Provenance of Mesozoic Sandstones in the Banda Arc, Indonesia

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Sebastian Zimmermann, SE Asia Research Group, Egham, TW20, United Kingdom and Robert Hall, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, TW20, United Kingdom
Quartz-rich sandstones in the Banda Arc islands of Tanimbar, Babar, Timor and Sumba are equivalent of Mesozoic sandstones on the Australian margin where they are important hydrocarbon reservoirs. They have been exposed by on-going collision providing an opportunity to study their provenance. Previous studies suggested that rivers draining Australia provided most input. New light mineral, heavy mineral and detrital zircon data provide information on sources of sediments and constraints on palaeogeographic models. Conventional light mineral plots of sandstones from the islands typically show a recycled orogen and continental block origin, consistent with an Australian source. However many of the sandstones are texturally immature. Many samples also contain volcanic quartz and volcanic lithic fragments. Heavy mineral assemblages of most samples contain material from acid igneous and metamorphic rocks, with few indications of mafic or ultramafic sources. Rounded ultrastable minerals are typical, but these are commonly mixed with angular grains. Detrital zircon (LA-ICP-MS) U-Pb ages range from Archean to Mesozoic, but variations in age populations indicate differences in source areas along the Banda Arc in locality and time. We recognise distinctive Permo-Triassic, older Palaeozoic and Proterozoic ages characteristic of a Bird’s Head, New Guinea, acid igneous source and this component diminishes from east to west. On Tanimbar and Babar, sediment came from both Australia and the Bird’s Head. Sandstones in Timor have immature textures and show differences from east to west. They contain zircons derived from the Birds Head, as well as Precambrian zircons suggesting a northern Australian origin. In contrast, immature textures, heavy minerals and Cretaceous zircon ages in rocks from Sumba suggest that they were mainly derived from metamorphic sources. Mesozoic to Archean zircons indicate derivation from Australian crust that had collided in Sulawesi during the Cretaceous.