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Subsurface profiling along Banni Plains and bounding faults, Kachchh, Western India using microtremors method

by Dhananjay A. Sant, Imtiyaz A. Parvez, Govindan Rangarajan, Satish J. Patel, Madhuri N. Bhatt and T.A. Sanoop Salam

The present article is a maiden attempt to map shallow subsurface rheological interfaces laterally across the Banni Plains and to decode geometry of the antecedent faults associated with the Kachchh Mainland Fault using the microtremor method. We conducted microtremor data acquisition for thirty-one sites along N-S transect from Loriya in Mainland Kachchh to Bhirandiara towards Patcham Island. Results from H/V spectral ratio technique show presence of two distinct rheological interfaces characterised by the resonant frequency (fr) ranges 0.23–0.27 Hz and 0.8252–1.5931 Hz respectively. The above frequency ranges are correlated with the depths of the Mesozoic-Basement (M-B) interface and the Quaternary-Tertiary (Q-T) interface. Using either the velocity (Vs) of seismic waves at the M-B and Q-T interfaces (calculated as 1830 m/s and 411 m/s respectively) or the standard non-linear regression relationship derived for the Banni Plains (h = 110.18fr−1.97) we estimate the depth range for M-B interface to be 1442–1965 m and for Q-T interface to be 44–160 m. The subsurface profile across the Banni Plains educe cluster of four faults that develop an array of imbricate faults at the forefront of the Kachchh Mainland Fault within the Banni Footwall Syncline. The geometry of the faults suggests a ‘positive flower structure’ indicating step-overs and strain restraining bends displaying push-ups resulting from localized shortening between converging bends of Kachchh Mainland Fault and the South Wagad Fault. The Banni Footwall Syncline preserves evidence of two episodes of deformations. The initial deformation event led to subsidence within the Kachchh Mainland Fault Zone bringing Mesozoic sequence juxtaposed to the basement rocks, whereas the later event is dominated by an uplift developing a positive flower structure in the Kachchh Mainland Fault Zone. Finally, the present study provides a mechanism to investigate faults and fault geometries correlating surface structural grains with subsurface structures.


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