Provenance of Palawan sandstones and sediment sources to northern Borneo

Mike Cottam, Simon Suggate, Marnie Forster and Andy Carter

Very little is known about the provenance of the sedimentary rocks found in Palawan. It has been suggested than they reflect the region’s origin as part of the South China Margin that rifted away as the South China Sea opened during the Cenozoic. Recent work in northern Borneo suggests that the Palawan region may have acted as a significant sediment source to the region during the Early Miocene. This project aims to further understanding of Palawan’s tectonic history by investigating these issues.

Outcrop of weakly metamorphosed sediments, Central Palawan

Outcrop of weakly metamorphosed sediments, Central Palawan

Key questions include:

  • What is the Provenance of Central Palawan Sandstones
    • Can South China Margin continental detritus be recognised in the sediments of Central Palawan.
  • Did the metamorphic and igneous rocks of Palawan act as a source of sediment for northern Borneo?
    • Were northern Borneo’s young sandstones derived from granitic and metamorphic rocks of the Palawan Microcontinental Block

Samples will be obtained for detrital heavy mineral analysis, provenance dating and detrital garnet compositional analysis. Data will be combined with existing work form Palawan and northern Borneo to give a better understanding on the sedimentary history and tectonic development of the region.