tuff
  • 40Ar/39Ar dating
  • glass shards
  • Quaternary