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The Zambales Ophiolite in western Luzon is a large fragment of oceanic crust that was uplifted several kilometers without being obducted onto a continental margin. Deposition of pelagic limestone on the ophiolite during the late Eocene through Oligocene gave way to deposition of ophiolite-derived clastics during the early Miocene. The uplift of the western edge of the ophiolite probably was related to the initiation of subduction along the Manila Trench in the late Oligocene, but the Zambales crust predates the oldest crust in the adjacent South China Basin by about 8 million years. A new sandstone petrology method traces the uplift and erosional history of the ophiolite through the changing compositions of the ophiolite-derived clastics.

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