The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Oligocene to Recent tectonic history of the Central Solomon intra-arc basin as determined from marine seismic reflection data and compilation of onland geology

Oligocene to Recent tectonic history of the Central Solomon intra-arc basin as determined from marine seismic reflection data and compilation of onland geology
Oligocene to Recent tectonic history of the Central Solomon intra-arc basin as determined from marine seismic reflection data and compilation of onland geology
Systematic analysis of a grid of 3450 km of multichannel seismic reflection lines from the Solomon Islands constrains the late Tertiary sedimentary and tectonic history of the Solomon Island arc and its convergent interaction with the Cretaceous Ontong Java oceanic plateau (OJP). The OJP, the largest oceanic plateau on Earth, subducted beneath the northern edge of the Solomon arc in the late Neogene, but the timing and consequences of this obliquely convergent event and its role in the subduction polarity reversal process remain poorly constrained. The Central Solomon intra-arc basin (CSB), which developed in Oligocene to Recent time above the Solomon arc, provides a valuable record of the tectonic environment prior to and accompanying the OJP convergent event and the subsequent arc polarity reversal. Recognition of regionally extensive stratigraphic sequences—whose ages can be inferred from marine sedimentary sections exposed onland in the Solomon Islands—indicate four distinct tectonic phases affecting the Solomon Island arc. Phase 1: Late Oligocene–Late Miocene rifting of the northeast-facing Solomon Island arc produced basal, normal-fault-controlled, asymmetrical sequences of the CSB; the proto-North Solomon trench was probably much closer to the CSB and is inferred to coincide with the trace of the present-day Kia-Kaipito-Korigole (KKK) fault zone; this protracted period of intra-arc extension shows no evidence for interruption by an early Miocene period of convergent “soft docking” of the Ontong Java Plateau as proposed by previous workers. Phase 2: Late Miocene–Pliocene oblique convergence of the Ontong Java Plateau at the proto-North Solomon trench (KKK fault zone) and folding of the CSB and formation of the Malaita accretionary prism (MAP); the highly oblique and diachronous convergence between the Ontong Java plateau and the Solomon arc terminates intra-arc extension first in the southeast (Russell subbasin of the CSB) during the Late Miocene and later during the Pliocene in the northwest (Shortland subbasin of the CSB); folds in the CSB form by inversion of normal faults formed during Phase 1; Phinney et al. [Sequence stratigraphy, structural style, and age of deformation of the Malaita accretionary prism (Solomon arc-Ontong Java Plateau convergent zone)] show a coeval pattern of southeast to northwest younging in folding and faulting of the MAP. Phase 3: Late Pliocene–early Pleistocene arc polarity reversal and subduction initiation at the San Cristobal trench. Effects of this event in the CSB include the formation of a chain of volcanoes above the subducting Australia plate at the San Cristobal trench, the formation of the broad synclinal structure of the CSB with evidence for truncation at the uplifted flanks, and widespread occurrence of slides and “seismites” (deposits formed by seismic shaking). Phase 4: Pleistocene to Recent continued shortening and synclinal subsidence of the CSB. Continued Australia-Pacific oblique plate convergence has led to deepening of the submarine, elongate basin axis of the synclinal CSB and uplift of the dual chain of the islands on its flanks.
Central Solomon intra-arc basin, Solomon arc, Oceanic plateau, Subduction polarity reversal
0040-1951
267-307
Cowley, S.
4c833870-69f9-4123-b651-2ecbafdb5a11
Mann, P.
46aa7b33-cb1c-417a-96c1-afeedc929aa0
Coffin, M.F.
b8285650-5efd-4129-ae91-1cf3f5911e89
Shipley, T.H.
c26377d5-d478-4491-838c-6e8c3586433d
Cowley, S.
4c833870-69f9-4123-b651-2ecbafdb5a11
Mann, P.
46aa7b33-cb1c-417a-96c1-afeedc929aa0
Coffin, M.F.
b8285650-5efd-4129-ae91-1cf3f5911e89
Shipley, T.H.
c26377d5-d478-4491-838c-6e8c3586433d

Cowley, S., Mann, P., Coffin, M.F. and Shipley, T.H. (2004) Oligocene to Recent tectonic history of the Central Solomon intra-arc basin as determined from marine seismic reflection data and compilation of onland geology. Tectonophysics, 389 (3-4), 267-307. (doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2004.01.008).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Systematic analysis of a grid of 3450 km of multichannel seismic reflection lines from the Solomon Islands constrains the late Tertiary sedimentary and tectonic history of the Solomon Island arc and its convergent interaction with the Cretaceous Ontong Java oceanic plateau (OJP). The OJP, the largest oceanic plateau on Earth, subducted beneath the northern edge of the Solomon arc in the late Neogene, but the timing and consequences of this obliquely convergent event and its role in the subduction polarity reversal process remain poorly constrained. The Central Solomon intra-arc basin (CSB), which developed in Oligocene to Recent time above the Solomon arc, provides a valuable record of the tectonic environment prior to and accompanying the OJP convergent event and the subsequent arc polarity reversal. Recognition of regionally extensive stratigraphic sequences—whose ages can be inferred from marine sedimentary sections exposed onland in the Solomon Islands—indicate four distinct tectonic phases affecting the Solomon Island arc. Phase 1: Late Oligocene–Late Miocene rifting of the northeast-facing Solomon Island arc produced basal, normal-fault-controlled, asymmetrical sequences of the CSB; the proto-North Solomon trench was probably much closer to the CSB and is inferred to coincide with the trace of the present-day Kia-Kaipito-Korigole (KKK) fault zone; this protracted period of intra-arc extension shows no evidence for interruption by an early Miocene period of convergent “soft docking” of the Ontong Java Plateau as proposed by previous workers. Phase 2: Late Miocene–Pliocene oblique convergence of the Ontong Java Plateau at the proto-North Solomon trench (KKK fault zone) and folding of the CSB and formation of the Malaita accretionary prism (MAP); the highly oblique and diachronous convergence between the Ontong Java plateau and the Solomon arc terminates intra-arc extension first in the southeast (Russell subbasin of the CSB) during the Late Miocene and later during the Pliocene in the northwest (Shortland subbasin of the CSB); folds in the CSB form by inversion of normal faults formed during Phase 1; Phinney et al. [Sequence stratigraphy, structural style, and age of deformation of the Malaita accretionary prism (Solomon arc-Ontong Java Plateau convergent zone)] show a coeval pattern of southeast to northwest younging in folding and faulting of the MAP. Phase 3: Late Pliocene–early Pleistocene arc polarity reversal and subduction initiation at the San Cristobal trench. Effects of this event in the CSB include the formation of a chain of volcanoes above the subducting Australia plate at the San Cristobal trench, the formation of the broad synclinal structure of the CSB with evidence for truncation at the uplifted flanks, and widespread occurrence of slides and “seismites” (deposits formed by seismic shaking). Phase 4: Pleistocene to Recent continued shortening and synclinal subsidence of the CSB. Continued Australia-Pacific oblique plate convergence has led to deepening of the submarine, elongate basin axis of the synclinal CSB and uplift of the dual chain of the islands on its flanks.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: Central Solomon intra-arc basin, Solomon arc, Oceanic plateau, Subduction polarity reversal

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 52444
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/52444
ISSN: 0040-1951
PURE UUID: 213f92d2-8f02-4340-b98e-0258384a9e3d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Jun 2008
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:42

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: S. Cowley
Author: P. Mann
Author: M.F. Coffin
Author: T.H. Shipley

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×