Cathaysian slivers in the Philippine island arc: geochronologic and geochemical evidence from sedimentary formations of the west Central Philippines

C. B. Dimalanta, D. V. Faustino-Eslava, J. T. Padrones, K. L. Queaño, R. A.B. Concepcion, S. Suzuki, G. P. Yumul

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The use of geodynamic information contained in sedimentary rocks has only recently been extended into the tectonic reconstruction studies of the Philippine archipelago vis-à-vis the rest of the Southeast Asian region. We present here a comparative assessment of clastic units from the western Central Philippines, particularly from the islands of Mindoro, Panay and Palawan, and propose their likely association with sources of Cathaysian origin. Geochronological data from sedimentary formations in the study areas register U–Pb dating peaks at 185–140 Ma, 140–120 Ma and 112–90 Ma. These are similar to those observed of detrital zircons from rocks of Cathaysian origin in Taiwan and Southern China that chronicle the Yanshanian magmatic events. These same formations also record an older intercept at 1.9–1.85 Ga that likely corresponds to a regional continental orogenic episode recorded in the late Paleoproterozoic Cathaysian block. Major (e.g. Al2O3/TiO2) and trace-element (e.g. Y/Ni vs Cr/V) signatures of these sedimentary formations reflect stronger influences from granitic sources than mafic–ultramafic inputs that should otherwise be expected, considering their current oceanic island arc settings. Their La/Th and Th–Co–Zr/10 ratios also reveal continental island arc and active or passive continental margin depositional settings typical of rocks from the Palawan Microcontinental Block. New geochronological and geochemical data from the clastic rocks of northwest Mindoro, in addition to those already published for the other regions of the Palawan Microcontinental Block, provide further evidence for the amalgamation of fragments of Cathaysian origin within the Philippine island arc system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-108
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Cathaysia Block
  • Mindoro Island
  • Palawan Microcontinental Block
  • detrital zircon U–Pb geochronology
  • subduction-related magmatism
  • whole-rock sedimentary geochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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