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Australia–SE Asia collision: plate tectonics and crustal flow

By
Robert Hall
Robert Hall
SE Asia Research Group, Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK (e-mail: robert.hall@es.rhul.ac.uk)
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The Sundaland core of SE Asia is a heterogeneous assemblage of Tethyan sutures and Gondwana fragments. Its complex basement structure was one major influence on Cenozoic tectonics; the rifting history of the north Australian margin was another. Fragments that rifted from Australia in the Jurassic collided with Sundaland in the Cretaceous and terminated subduction. From 90 to 45 Ma Sundaland was largely surrounded by inactive margins with localized strike-slip deformation, extension and subduction. At 45 Ma Australia began to move north, and subduction resumed beneath Sundaland. At 23 Ma the Sula Spur promontory collided with the Sundaland margin. From 15 Ma there was subduction hinge rollback into the Banda oceanic embayment, major extension, and later collision of the Banda volcanic arc with the southern margin of the embayment. However, this plate tectonic framework cannot be reduced to a microplate scale to explain Cenozoic deformation. Sundaland has a weak thin lithosphere, highly responsive to plate boundary forces and a hot weak deep crust has flowed in response to tectonic and topographic forces, and sedimentary loading. Gravity-driven movements of the upper crust, unusually rapid vertical motions, exceptionally high rates of erosion, and massive movements of sediment have characterized this region.

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Geological Society Special Publications

The SE Asian Gateway: History and Tectonics of the Australia-Asia Collision

R. Hall
R. Hall
Royal Holloway University of London, UK
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M. A. Cottam
M. A. Cottam
Royal Holloway University of London, UK
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M. E. J. Wilson
M. E. J. Wilson
Curtin University, Australia
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Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
9781862396036
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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