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Gravity field and structure of the Sorong Fault Zone, eastern Indonesia

Sardjono; (1998) Gravity field and structure of the Sorong Fault Zone, eastern Indonesia. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Gravity surveys along coastlines of islands in the region Banggai-Sula, Eastern Sulawesi, Halmahera, Bacan and Obi were carried out as part of the Sorong Fault Zone Project. Results of the Surveys were integrated with gravity data previously acquired by other projects, including on-land gravity data from the Bird Head area Irian Jaya (Dow et al 1986), Seram Island (Milsom 1977), Buru Island (Oemar and Reminton 1993) and Central Sulawesi (Silver et al. 1983) as well as marine gravity information within and surrounding the Sorong Fault Zone (Bowin et al. 1980). Gravity expeditions of the Sorong Fault Zone Project also include measurements in Mayu Island and the island group of Talaud, situated further north in the Central Molucca Sea region. A total of one hundred and forty two gravity data were acquired in the region of Banggai-Sula islands, forty seven in eastern part of Central Sulawesi, about four hundred in Halmahera, Bacan and Obi, and seventy nine in Mayu and Talaud. Surveys in the eastern part of Central Sulawesi were carried out for the purpose of tieing the older gravity data obtained from Silver et al. (1983) and the more recent data of the Sorong Fault Zone Project. About one thousand thirty hundred and thirty gravity data were acquired as part of the Irian Jaya Geological Mapping Project (IJGMP) in the period of 1978-1983, a project commissioned by the Indonesian Geological Research and Development Centre (GRDC) and the Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources (BMR). The remoteness of the survey areas of the Sorong Fault Zone Project necessitated a careful planning for travel arrangements and provision of logistics. A wide range of magnitude of gravity field was observed in the Sorong Fault Zone, extending from values below -250 mGal recorded in the southern part of the Molucca Sea to values in excess of +320 mGal measured near to sea level in the coastal areas south of Mangole and north of Sulabesi, the two islands of the Sula Group. Steep gradients of free-air gravity were observed in south of Mangole (about 13 mGal/km) and west of Obi (about 15 mGal/km) but elsewhere were gentler. Analyses of gravity data along the Sorong Fault Zone in the region of Barggal-Sula Islands controlled in part by geological, reflection seismic and sidescan sonar data, have produced four models which suggest that the crustal structures beneath the zone consist predominantly of attenuated continental fragments, juxtaposed to thick layer of tectonic melange and anomalous oceanic crusts. The continental fragments appear to be severely attenuated and limited in extent in the east but thicker and wider towards the west. The tectonic melange is underlain by deep seated oceanic crust in the Molucca Sea region. The anomalously thin North Banda Sea crust appears to underlie a very thin layer of sediments and to have suffered some degree of arching. The deep seated oceanic crust and the thick layer of tectonic melange are interpreted as the result of the sinking of the lithospheric plate of the Molucca Sea. The descent of this plate may have produced bending forces which may have initiated flexure which propagates through the surrounding region. Depending on the rigidity of the crustal slab, arching and fracturing may have occurred in the crustal rocks. The arching of the oceanic crust of the North Banda Sea may have been one result of this process. The continental fragments of the Banggai-Sula region appear to dip northwards and this may, in addition to the effect of shear tectonics along the Sorong Fault Zone, also be interpreted as the response of the continental fragments to the sinking of the lithospheric plate of the Molucca Sea. In the Obi region, the gravity data suggest that most of the island is underlain by peridotitic and basaltic rocks. Continental crust appears to form the basement in the south and extend offshore south of the island and juxtaposed to oceanic rock. The ultramafic and basic rocks appear to be emplaced on Obi by a high angle reverse fault which separates the continental block in the south from the oceanic material in the north. The exposed basaltic rocks could be a remnant of the oceanic crust of the Philippine Sea Plate.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Gravity field and structure of the Sorong Fault Zone, eastern Indonesia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Earth sciences; Fault zones; Gravity fields; Indonesia
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101405
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