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Book Chapter

Cenozoic arc processes in Indonesia: Identification of the key influences on the stratigraphic record in active volcanic arcs

By
Robert Hall
Robert Hall
SE Asia Research Group, Department of Geology, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK
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Helen R. Smyth
Helen R. Smyth
SE Asia Research Group, Department of Geology, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2008

The Indonesian region includes several volcanic island arcs that are highly active at the present day, and also contains a record of Cenozoic volcanic activity owing to subduction of oceanic lithosphere at the margins of SE Asia. As a result of long-term subduction, there is a high regional heat flow, and a weak crust and lithosphere, as identified in other subduction zone backarcs. The stratigraphic record in the Indonesian region reflects a complex tectonic history, including collisions, changing plate boundaries, subduction polarity reversals, elimination of volcanic arcs, and extension. The arcs have not behaved as often portrayed in many arc models. They mark subduction but were not continuously active, and it is possible to have subduction without magmatism. Subduction hinge retreat was accompanied by significant arc volcanism, whereas periods of hinge advance were marked by reduction or cessation of volcanic activity. Growth of the region occurred in an episodic way, by the addition of ophiolites and continental slivers, and as a result of arc magmatism. In Indonesia, relatively small amounts of material were accreted from the downgoing plate during subduction, but there is also little evidence for subduction erosion. During collision the arc region may fail, resulting in thrusting, and the weakest point is the position of the active volcanic arc itself. Volcanic arcs shift position suddenly, and arcs can disappear during collision by overthrusting. Arcs are geologically ephemeral features and may have very short histories in comparison with most well-known older orogenic belts. The stratigraphic record of the basins within arc regions is complex. Because of a weak lithosphere the character of sedimentary basins may be unusual, and basins are commonly very deep and subside rapidly. There is a high sediment flux. The volcanic arc itself influences the stratigraphic record and basin development. The load imposed by the volcanic arc causes flexure and provides accommodation space. The volcanic arc thus can form the basin and supply most of its sediment. Tropical processes influence the mineralogy and apparent maturity of the sediment, especially volcanogenic material. A complex stratigraphy will result from the waxing and waning of volcanic activity.

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GSA Special Papers

Formation and Applications of the Sedimentary Record in Arc Collision Zones

Amy E. Draut
Amy E. Draut
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Peter. D. Clift
Peter. D. Clift
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David W. Scholl
David W. Scholl
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Geological Society of America
Volume
436
ISBN print:
9780813724362
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

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