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Authors: Acharya, Vivekanand
Keywords: HOLOCENE
Issue Date: 1999
Abstract: The Haryana Plains form a drainage divide between the Indus and Gangetic drainage systems. These plains may have been affected by neotectonic activity and climatic changes during the Holocene period, as observed in the adjoining Gangetic Plains. The Haryana Plains are known to be host to the Vedic Civilization (>3000 B.C.), which was intimately related to the Sarasvati, the Lost River. The hypothesis of the Yamuna River, flowing through the Haryana Plains, forming a major tributary of the Sarasvati, (flowing along the presently small, ephemeral Ghaggar River) has been suggested by a number of archaeologists, but geological evidence for the same is still to be worked. Keeping the above points in view, Haryana region was mapped for its landforms and soil-geomorphic units, using remote sensed digital data. Other investigations involved field checking of these units, study of typical pedons from each unit for their morphological features, collection of soil samples for granulometric and micromorphological studies and dating of C-horizons of soils, construction of Digital elevation models and study of changes in modern/paleo-drainage to locate faults, and study of by Ground Penetration Radar studies for confirmation of faults and deciphering of subsurface facies to infer the absence/presence of the large Yamuna River in Haryana in the recent past. All data were integrated to work out drainage evolution in the Haryana and adjoining region. Using Landsat MSS images, digital elevations models (DEMs), and digital terrain models (DTMs) for Haryana Plains, we recognized major landforms like floodplains of rivers, aeolian plain, old fluvial plains, piedmont in zone and terminal fans. Further depending upon the degree of development within various landforms, 25 soil-geomorphic units were identified. Based ages obtained from the Optically Stimulated Luminescence Technique and the degree of soil development, 25 soil-geomorphic units were grouped into six members of a Morphostratigraphic Sequence (QIMS-I to VI) (Quaternary Indus Morphostratigraphic Sequence) (Frye and William, 1962. in Fairbridge, 1968, p. 915): QIMS-VI 9.86-5.38 Ka, QIMS-V- 5.38 -4.45 Ka, QIMS-IV- 4.45 - 3.60 Ka, QIMS-III - 3.60 -2.91 Ka, QIMS-II - < 2.91-1.52 Ka and QIMS-I-< 1.52 Ka. Clay accumulation indices (C.A.I.) of Levine and Ciolkosz (1983) calculated from grain size data for soils of QIMS-II-VI members vary in ranges 227-484, 166-485, 186-714, 300- 855 and 885-1147, respectively. Broad systematic increase in C.A.I with age suggests increase of pedogenic clays with the increasing age of soils. Micromorphological investigation shows that QIMS-II and III member soils show very weak to moderate pedality, whereas the soils of the older members such as QIMS-IV to VI show moderate to well developed peds in Bhorizons. Also, thickness of argillans and ferriargillans increase from QIMS-II to QIMS-VI soils with loamy parent material. Faults were identified following a new approach adopted by Singh et al. (2006) and Bhosle et al. (2009). Nine major faults are identified from study area: Ambala-I and II, Markanda, Patiala, Jind, Rohtak and Hissar Faults, running almost in NWW-SEE direction, sub-parallel to the Himalayan trend, are longitudinal in nature, whereas the faults bounding the study area i.e. Ghaggar and Yamuna Faults are transverse in nature. Throws of longitudinal IV faults are 7-12m and are towards south except the Hissar fault, which has throw towards north. The Ghaggar fault and Yamuna Faults have a curvilinear trend with convexity towards southeast and southwest, respectively. The Himalayan Frontal Fault defines the boundary between the Siwalik ranges and Piedmont zone. Radar lithofacies studies indicate that almost all the profiles from different parts of the Haryana plains show that the lower parts of radar profiles were deposited by a large river with a depth of >7m and upper parts were deposited by wind reworking or as terminal fan/ young piedmont sediments. GPR traverses across 5 out of six faults inferred from remote sensing and GIS studies confirm the presence of these faults. Also, these faults are sets of a number of faults, and majority of faults show downthrown side in direction inferred from the DEMs, and the rest show downthrow in the opposite direction. The Patiala and Hissar Faults show effects of activity of faults contemporaneous with sedimentation by thickening of beds on downthrown blocks. GPR studies of mainly terminal fans in the adjoining Ganga-Yamuna Interfluve provide a model for terminal fan deposition. It consists of lower part comprising wide channels filled with vertical accretion deposit /lateral accretion sands, overlain by wide spread floodplain mudfacies and commonly further overlain at the top by many, narrow (rarely wide) shallow channels filled with vertical accretion deposits. The tops of terminal fan deposits exhibit moderate to weak soil development. Reviews of previous studies on paleo-climatic studies in adjoining are area of Rajasthan suggest initiation of drier climate at about 3000 B.C. This change is considered to have caused lower discharge of rivers including that of the Sarasvati River and led to first wave of dispersal of the Harappan culture from the Sarasvati Valley to north into the Indus Valley. Longitudinal faults (except Hissar fault) of the Haryana plains are considered to have formed by compression from a direction perpendicular to them. Most probably that they (except for Hissar fault) are imbricates of the Himalayan Frontal Fault and thus these are basically thrusts in nature. Their near normal character in the shallow subsurface as observed in GPR profiles is probably due to the fact these thrusts are curved in nature and these are seen apparently as normal faults near the surface. Mukerji (1976) first introduced the name and described morphology of a terminal fan (Markanda Terminal fan) from the Haryana plains. It was considered to have formed in the plain area, away from the Himalayan Mountain front, due to the loss of discharge due to evapotranspiration under semiarid climate. Later many terminal fans related to faults have been recognized from dry subhumid to sub-humid semiarid Haryana Plains in the present study. Comparison of our work with published studies suggest that the most of terminal fans formed by distributary stream system seem to be related to semiarid to dry subhumid climate and under wetter climate. The Markanda, Old Yamuna, Karnal and Sonipat Terminal Fans were developed by splays from the different streams on the downthrown blocks of some faults and are thus are also 'splay terminal fans'. However, the Young Chautang Terminal Fans-l-IV were formed by involvement of the whole Chautang River. Integrating our studies with archaeological information with two phases in drainage evolution history of the Haryana region can be deciphered. In first phase of 3000 B.C. to about 2200 B.C., the Yamuna was first flowing along the Chautang River course forming the Drishadvati River, it migrated northwestward slowly due to tilting of the Haryana plains towards NW. Then it shifted to its present position by 2100 B.C., though a minor flow through the Old Yamuna. The Sutlej River also started shifting by 1900 B.C. and soon became an independent entity, from a tributary of the Ghaggar (Sarasvati) River. These changes were caused by tilting of Haryana and Panjab blocks. In second phase, different longitudinal faults became active and some more terminal fans (Markanda Terminal Fan and Chautang Terminal Fans-l-IV) were deposited due to their activity. Neotectonic activity since about 3000 B.C. have controlled geomorphology and drainage and sedimentation in the Haryana and adjoining plains.
Other Identifiers: Ph.D
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (Earth Sci.)

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