Geosciences Journal

, 12:7 | Cite as

Tectonic setting of a composite terrane: A review of the Philippine island arc system

  • Graciano P. YumulJr.
  • Carla B. Dimalanta
  • Victor B. Maglambayan
  • Edanjarlo J. Marquez


Features resulting from the interplay of arc magmatism, ophiolite accretion, ocean basin closure and other subsequent tectonic processes are preserved in the Philippine island arc system. Subduction of ocean floor along the trenches surrounding the Philippines is a major factor in shaping the geologic history of this island arc system. Stress-strain relationships, as manifest in both the regional and local setting of the archipelago, are derived from the interaction of at least four major plates: Sundaland, Philippine Mobile Belt, Philippine Sea and, to a certain extent, the Indo-Australian plate. Collision zones in this island arc system are characterized by the involvement of oceanic bathymetric highs (seamounts, spreading ridge, submerged continental fragment). A major strike-slip fault, the Philippine Fault Zone, with compressional and extensional components, traverses the whole archipelago where all excess stress not accommodated by the surrounding trenches is taken up. Tholeiitic through adakitic to calc-alkaline rock suites characterize the different magmatic arcs. Exposed oceanic lithospheric fragments exhibit transitional mid-ocean ridge, back arc basin to island arc geochemical characteristics. The observed crustal thickness in the Philippines resulted from combined magmatic (volcanism) and amagmatic (ophiolite accretion) processes, with the former being the dominant factor.

Key words

tectonics island arc oceanic bathymetric highs subduction ophiolites geophysics Philippines 


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Copyright information

© The Association of Korean Geoscience Societies 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graciano P. YumulJr.
    • 1
  • Carla B. Dimalanta
    • 1
  • Victor B. Maglambayan
    • 1
  • Edanjarlo J. Marquez
    • 2
  1. 1.Tectonics and Geodynamics Group, National Institute of Geological Sciences, College of ScienceUniversity of the PhilippinesDiliman, Quezon CityPhilippines
  2. 2.Department of Physical Sciences and MathematicsUniversity of the PhilippinesManilaPhilippines

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