Taiwan is considered the archetypical orogen in the development of critical wedge models of mountain building; however, the issue of how arc collision progressed along the margin remains poorly understood. To resolve this, the detrital archive of orogenesis preserved in Coastal Range rocks of eastern Taiwan was used to reconstruct the erosional response of arc collision. The spatial and temporal distribution of exhumation recorded in this detrital record is consistent with southwards progression of arc–continent collision in a punctuated rather than sequential manner with deposition confined to segmented foredeep basins. Apparent increases in sedimentation rates in Taiwan during the Pleistocene may not reflect increased erosion, but instead may be due to the collisional margin architecture.
Analytical details and dating results are available at www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18693.