Geology of the Zamboanga Peninsula, Mindanao, Philippines: an enigmatic South China continental fragment?

  • Yumul, Jr. G
  • Dimalanta C
  • Tamayo, Jr. R
 et al. 
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Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines is made up of two blocks: the island-arc-related eastern-central Mindanao block and the continental Zamboanga Peninsula, which contains several ophiolitic bodies and mélanges. The Middle Miocene Siayan-Sindangan Suture Zone represents the tectonic boundary between the island-arc and continental blocks. A Middle Miocene age of collision is interpreted from the unconformity between the Late Miocene Motibot Formation and the underlying Middle Miocene Gunyan Mélange, which serves as basement to the suture zone. The Middle Miocene Siayan-Sindangan Suture Zone was formerly a subduction zone complex that was reactivated as a sinistral strikeslip fault following the collision of eastern-central Mindanao with the Zamboanga Peninsula. New 40K-40Ar whole-rock dating of lava flows from the Zamboanga Peninsula has revealed Middle to Late Miocene ages, which is consistent with the possible existence of an Early Miocene Sulu Trench. The possibility that the Zamboanga Peninsula could be part of the Palawan microcontinental block has been forwarded by previous workers, due to their similarity in stratigraphy, geological structure and metamorphic rock suites. The Palawan microcontinental block separated from southern China during the opening of the South China Sea in Oligo-Miocene times. If indeed the Zamboanga Peninsula was once part of Palawan, it represents the southernmost part of the rifted southeastern China continental margin.

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  • Graciano P. Yumul, Jr.

  • Carla B. Dimalanta

  • Rodolfo A. Tamayo, Jr.

  • René C. Maury

  • Hervé Bellon

  • Mireille Polvé

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