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Deciphering of six blocks of Gondwanan origin within Eastern Indonesia (South East Asia)

Abstract : The French Indonesian research programs, both conducted on land and offshore in the Banda Sea basins area, have led us to formulate a new interpretation of the East Indonesian geological components. In this area we distinguish, within the three main tectonic plates (Eurasian, Indo-Australian and Philippine-Pacific), seven blocks. Six blocks are deciphered as issued from the north-eastern Gondwanan margin and only one (the Halmahera block) issued from the Pacific plate. Among the Gondwanan blocks, two of them, namely Timor (probably originates from "Greater India") and Kolonodale (or the Argo block) came from the north-west Australian margin. The Lucipara, Seram and Banggai-Sula blocks originated from the western extension of the Papua-New Guinea Island while the Irian Jaya block is still linked to the North Australian margin. The last one, the Halmahera block, originated from the Pacific plate, moved westward along the North Papua-New-Guinea margin up to its present position in the northern part of the Banda Sea area. Our interpretation is mainly based on the lithostratigraphic succession, the geological evolution and the Early Mesozoic paleoposition of these blocks with respect to the climatic environment deduced from micropaleontological studies. According to previous studies, the Timor and Kolonodale blocks were detached from Gondwana during the Jurassic whereas the Lucipara, Seram and Banggai-Sula blocks were detached from Papua-New Guinea Island during the Neogene period. All these Gondwanan blocks collided with the Eurasian active margin, in the vicinity of Sulawesi Island: Timor and Kolonodale had joined the Eurasian margin by the end of the Paleogene, while Lucipara, Seram and Banggai-Sula collided with Sulawesi Island between the Middle Miocene to Middle Pliocene. After the collisions the last three blocks together with the Kolonodale block did not move again but suffered the opening of North and South Banda back-arc basins, by the Late Miocene. On the contrary, part of the Timor block moved south together with the southern margin of the south Banda basin and, later on during the middle Pliocene, collided with the northern Australian margin. The detachment of these blocks from the Gondwana margin, and their amalgamation with the Eurasian margin, are discussed and illustrated through palaeogeographic maps.
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Michel Villeneuve, Rossana Martin, Hervé Bellon, Jean-Pierre Réhault, Jean-Jacques Cornée, et al.. Deciphering of six blocks of Gondwanan origin within Eastern Indonesia (South East Asia). Gondwana Research, Elsevier, 2010, 18 (2-3), pp.420-437. ⟨10.1016/j.gr.2009.12.011⟩. ⟨insu-00462636⟩

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