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Brief Profile of the Awardee


Dr Jyotiranjan Srichandan Ray

  • 2015
  • Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
  • 16/07/1970
  • High and Low Temperature Geochemistry, Geochronology, Isotope Geology, Igneous Petrology and Chemical Sedimentology
Award Citation:

Dr Ray has made outstanding contributions to the study of origin and evolution of mantle derived magmas using isotope tracers.

Academic Qualifications:
Thesis and Guide details:
Details of CSIR Fellowship/ Associateship held, if any or from other sources/ agencies.
Significant foreign assignments:
(a) Significant contributions to science and/ or technology development by the nominee based on the work done in India during most part of last 5 years:
Dr. Ray is a versatile isotope geochemist who works on wide range of topics in Geosciences. His approach to research is multidisciplinary and quantitative. He formulates his own projects, does fieldwork and collects samples, generates most of his experimental data using indigenous facilities and develops mathematical models to explain the data. Except for three of his publications which came out of two overseas postdoctoral assignments [16(e)], all his research has been carried out in India. He has made significant contributions to the study of stable isotope fractionation in high and low temperature processes, origin and evolution of mantle derived magmas, isotope stratigraphy, geochronology, subduction zone processes and provenances of sediments in ancient and modern ocean basins. The most important contributions of Dr. Ray are summarized below in three broad topics. Chronology of Major Geologic Events Using multiple radioisotope dating techniques (Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr, Pb-Pb and Ar-Ar) Dr. Ray has resolved some of the important chronological issues in Indian Geology and in the history of volcanism in the South Pacific Ocean and Andaman Sea. I. One of his landmark contributions has been the dating of volcaniclastic sediments and carbonates from the Semri Group of the Vindhyan Supergroup of India that resolved a major scientific controversy of recent times. His work established that the lower Vindhyans were deposited between ~1750 Ma and ~1600 Ma and therefore, cannot contain fossils of Cambrian or younger age. (Publication nos. 16(a)-4 & 5) (The project was conceived and carried out by Dr. Ray as part of his postdoctoral research in Canada) II. His work established that the carbonatite-alkaline complexes of the Deccan and Sylhet- Rajmahal Traps represent either initial or terminal phase magmatic activity of the flood basalt eruptions. Specifically, his work revealed that Amba Dongar and Sung Valley carbonatite complexes were emplaced at ~65 Ma and ~107 Ma, respectively. (Publication nos. 16(a)-2; 16(d)-4: work entirely done in India) III. His work established that the Sylhet Traps were emplaced rapidly at ~116 Ma and are linked to the initiation of the Kerguelen hotspot and the break-up of Gondwanaland. (Publication no. 16(a)-6: work entirely done in India) IV. His work revealed that the Newania carbonatite complex of Rajasthan, one of the few primary dolomite carbonatites of the world, was emplaced at ~1473 Ma and got affected by a thermal event at ~904 Ma. It reported evidences for heterogeneous incorporation of Pb during the thermal event – the reason for an older Pb-Pb date (~2400 Ma). (Publication no. 16(a)-8: work entirely done in India) V. His work established a genetic link between the Nazca Ridge and the Easter Seamount Chain – two chains of volcanoes in the South Pacific and showed that these belong to a ~30 Ma hotspot trail of the Salas y Gomez (and not Easter Island) hotspot. (Publication no. 16(b)-2: data were generated in USA but the interpretations, modeling work and paper writing were done at PRL, India)
(b) Impact of the contributions in the field concerned:
I. Dr. Ray‟s timely contributions to the resolution of the long-standing issue on the age of deposition of the Vindhyan Supergroup have led to thorough re-investigations of its purported fossil record, which have implications for the evolution of animal life on Earth. These studies also formed a basis for reorganization of the Proterozoic stratigraphy of India. II. The seawater Sr-isotope ratio curve for the Proterozoic as suggested by his work became the basis of numerous isotope-stratigraphic age determinations of Proterozoic carbonate sequences worldwide. III. Evidences shown by his work that carbonatites incorporate recycled inorganic carbon resolved the problem of uninterrupted supply of carbon in the mantle for generation of carbonatites throughout the geologic history by suggesting continuous replenishment through carbonate subduction. His proposal that lower crust plays an important role in the diversification of carbonatites has revolutionized thinking on the carbonatite-alkaline rock associations and his mathematical model has been successfully used to explain the large variations observed in Sr and Nd isotopic compositions in the associated alkaline silicate rocks. IV. The multi-component Rayleigh isotopic fractionation model developed by him has become the basis for explaining C and O isotope ratio variations in carbonatites, fluid-deposited graphite and many such systems where fluids play a significant role. V. The chronological information provided by his work on the Sylhet Traps and 29 volcanoes of Nazca Ridge and Easter Seamount Chain reaffirmed the validity of the hypothesis of hotspots fixity beneath moving lithospheric plates. VI. The findings of his work that the carbonatites associated with flood basalts are contemporaneous with stratigraphic boundaries and are capable of injecting much large quantities of green house gases than the flood basalts themselves led to a rethinking on the role of smaller magmatic activities on climate change and mass extinctions. VII. The recent results of his work on the Barren Island volcano that it is at least 1.6 Ma old and lies on a > 106 Ma oceanic crust are bound to reshape the evolutionary models for the Andaman Sea and the Andaman Islands – which have implications for the breakup of the Gondwanaland and India‟s northward journey. VIII. The geochemical investigation of Dr. Ray and his collaborators on Late Quaternary sediments in the Andaman Sea reaffirmed the southward shifting of the ITCZ during the LGM and provided a clear evidence, contrary to earlier belief, that the Andaman Sea was well connected to the Bay of Bengal though the south Preparis Channel
Places where work of last 5 years has been referred/ cited in Books, Reviews:
(i). Paper Cited
(ii). Book Cited
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The Awardee a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy/Indian Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences/Others:
The Awardee delivered invited lecture(s) in India/abroad and/or chaired any scientific Internatiional Conference Symposium:
List of Awardee's 10 most significant publications.
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications during the last 5 years
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications from out of work done in India during the last five years:
Complete list of publications in standard refereed journals:
Complete list of publications with foreign collaborators (indicating your status as author):
List of papers published in Conferences /Symposia/ Seminars, etc:
List of the most outstanding Technical Reports/ Review Articles:
Statement regarding collaboration with scientists abroad:
Dr. Ray has only 3 journal publications with scientists abroad [see 16(e)] – which came out of his postdoctoral research done during 1999-2002 in Canada and USA. For his research activities in India, he has no collaborations outside the country and he does not use laboratory facilities abroad to generate his experimental data.
List of Patents taken
Total number of patents granted in last five years.
Details of Books published:

Contact Details

  • Geosciences Division,
    Physical Research Laboratory
    Ahmedabad - 380009
    Gujarat INDIA
  • 079-26314165
  • 079-26314900
  • jsray[at]prl[dot]res[dot]in
19 Nov 2018, http://ssbprize.gov.in/Content/Detail.aspx?AID=514