Insights on the Quaternary Tectonic Evolution of the SE Indonesia Arc-Continent Collision from the Study of Uplifted Coral Terraces on Sumba Island.
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Sumba Island is uniquely positioned within the Sunda-Banda forearc, at the transition between oceanic subduction and arc-continent collision. There, the convergence between the Sunda and Australian plates is accommodated along at least three major structures: the megathrust, the Savu backthrust located south of Sumba and the Flores backthrust located north of the volcanic arc. The incipient collision in the vicinity of Sumba is responsible for coastal vertical movements. Quaternary reefal deposits form spectacular uplifted flights of terraces, which directly overlie Mid Miocene - Early Pliocene deep carbonate and volcaniclastic rocks at elevations exceeding 500m. Although aerial fossil reefs extensively rim the northern and eastern coasts of Sumba, studies have been limited to Cape Laundi where an uplift rate of 0.2-0.5 m/kyr is estimated for the last 400 kyr, partly on the basis of alpha-spectrometric U/Th dating. At the island scale, the relief morphology and the hydrographic network point to a N-S asymmetry, indicating a general tilt toward the north. A subducting seafloor asperity and south-dipping normal faults have been postulated to generate this asymmetry. However as the pattern and kinematics of the deformation remain partially determined, structures and processes capable of driving such deformation and accommodating the nascent collision may be undisclosed. New topographic data coupled with field observations and coral mass-spectrometric U/Th dating allow investigating the morphology, stratigraphy and age of the fossil reef terraces at the island scale. Tectonic structures disrupting the topography are identified and their activities are relatively dated with respect to fossil reef terraces. The deformation pattern of Sumba is characterized, especially in Cape Laundi where the uplift rate is re-evaluated. Through a multi-disciplinary study, we intend to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of Sumba island and, at a larger scale, of the collision in SE Indonesia.