Tapas Kumar Biswal

Tapas Kumar Biswal

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Title: Probable influence of neo-tectonic activity on climate and supercyclone in east coast of India


T K Biswal has completed his PhD at the age of 29 years from Rajasthan University, Jaipur India and worked in Geological Survey of India till 1994. Subsequently he shifted to IIT Bombay and remained Head of the Dept of Earth Sciences from 2008-2011. He has received the prestigious National Mineral Award in 2008. He has published more than 50 papers in reputed journals had organized International Conference “Tectonics of Indian Subcontinent (TOIS)” in 2008 and edited a volume of Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, v-39, 2010.


Presently, India experiences a monsoon climate that creates rainfall along the eastern part in the states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, NE states and Andaman Niccobar Islands. The monsoon intensified at ca 8 Ma when the Tibetan plateau attained present elevation to act as a barrier. With the monsoon, there comes severe cyclonic storms that brings lot of damages to coastal areas including Bangladesh. Compared to the east coast, the states in the west coast of India are less affected by cyclones except for southern areas of Sourashtra. The prevalence of cyclones in the east coast is considered to be the contribution of landscape evolution. The east coast is marked by two important rift valleys namely Mahanadi - and the Godavari rift valleys. Both are very old and of Proterozoic age and have been occupied by coal bearing fluviatile Gondwana deposits. Examination of Gondawana terranes in Mahanadi rift valleys brings out very interesting facts. The topography appears to be very young and marked by sharp hill slopes, sometimes triangular facets are also associated with this. These features suggest neotectonic activity belonging to Quternary age, in the region. Based on this observation it has been suggested that the rift valleys are probably the site of holding on the cyclone, otherwise it would have moved forward towards the Himalayas. The 2009 supercyclone in Orissa is a vivid example of such entrapment along Mahanadi rift valleys. It started in Sumatra and moved towards Mahanadi rift and subsequently