The role of break-up localization in microcontinent separation along a strike-slip margin: the East India–Elan Bank case study

<p>The Elan Bank microcontinent was separated from East India during the Early Cretaceous break-up. The crustal architecture and rifting geometry of East India and the Elan Bank margins document that the early break-up between India and Antarctica was initiated in the eastern portions of the Cauvery and Krishna–Godavari rift zones, and in the southern portion of Elan Bank. However, the westwards break-up propagation along the Krishna–Godavari Rift Zone continued even after the break-up in the overstepping portion of the Cauvery Rift Zone. Eventually, the western propagating end of the Krishna–Godavari Rift Zone became hard-linked with the failed western portion of the Cauvery Rift Zone by the dextral Coromandel transfer fault zone. Consequently, the break-up location between India and Antarctica shifted from its initial to its final location along the northern portion of the Elan Bank formed by the western Krishna–Godavari Rift Zone. The competition between the two rift zones to capture continental break-up and asymmetric ridge propagation resulted in a ridge jump and the Elan Bank microcontinent release. </p>