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ABSTRACT: Tectonic Evolution of Late Cenozoic Arc-Continent Collision in Taiwan

Louis S. Teng

The island of Taiwan is an active orogen formed by the collision between the Luzon arc and the Asian continent. The kinematic progression of the arc-continent collision can be reconstructed by superimposing the restored paleopositions of Luzon arc upon the precollisional Asian continental margin. The geological history of the collision can be interpreted from the rock records of the mountain ranges of Taiwan. By incorporating geological information into plate kinematics, the collision can be attributed to the northwesterly impingement of the Luzon arc upon the continental margin in the

last 12 million years. During the initial stage of the collision, some of the continental materials might have been metamorphosed in the deep subduction zone, but no distinct effects can be perceived in the sedimentary record. In the Mio-Pliocene time (about 5 Ma), the accretionary wedge grew large enough to become a sediment source for the Luzon forearc basin and to induce foreland subsidence on the continental margin. In the early late Pliocene (about 3 Ma), drastic collision caused rapid uplift of the collision orogen that shed voluminous orogenic sediments into the forearc and foreland basins. Continued collision progressively accreted the forearc and foreland basins to the collision orogen from north to south to the present configuration.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90097©1990 Fifth Circum-Pacific Energy and Mineral Resources Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 29-August 3, 1990