The Archaean geological history of the Singhbhum Craton, India – a proposal for a consistent framework of craton evolution

Axel Hofmann, Jaganmoy Jodder, Hangqiang Xie, Robert Bolhar, Martin Whitehouse, Marlina Elburg

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The Singhbhum Craton of East India has a remarkably well-preserved Archaean geological record that rivals those of the Kaapvaal and Pilbara cratons. Based on a critical literature review, and aided by new field and geochronological data, a consistent framework of craton evolution during the Archaean is proposed that aims to put to rest some of the uncertainties on its geological history. The oldest rock assemblage so far identified in the Singhbhum Craton consists of ~3.5 to 3.3 Ga old greenstones of the Badampahar Group that are in tectonic contact with, or intruded by, broadly contemporaneous tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite of the Champua Suite, representing the precursor of grey gneisses of the Singhbhum Granitoid Complex. A reported Eoarchaean to Hadean detrital and xenocrystic zircon record suggests an even older onset of craton evolution, the details of which remain to be deciphered. Following >200 Ma of submarine volcanism and sedimentation, concomitant with granitoid emplacement of the Singhbhum Suite in the evolving craton, a regional event of deformation and metamorphism took place at ~3.3 Ga ago. It gave rise to syn-tectonic deposition of coarse siliciclastic successions of the Dhosrapahar Group, tight to isoclinal upright folding of the supracrustal rocks, and a greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic overprint. Starting at around 3.35 Ga, but overlapping with this regional event, was a broad change in the composition of felsic plutons towards more K-rich compositions, which culminated in the emplacement of granites of the Mayurbhanj Suite at 3.1 Ga that led to stabilization of the craton. Following tectonic uplift, erosion, and peneplanation, the intracontinental to continental margin volcano-sedimentary successions of the Koira Group and the correlative Simlipal Group were deposited on granitoid-greenstone basement between 3.0 and 2.75 Ga. Subsidence may have been related to extension of the craton that gave rise to the extrusion of largely subaerial basalts that may have been fed by a prominent mafic dyke swarm at ~2.80 Ga. At the same time, deformation and high-grade metamorphism affected the southwestern part of the craton. This event gave rise to widespread emplacement of granites that heralded the onset of tectonic reworking of the craton along its margins, which continued well into the Proterozoic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103994
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Archaean
  • Crustal evolution
  • India
  • Singhbhum Craton
  • Zircon dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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