The formation and tectonic evolution of Philippine Sea Plate and KPR

  • Yinxia Fang
  • Jiabiao Li
  • Mingbi Li
  • Weiwei Ding
  • Jie Zhang


The Philippine Sea Plate has an extremely special tectonic background. As an oceanic plate, it is almost entirely surrounded by subduction zones with complex internal tectonic features. On the basis of enormous published literature, this paper offers a comprehensive overview of the tectonic and evolution history of the Philippine Basin and the Kyushu-Palau Ridge (KPR) in the Philippine Sea Plate, and discusses the geological features of KPR. Referring to relevant definitions of various “ridges” stipulated in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, so the KPR is believed to be a remnant arc formed during the opening of the Parece Vela and Shikoku Basins in the Philippine Sea Plate. It is a submarine ridge on oceanic plate rather than a submarine elevation. And thus, it is not a natural component of the Japan continental margin.

Key words

Philippine Sea Plate West Philippine Basin KPR submarine ridge 


  1. Hall R. 1997. Cenozoic plate tectonic reconstructions of SE Asia, in Petroleum Geology of Southeast Asia. In: Matthews, Murphy, eds. Geol Soc Spec Publ, 126: 11–23Google Scholar
  2. Hall R. 2001. Cenozoic geological and plate tectonic evolution of SE Asia and the SW Pacific: Changing patterns of land and sea, in Faunal and Floral Migrations and Evolution in SE Asia-Australia. In: Matcalfe I, et al., eds. 35–56Google Scholar
  3. Hall R. 2002. Cenozoic geological and plate evolution of SE Asian and the SW Pacific: computer-based reconstructions, model and animations. Journal of Asian Earth Science, 20: 353–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hall R, Ali J R, Anderson C D. 1995a. Cenozoic motion of the Philippine Sea Plate: Paleomagnetic evidence from eastern Indonesia. Tectonics, 14: 1117–1132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hall R, Jason R Ali, Charles D Anderson, et al. 1995b. Origin and motion history of the Philippine Sea Plate. Tectonophysic, 251: 229–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Haraguchi S, Ishii T, Kimura J I, et al. 2003. Formation of tonalite from basaltic magma at the Komahashi-Daini Seamount, northern KPR in the Philippine Sea, and growth of Izu-Bonin (Bonin)-Mariana arc crust. Contrib Mineral Petrol, 145: 151–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hilde T W C, Lee C S. 1984. Origin and evolution of the West Philippine Basin: a new interpretation. Tectonophysics, 102: 85–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jolivet L, Huchon P, Rangin C. 1989. Tectonic setting of Western Pacific marginal basins. Tectonophysics, 160: 23–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kazuo Kobayashi. 2004. Origin of the Palau and Yap trench-arc systems. Geophys J Int, 157: 1303–1315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kinoshite H. Details of magnetic polarity transition recorded in sediment core from Deep Sea Drilling Project site 445, Philippine Sea. In: Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington D. C., 1980 (58): 769–775Google Scholar
  11. Kyoko Okino, et al. 1999. The Philippine Sea: New survey results reveal the structure and the history of the marginal basins. Geophysical Search Letter, 26(15): 2287–2290Google Scholar
  12. Lee T-Y, Lawver L A. 1995. Cenozoic plate reconstruction of Southeast Asia. Tectonophysics, 251: 85–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lewis S D, Hayes D E, Mrozowski C L. 1982. The origin of the west Philippine basin by inter-arc spreading, Geology and tectonics of Luzon and Marianas region. In: Blace G R, Zanoria F. Proceedings of CCOPIOC-SEATAR Workshop, Manila Philippines. Spec Publ, 1: 31–51Google Scholar
  14. Louden K E. 1976. Magnetic anomalies in the West Philippine Basin, in The Geophysics of the Pacific Ocean Basin and its Margins. In: Sutton G H, Manghnani M H, Moberly R, eds. Geophys Monogr Ser v19. Washington D C: AGU, 253–267Google Scholar
  15. Louden K E. 1977. Paleomagnetism of DSDP sediments, phase shifting of magnetic anomalies and rotations of the West Philippine Basin. J Geophys Res, 82: 2989–3002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maria S, Walrer R R, Müller R D. 2004. An expression of Philippine Sea Plate rotation: the Parece Vela and Shikoku Basins. Tectonophysic, 394: 69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mrozowski C L, Lewis S D, Hayes D E. 1982. Complexities in the tectonic evolution of the West Philippine Basin. Tectonophysics, 82: 1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Okino K, Kasuga S, Ohara Y. 1998. A new scenario of the Parece Vela Basin genesis. Marine Geophysical Researches, 20: 21–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Okino K, Ohara Y, Kasuga S, et al. 1999. The Philippine Sea: New survey results reveal the structure and the history of the marginal basins. Geophys Res Lett, 26(15): 2287–2290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rangin C, Silver E, et al. 1990. Site 769. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program. Initial Reports, 124: 299–342Google Scholar
  21. Seno T, Maruyama S. 1984. Paleogeographic construction and origin of the Philippine Sea. Tectonophysics, 102: 53–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Symonds P A, Coffin M F, Taft G, et al. 2000. Ridge issues. In: Cook PJ and Carleton C M. Continental Shelf Limits-the Scientific and Legal Interface. New York: Oxford University Press, 285–307Google Scholar
  23. Uyeda S, Ben-Avraham Z. 1972. Origin and development of the Philippine Sea. Nature, 240: 176–178Google Scholar
  24. Uyeda S, McCabe R. 1983. A possible mechanism of episodic spreading of the Philippine Sea, in Accretion Tectonics in the Circum-Pacific Regions: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Accretion Tectonics, September 1981, Tomakomai, Japan. In: Hashimoto M, Uyeda S, eds. Norwell, Mass: Reidel D, 291–306Google Scholar
  25. Sharp W D, Clague D A. 2006. 50-Ma initiation of Hawaiian-Emperor bend records major change in Pacific Plate motion. Science, 313: 1281–1284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yamashita M, Tsuru T, Takahashi N, et al. 2007. Fault configuration produced by initial arc rifting in the Parece Vela Basin as deduced from seismic reflection data. Island Arc, 16: 338–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yinxia Fang
    • 1
  • Jiabiao Li
    • 1
  • Mingbi Li
    • 1
  • Weiwei Ding
    • 1
  • Jie Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.The Second Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations