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Evolution of a forearc basin, Luzon central valley, Philippines

The Cenozoic history of the 14 km-thick Luzon Central Valley sequence illustrate
s the development of a forearc basin. Forearc basins are important both as major
sediment traps and as sites of hydrocarbon accumulations. The Luzon basin is fl
oored by oceanic crust on the seaward (western) side and older accreted terranes
on the arc (eastern) side. Initial sedimentation on this oceanic crust occurred
during early Tertiary northward translation and emplacement of the crust as an
ophiolite along a strike-slip or oblique-slip zone. The basal sediments consist
of pelagic limestones and thin ash layers overlain by sandy turbidites derived f
rom uplift and progressive dissection of the opmolite. A sequence of arc-derived
sediments at least 26,000 ft (8 km) thick was shed into the eastern (arc) side
of the basin during late Paleogene to Quaternary convergence along the western m
argin of Luzon. By the middle Miocene, the Central Valley became a continuous, e
longate basin fringed by extensive shelf deposits, along both the uplifted seawa
rd and arc sides of the basin. Detritus shed from both flanks filled the subsidi
ng basin and resulted in progressively shallower depths. Nonmarine deposition be
gan in central portions of the basin in the Pliocene and migrated with time both
north and south along the basin axis. Late Miocene to Holocene movement along t
he Philippine fault zone caused uplift and folding of adjacent parts of the basi
n. Exploration models for the Central Valley predict gasprone hydrocarbon genera
tion in central portions of the basin at times that coincide with and postdate t
he formation of both structural and stratigraphic traps. Previous drilling in th
e basin has either been in areas with thermally immature source rocks or has fai
led to reach prospective intervals where thermal maturation is inferred. The hyd
rocarbon potential has not been determined adequately.
Bachman, S.B. ; Lewis, S.D. ; Schweller, W.J.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol., Bull.; (United States); Journal Volume: 67:
Research Org:
Dept. of Geological Sciences, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY
Country of Publication:
United States