Crustal Recycling at Active Arc-Continent Collision Suture Zone

"The evolution of a sedimentary basin can be viewed as the result of a succession of discrete plate-tectonic settings and plate interactions whose effects blend into a continuum of development." - Dickinson (1974)

Sedimentary records in peripheral foreland basins at either side of collisional margins provide critical constraints on the evolution of paleogeography and orogenic processes (Sinclair, 2012). 

Arc-continent collision is widely considered as a major process in terrane accretion and continental growth over geologic time (Draut and Clift, 2012). However, the tectonic controls on development of its retro-foreland basin system are barely explored, and therefore the kinematics and processes of crustal deformation at convergent interface between orogenic front and oceanic arc remains poorly understood.

Model prediction on the strato-geometry of foreland basins in doubly-vergent wedge orogen setting. (Sinclair, 2012)

The main island of Taiwan is a modern arc-continent collision zone, and the Coastal Range in the east, marked as a destructed forearc terrain at plate suture, preserves a >7-km thick section of Plio-Pleistocene orogen-derived marine sedimentary rocks that unconformably overlies deeply subsided and recently exhumed Luzon arc basement. It provides a rare opportunity to investigate the evolution of syn-orogenic basins on the retro-side of an active arc-continent collision orogen.

Tectonic configuration around Taiwan arc-continent collision zone. (Modified from Lai et al., 2021)

Yet these basins have highly debated history in basin subsidence, sediment fill, and structural inversion. Two major hypotheses have been proposed: 

Summarized diagrams of proposed tectonic models (hypotheses A & B) for eastern Taiwan sedimentary basin system (Lai et al., 2021).

To understand the basin evolution in eastern Taiwan, this proposed study aims to test these hypotheses by investigating the depositional age, stratigraphic architecture, process sedimentology, and structural geometries of the Coastal Range basins. I will conduct integrated studies including:

Drilling rock core samples for paleomagnetism measurements and micropaleontology studies.

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[Last update: Jan 1, 2023]