Distribution and dispersal of clay minerals on the Western continental shelf of India

Nair, R. R. ; Hashimi, N. H. ; Purnachandra Rao, V. (1982) Distribution and dispersal of clay minerals on the Western continental shelf of India Marine Geology, 50 (1-2). M1-M9. ISSN 0025-3227

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/002532...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0025-3227(82)90054-8


Sediment samples distributed over a distance of 1700 km from the inner continental shelf of western India were analysed for their clay-mineral content by X-ray diffraction. The clay minerals present in the sediments, in order of abundance, are montmorillonite, kaolinite, illite, chlorite and gibbsite. Based on the abundance of montmorillonite and kaolinite, four clay-mineral provinces on the continental shelf have been demarcated. These are: (1) the montmorillonite-kaolinite-illite-chlorite province off the Gulf of Kutch; (2) the montmorillonite-rich zone off the Gulf of Cambay; (3) a transition zone on the central parts of the shelf; and (4) a relatively montmorillonite poor-gibbsite province on the southwestern part of the shelf. Source-rock influence on clay-mineral composition appears to be more important than physical transport - the southwest monsoon drift in the present case. In the northwestern part of the study area, the high-velocity tidal streams of the macrotidal Gulf of Kutch act as dynamic barriers to longshore sediment dispersal, leading to distinct clay-mineral assemblages on the shelf north and south of the gulf mouth.

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