Apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronometric constraints on the northern extent of the Deccan large igneous province

C. L. Colleps, N. R. McKenzie, W. R. Guenthner, M. Sharma, T. M. Gibson, D. F. Stockli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The volcanic emplacement and subsequent weathering of the Deccan Traps of India is believed to have had a significant influence in driving global climatic shifts from the Late Cretaceous and through the Cenozoic. The magnitude of the Deccan Traps' impact on Earth's surface environment is largely dependent on the speculated original footprint of the large igneous province. To test established estimates for the pre-erosive northern extent of the Deccan Traps, we applied low-temperature apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology (AHe) on rocks from the Bundelkhand craton and overlying Proterozoic Vindhyan successions of central India ∼150–200 km northeast of the northernmost preservation of Deccan basalts. New AHe data reveal young ∼5–85 Ma AHe dates with low effective uranium concentrations (eU) between 5–22 ppm, with a steep positive date-eU correlation that plateaus at ∼350 Ma in grains with eU values >50 ppm. Inverse thermal history modeling—utilizing AHe diffusion parameters of the Radiation Damage Accumulation and Annealing Model (RDAAM)—indicate that observed AHe date-eU correlations are most consistent with thermal histories that require the craton and Vindhyan strata to be at or near surface temperatures by ∼66 Ma, followed by a discrete reheating event associated with Deccan volcanism. These results establish new minimal areal constraints for the northern extent of Deccan volcanism which thermally perturbed much of the Vindhyan succession. Thermal alteration of organic rich Vindhyan sediment may have provided an additional source of volatile emissions that facilitated late Maastrichtian warming at the onset of Deccan volcanism. New minimal northern constraints on Deccan volcanism additionally confirm that large volumes of Deccan basalts have been stripped away since the time of their emplacement, which poses considerable implications for unraveling their role in Cenozoic cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117087
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • apatite
  • Bundelkhand craton
  • Deccan
  • large igneous province
  • thermochronometry
  • Vindhyan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronometric constraints on the northern extent of the Deccan large igneous province'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this