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Himalayan Geology, Vol. 43 (2), 2022, pp. 383-396, Printed in India

Charophyte assemblage in the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary from Chhindwara District (Madhya Pradesh), Central India


1Department of Geology, Panjab University, Sector-14, Chandigarh-160014, India

2Geology Discipline Group, School of Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi-110068, India

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Abstract: Charophytes from the continental deposits have been employed for establishing biostratigraphy, dating rock layers and reconstructing ecology, environment, climate and biogeography of the geological past especially from Silurian onwards. Recent field investigations in Upper Cretaceous–Lower Palaeocene intertrappean beds intercalated between the volcanic flows of the Mandla lobe (Deccan Volcanic Province) exposed at two localities (Jhilmili and Ghat Parasia), Chhindwara District, Madhya Pradesh, Central India led to the discovery of a charophyte assemblage. A total of two taxa belonging to Chara sp. and Platychara sp. have been discovered in these two localities. The presence of a mixed fluviolacustrine to shallow marine environment at Jhilmili is supported by the presence of non-marine aquatic freshwater charophytes with planktic foraminifera and benthic chlorophytes, whereas the association of freshwater to lake communities like ostracods and fishes with non-marine aquatic freshwater charophytes reflects the presence of a fluviolacustrine depositional environment at the Ghat Parasia locality. Palaeobiogeographically, Platychara is a cosmopolitan charophyte genus with global distribution in the Late Cretaceous. Chara appears to be a Laurasian genus, and its presence in India may suggest a dispersal event from Asia to India during the Cretaceous–Palaeogene transition via the Kohistan-Dras volcanic island-arcs system.

Keywords: Charophytes, Deccan traps, Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary, palaeobiogeography, palaeoecology, palaeoenvironment.

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