Abstract

Seismic reflection and wide-angle data acquired across, south, and west of Taiwan show that extended to hyper-extended continental crust of the Chinese continental margin is present more than 200 km south of the shelf and is subducting at the Manila Trench. Furthermore, crustal-scale tomographic velocity models show that this crust is underthrusted to ∼15 km depth below the accretionary prism, where it then is structurally underplated to the base of the prism. We document an increasing volume of accreted crust from south to north, and in our northern transect high-velocity material of the accretionary prism can be directly linked to outcrops of Central Range basement rocks. In map view the Central Range of Taiwan is clearly contiguous with the Hengchun Peninsula and Hengchun submarine ridge to the south. Accordingly, we propose a new model in which the Central Range forms directly from the accretionary prism, including the basement core, which originates from subducted, and then accreted, extended to hyper-extended continental crust.

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