No Paleozoic metamorphics in Palawan (the Philippines)? Evidence from single grain U-Pb dating of detrital zircons

Monika Walia, Ulrich Knittel, Shigeyuki Suzuki, Sun Lin Chung, Rolando E. Pena, Tsanyao Frank Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The Palawan Continental Terrane (PCT) is a fragment of the margin of SE China that drifted south as a result of the Cenozoic opening of the South China Sea. This fragment is of great interest as it may contain a record of the early history of the continental margin of SE China that is not exposed on the mainland. The age and potential correlations of meta-sediments exposed on Palawan Island, Philippines, with those exposed on the other islands of Philippine Archipelago and Asia are a long standing problem of the geology of this island. Given the presence of non-metamorphic sedimentary sequences of Permian and Triassic age in the northern part of the island, a Paleozoic age was inferred for the metamorphics but recently also a younger age for these rocks was considered possible. U/Pb dating of detrital zircons by the laser-ablation ICP-MS method reveals the presence of 80-98. Ma old zircons in all of the usually distinguished units, hence despite significant differences in degree of metamorphism and tectonic deformation, all meta-sediments appear to be of late Cretaceous or younger age. Thus, in principle, these clastic rocks could be overly derived from the older sequences. However, the relatively higher degree of metamorphism of the younger rocks suggests a tectonic contact with the older sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-145
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2012


  • Caramay Schist
  • Central Palawan
  • Cretaceous
  • Detrital zircon
  • Meta-sediments
  • U/Pb dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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