Heavy mineral studies of Gondwana sandstones of Eastern Arunachal Himalaya and implications for provenance


A thin linear belt of Permian Lower Gondwana rocks occur in the Eastern Himalayas from Arunachal Pradesh to Sikkim. The Lower Gondwana Group of rocks consists of shale, siltstone, sandstone, carbonaceous shale and coaly matter and is sandwiched between Miri Group and Siwalik Group of rocks. Heavy mineral composition of sandstones is extensively used in the provenance studies as they are the surviving remnants of the rather abundant but unstable mafic components of the source rock. The sandstones of Lower Gondwana Group bear the heavy mineral assemblage of chlorite, biotite, zircon, ilmenite, epidote, garnet, amphibole, chloritoid, brown tourmaline, magnetite, staurolite, rutile, and opaques which is indicative of a provenance of metamorphic rocks with input of igneous rocks. Provenance sensitive mineral index ratios were also calculated to see the variation in the ratio of two or more stable minerals with the same characteristics.

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