EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Geochemical/isotope characterization of sediments from the Great Indian Desert, Thar

Rohan Bhattacharyya and Satinder Pal Singh
Rohan Bhattacharyya and Satinder Pal Singh
  • IISER BHOPAL, Earth and Environmental Sciences, BHOPAL, India (

The Great Indian Desert, Thar is a natural source of the atmospheric mineral dust burden over India and nearby landmasses/seas and regulates the regional climate and ecosystem health. However, the limited geochemical/isotope data of Thar sediments from the source region in Rajasthan restrict their source delineation and implication for characterization of the Thar dust signatures. For this purpose, we have measured major, trace, and rare-earth elemental concentrations, and radiogenic Sr and Nd isotope compositions in 51 surface sediment samples collected over a wide area from the Thar Desert, Rajasthan. The geochemical data reveals a low degree of the chemical index of alteration (CIA ~43–54), a quartz dilution of major oxides, and depletion of heavy minerals such as zircons. The UCC normalized spider diagram, as well as La/Yb–Eu anomaly plot, reveal that the Thar surface sediments collected in this study are geochemically similar to that of a sedimentary sequence from the Luni River originating from the Aravalli mountains. The 87Sr/86Sr and εNd of Thar sediments overlap with the reported values for the Indus delta and Luni river sediments but are distinctly different from those of the Ghaggar river sediments. Thus, the sediment contribution from the Indus delta cannot be completely ruled out, while the Ghaggar sediment contributions are minimum. Furthermore, the radiogenic isotope compositions of the decarbonated Thar sediments are strikingly contrasting to the reported values for silicate fractions of eolian deposits in northwestern India. These differences could be due to grain size effects during the dust production/transport or local sediment contributions to the eolian deposits.

How to cite: Bhattacharyya, R. and Singh, S. P.: Geochemical/isotope characterization of sediments from the Great Indian Desert, Thar, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12391,, 2021.