Late Paleoarchean to Neoarchean sedimentation on the Singhbhum Craton, eastern India: a synthesis

Publication: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
10 January 2023


Subaerial rise of Earth's first continents took place 3.3–3.2 Ga years ago. This had significant influence on the ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere. Two important sedimentological consequences of continental emersion were (1) development of terrestrial (alluvial fan–fluvial–aeolian) depositional systems and (2) formation of shallow-marine sedimentary basins near the continental margin. Late Paleoarchean–Neoarchean terrestrial deposits, including development of an extensive paleosol around 3.2 Ga, and Meso–Neoarchean shallow-marine deposits have been reported from the Singhbhum Craton, eastern India from several localities. However, lateral and vertical changes in sedimentary facies associations and stratigraphic correlation between these terrestrial to shallow-marine sedimentary deposits have not yet been investigated. In this paper, we have reviewed the sedimentological characteristics of Late Paleoarchean to Neoarchean (3.2–2.8 Ga) stratigraphic successions of the Singhbhum Craton and have discussed sea level change and mode of stratigraphic sequence building. Our analysis shows that Singhbhum granitoid complex was emplaced around 3.3 Ga in an intracontinental setting, resulting in high continental freeboard conditions that triggered terrestrial (alluvial fan–braided fluvial) sedimentation (Dhosrapahar Formation). Continental sedimentation continued until ca. 3.0 Ga. In the eastern (Simlipal Group), western (Birtola Formation), and southwestern (the Mankarchua, Mahagiri, and Keonjhar formations) parts, shallow-marine sedimentation occurred after 3.0 Ga as a result of transgression. However, in the northern part (Dhanjori Formation), continental sedimentation prevailed throughout the Archean. These Late Paleoarchean to Neoarchean terrestrial and near-coastal successions of Singhbhum Craton should be the prime targets for intense geobiological research.

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cover image Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences


Received: 10 May 2022
Accepted: 2 December 2022
Accepted manuscript online: 10 January 2023
Published online: 10 January 2023
Version of record online: 7 February 2023


This paper is part of a Collection titled “Understanding the Precambrian: a collection of papers in celebration of Grant McAdam Young (1937–2020)”.

Data Availability Statement

This is a review paper that incorporates largely published data (mentioned in the reference list) and presents a critical synthesis. New field data are presented in the form of field photographs. There are no numerical data.


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Key Words

  1. Paleoarchean
  2. Mesoarchean
  3. sedimentation
  4. continental emergence
  5. Singhbhum Craton
  6. India



Shuvabrata De
College of Earth Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, No. 579, Qianwangang Road, Huangdao District, Qingdao 266590, China
Author Contributions: Formal analysis, Resources, Software, and Writing – review & editing.
Department of Applied Geosciences, German University of Technology in Oman, P.B. 1816, Athaiba, PC 130, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Geological Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203, B.T. Road, Kolkata 700108, India
Author Contributions: Conceptualization, Methodology, Resources, Supervision, Visualization, Writing – original draft, and Writing – review & editing.
Trisrota Chaudhuri
HR-SIMS Laboratory, Geochronology & Isotope Division, Geological Survey of India, Dharitri, Salt Lake, Sector-V, Kolkata 700091, India
Author Contributions: Investigation, Resources, and Writing – review & editing.
Department of Applied Geosciences, German University of Technology in Oman, P.B. 1816, Athaiba, PC 130, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Author Contribution: Writing – review & editing.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization: RM
Formal analysis: SD
Investigation: TC
Methodology: RM
Resources: SD, RM, TC
Software: SD
Supervision: RM
Visualization: RM
Writing – original draft: RM
Writing – review & editing: SD, RM, TC, WB

Competing Interests

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

Funding Information

RM and WB acknowledge financial support from The Research Council, Oman (Block Funding 2018 and 2020).

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