Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles

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Journal of Geophysical Research



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Samples were collected from 86 paleomagnetic sites from the islands of Luzon, Marinduque, Mindoro, Panay, Negros, Cebu, and Mindanao in the Philippine Arc. The sampling sites range in age from Pleistocene to Jurassic. Characteristic directions of magnetization of the samples were determined by the use of vector plots. Curie temperature determinations, thin section studies, and hysteresis studies showed that remanence of these samples is carried by fine-grained (pseudo-single domain) magnetite. Positive fold tests from Miocene data from Panay, Jurassic data from Mindoro, and Cretaceous data from Cebu suggest that the magnetization of these regions was acquired prior to folding. Rotations reported below are measured with respect to the axial goecentric dipole field. The Plio-Pleistocene data set shows no resolvable rotation for the 22 sites. This data set suggests that the various terranes that make up the Philippine Arc have behaved as a single unit during the past 5 m.y. or that deformation has been below the limits of resolution. The inclination data from the Plio-Pleistocene sites have anomalously shallow inclination and are consistent with other Plio-Pleistocene data from Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Marianas. These data support earlier suggestions for a late Neogene offset dipole effect. The late Miocene sites fall into two separate groups. Ten sites from western Luzon show evidence for around 20° of clockwise rotation. In contrast to this, late Miocene samples from the Bicol region, Negros, Marinduque, and Mindanao are not rotated. The cause of the postlate Miocene clockwise rotation of Luzon is unknown, but a Pliocene collision of the North Luzon Arc with Taiwan is suggested. Early Neogene results also separate into two different populations. The population from Marinduque shows evidence for a large counterclockwise rotation. The second early Neogene population comes from Panay, Cebu, and Mindanao and clearly shows evidence for a clockwise rotation. The validity of this rotation is further supported by a fold test and a reversal test. These early Neogene data sets are consistent with a middle to late Miocene collision of the Palawan Continental Terrane and the Central Philippine Arc. Data from six dikes of possible Oligocene age from the Zambales Ophiolite are highly discordant from the present field, being rotated approximately 60° clockwise. The directions from these dikes are similar to a direction reported earlier from late Oligocene sediments also from the Zambales region. These two data sets support the interpretation that the Eocene direction from Zambales is recording a large clockwise rotation of the region. Data from the Mesozoic sites are from two regions. Data from the Cretaceous Pandan formation of Cebu are discordant with data from the Upper Jurassic from Mindoro. The presence of a fold test from each region and a reversal test from Mindoro supports the interpretation that each of these data sets is reliable. The VGP of Mindoro is displaced southward from the Late Jurassic VGP of South China, suggesting a post-Jurassic southward migration of Mindoro.







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©1987 by the American Geophysical Union.

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