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Dynamics of Arc-Continent collision in Taiwan: Insights from a combined 3D numerical modelling and basin analysis approach

English title Dynamics of Arc-Continent collision in Taiwan: Insights from a combined 3D numerical modelling and basin analysis approach
Applicant Castelltort Sébastien
Number 119841
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.11.2008 - 31.10.2010
Approved amount 120'775.00
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Keywords (11)

Taiwan; foreland basin; collision; arc; subduction; numerical modelling; sedimentology; sequence stratigraphy; plate evolution; surface processes; mountain building

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The island of Taiwan is a young and active orogen at the heart of a complex geodynamic setting. It is situated in a corner of the plate boundary between the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) and the Eurasian plate (EUR) and represents the topographic manifestation of the subduction polarity transition between northward subduction of the PSP beneath EUR at the Ryukyu trench and eastward subduction of EUR beneath PSP at the Manila trench. In addition, in southern and central Taiwan, the passive margin of China is obliquely colliding with the Luzon Arc as the South China Sea progressively “zippers” shut towards the south. This complex orogen is situated in the middle of the west Pacific typhoon belt, where the mountain topography forces extreme precipitation, erosion rates and sediment yields, thus creating an extremely active natural laboratory to study the interplay between geodynamic and surface processes.
In spite of the complex tectonic setting, Taiwan has a well-developed foreland basin to the west and this presents an outstanding opportunity to constrain the time and space evolution of the orogen. One important question to be resolved is: what are the timing, mode and rate of the collision and of its southward propagation? We address this by combining a field and seismic data study of the stratigraphic and sedimentological evolution of the foreland basin with numerical 3-D models of its tectonic development and sedimentary filling. The objective is to provide a framework in which the link is made between (1) the synorogenic depositional environments, paleogeography and sediment transport systems, (2) the spatio-temporal evolution of subsidence and sediment flux from the mountain belt, and (3) the tectonic and denudational events in the orogenic belt.
The research planned involves (1) data acquisition including extensive field sedimentology in Taiwan and analysis of seismic and borehole data as well as synthesising existing published and unpublished data, and (2) input of data into numerical models of plate flexure and stratigraphic modelling using codes developed at ETH-Zurich and IFP.
The project is part of a collaborative research effort within ETH-Zurich between the Earth Surface Dynamics group of the Geological Institute (S. Castelltort and S. Willett) and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics group of the Geophysical Institute (B. Kaus and P. Tackley), and involves also strong links in Taiwan (Basin Research Group at NCU) and Paris (Paris 6 University and Institut Français du Pétrole).
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
131890 Dynamics of an Arc-Continent collision: Insights from basin analysis and stratigraphic modeling in the foreland basin of Taiwan 01.11.2010 Project funding
131890 Dynamics of an Arc-Continent collision: Insights from basin analysis and stratigraphic modeling in the foreland basin of Taiwan 01.11.2010 Project funding

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