18 Feb 2022.
Recently, researchers traced the tectonic evolution of “Greater Maldive Ridge (GMR)” which is a geodynamic feature in western Indian Ocean.
- The tectonic evolution can help in reconstruct the original Gondwanaland fracture.
- This feature led to present-day configuration of continents, continental fragments, as well as formation of ocean basins in the Indian Ocean.
Key Findings of the team:
- The team found that, Maldive Ridge might have formed in close vicinity of Mid-Oceanic Ridge, where new ocean floor is created due to divergent motion of spreading centre or lithospheric plates.
- They also concluded that, Deep-Sea Channel region (DSC) may probably be oceanic in nature, because of presence of underplated materials associated with hotspot volcanism.
- Researchers chalked possible geological cross-sections along the GMR, with the help of high-resolution gravity data derived from satellite.
Three-dimensional picture along GMR
Research team used gravity anomalies to form a three-dimensional picture of variation along the Greater Maldive Ridge and adjoining ocean basins.
State of Gravitational Equilibrium
- Study provides the crustal architecture as well as the state of gravitational equilibrium between Earth’s crust and mantle of the GMR segment of larger Chagos-Laccadive Ridge (CLR) system.
- It was found that, Moho is deeper across Maldive Ridge (MR) segment and shallows southwards in Deep-Sea Channel region (DSC).
- However, effective elastic thickness values were lower over MR compared in DSC region.
About Maldive Ridge
- The Maldive Ridge is located in the western Indian Ocean, southwest of India. It is aseismic, that is not associated with earthquake activities. The ridge largely remains uninvestigated.
- It is of most importance to gain knowledge on structure and geodynamics of such structures. It is a submarine ridge, extends from western shore of Hindustan Peninsula to Arabian-Indian Ridge.
- It is about 3000 km in length, 200-450 km in width and have the elevation of 2-5 km.
- Peaks of this ridge rise above the water, to form coral islands (atolls) namely, the Laccadive Islands, Chagos Archipelago and Maldive Islands.