Open Access

Slumping as a record of regional tectonics and palaeoslope changes in the Satpura Basin, central India


Soft-sediment deformation structures play an important role in interpreting regional tectonics and basin evolution during slumping events. The Satpura Basin is interpreted as pull-apart with a monoclinal northerly palaeoslope throughout its evolution. The basin formed as a result of sinistral strike-slip faulting, induced by the ENE–WSW-trending Son-Narmada South fault in the north and the Tapti North fault in the south. We have analysed the slump folds within the basalmost Talchir Formation and related these to regional tectonics and palaeoslope changes in the Satpura Basin. The glaciofluvial strata of the Talchir Formation, exposed in the southern part of the Satpura Basin, record intricacies of folds created during slumping. Several fold styles can be distinguished, within alternations of competent sandstone and incompetent shale layers, some of which indicate buckling. Upright folds, resulting from pure shear, underwent rotation of their axial planes and fold axes during simple shear-dominated progressive deformation when the slump moved downslope. The soft-sediment deformation structures that we have studied show refolding patterns that closely resemble comparable folds known from lithified rocks. These layers with refolded structures are overlain by unde-formed sediments, which proves that they are the product of a single ongoing slumping process, rather than of successive deformation events. Our analysis of their fold axes and axial planes, together with fold vergences and thrust directions within the slumps, suggests a mean slumping direction towards the southwest. Analyses of slump folds and their relationship with regional tectonics have allowed us to reinterpret basin evolution history. The southwesterly trending palaeoslope of the basin suggest that the slope of the basin was not uniform throughout its evolution. At the opening, the oblique slip fault, which trended NE–SW, generated due to movement along the ENE–WSW basin bounding faults, was more active and triggered slumping event within the Talchir deposits in the basin. With progressive overlapping of the basin-bounding faults, the Satpura Basin gradually tilted towards the north.

Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Geosciences, Geophysics, Geology and Mineralogy, other