Palaeogeography, geomorphological setting and groundwater possibilities in the Deccan Traps of Western Maharashtra

Adyalkar, P. G. ; Mani, V. V. S. (1971) Palaeogeography, geomorphological setting and groundwater possibilities in the Deccan Traps of Western Maharashtra Bulletin of Volcanology, 35 (3). pp. 696-708. ISSN 0258-8900

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Deccan Traps are the most extensive geological formations of Deccan Peninsula with the exception of only the metamorphic and igneous complex of Archaean age. Based on their mode of emplacement, geomorphic setting and hydrogeological behaviour over an area of about 5,000 sq. km the authors have classified the Deccan Traps of western Maharashtra into 3 groups, namely, (1) The Deccan Traps of Dhulia district, characterised by numerous dolerite dykes, (2) Areally extensive trap flows of Sholapur and Osmanabad districts resulting from slow and quiescent type of flood eruption occupyng the gently undulating terrain, and (3) the traps of Kolaba, Thana and Bombay-Poona regions characterised by intertrappean sediments, dolerite dykes and volcanic ash beds, indicative of violent outbursts resulting in the Sahyadri geomorphologic unit. The groundwater possibilities in the three groups are to a great extent governed by the nature and constitution of the individual flows. The massive traps with their fracture porosities, the vesicular traps with their minutely interconnected and partly filled vesicles and the intertrappen sediments with their primary porosities play a decisive role in determining the groundwater possibilities in them. In Dhulia district the dolerite dykes to a great extent control the movement of groundwater, and success or otherwise of the well field area depends very much upon its location with reference to adjacent dykes. Areally extensive thick vesicular traps with their gentle dips towards east, in Sholapur district, have to be explored for possible artesian conditions in the downdip directions of the trappean units to be tapped. In the case of Poona, Thana and Kolaba districts, exploratory drilling based on geophysical data (to delineate the nature and extent of water bearing horizons) has to be resorted to. It is, therefore, imperative to sub-divide at this stage Taylor's Single Unit of Deccan Trap Groundwater Province into 3 Sub-Provinces, based on geomorphological, geological and geohydrological setting in the region of western Maharashtra of the present investigation.

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