Megascopic Carbonaceous Remains from Proterozoic Basins of India

  • Mukund SharmaEmail author
  • Veeru Kant Singh
Part of the Society of Earth Scientists Series book series (SESS)


Megascopic carbonaceous remains, occurring on the bedding planes of the areno-argillaceous successions of the Precambrian, are the important evidence of the early life forms. A wide variety of such forms are described from the Proterozoic successions of India viz., the Vindhyan, Chhattisgarh, Kurnool and Bhima basins in peninsular India and some of the carbonate belts of the Lesser Himalaya. The ChuariaTawuia assemblage invariably constitutes the most important element of megascopic carbonaceous remains in these basins. Besides, simple films to morphologically complex forms are also recorded. In the present paper, knowledge and status of megascopic carbonaceous remains entombed in these successions of India with their significance in understanding the earth’s earliest biosphere are reviewed. Two principal questions are addressed: Are these carbonaceous mega-remains divulge any evolutionary steps and event in the Precambrian? Is there any discernable biostratigraphic potential in these carbonaceous mega-remains in space and time? The review reveals that coccoidal/spherical propkaryotic forms attained gigantism for the first time around Palaeoproterozoic/Mesoproterozoic boundary and this phenomenon was repeated in the geiological history around cryogenian. Eukaryotic carbonaceous remains show morphological changes from simple non processed to processed forms. A scheme of biozonation on the distribution pattern of the carbonaceous mega-remains in the Proterozoic successions, with form and function of the some of these remains, is presented.


Carbonaceous remains ChuariaTawuia Prokaryote Eukaryote India 



N. J. Butterfield, Shuhai Xiao, Gregory Retallack, S. Kumar and S. K. Pandey are thanked for insightful discussions on the aspects of carbonaceous remains and their utility in understanding the evolution of Precambrian biosphere. We express our sincere thanks to the Society of Earth Scientists (SES) and Bundelkhand University to provide us the opportunity to present this data in National Conference and Field-workshop on Precambrians of India. We are grateful to the Sunil Bajpai, Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences for providing the facilities to carryout present study and permission to publish the paper (BSIP/RDCC/22/2017-18). Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeosciencesLucknowIndia

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