Hyderabad: An ancient ocean floor is hidden beneath Bangladesh, say researchers from NIO; Prof KS Krishna, Head, Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science (CEOAS) and School of Physics at University of Hyderabad (UoH); and Dr Mohammed Ismaiel, faculty from DST-INSPIRE.

In an exciting finding, their research unveiled that oceanic rocks were accreted by seafloor spreading up to Kolkata and towards north up to Rajmahal–Sylhet line in the west Bengal Basin. According to the researchers, these were primitive oceanic rocks of the Bay of Bengal but were buried entirely under large volumes of terrigenous sediments brought by the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems from the Himalayas.

The sediments have filled the proto Bay of Bengal region and led to forming a new landmass. At present this becomes a part of the Bangladesh territory, researchers believe.

According to the researchers, the presence of continental slivers in global oceans wholly buried under the sediments or surviving as islands were identified earlier. However, the existence of oceanic rocks beneath the landmass is recognized for the first time, which may be a unique case on Earth.

These findings are an outcome of many years of research work carried out at NIO with collaboration from ONGC, Dehradun, and Rice University, Houston. They aim to understand the tectonic evolution of the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh. These findings have been published in the latest issue of Current Science. This enduring research allowed authors to comprehend the scenarios of continental breakups in various styles and geometry of the proto Bay of Bengal. They are thereby discussing the role of unified Earth processes that led to the formation of a majority of the Bangladesh tertiary over the ancient ocean floor.

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