Palaeozoic-Mesozoic history of SE Asia

Ian Metcalfe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    347 Citations (Scopus)


    SE Asia comprises a collage of Gondwana-derived continental blocks assembled by the closure of multiple Tethyan and back-arc ocean basins now represented by suture zones. Two major biogeographical boundaries, the Late Palaeozoic Gondwana-Cathaysia divide and the Cenozoic-Recent Australia-Asia divide (Wallace Line)are present. Palaeozoic and Mesozoic evolution involved the rifting and separation of three collages of continental terranes from eastern Gondwana and the opening and closure of three successive ocean basins, the Palaeo-Tethys (Devonian-Triassic), Meso-Tethys (Permian-Cretaceous) and Ceno-Tethys (Late Triassic-Cenozoic). This led to the opening and closing of ocean gateways and provision of shallow-marine and terrestrial land bridges and stepping-stones for biotic migration. The SE Asia core (Sundaland) comprises a western Sibumasu block, an eastern Indochina-East Malaya block, and the Sukhothai Island Arc terrane between. The Jinghong, Nan-Uttaradit and Sra Kaeo sutures represent the Sukhothai closed back-arc basin. The Palaeo-Tethys is represented by the Changning-Menglian, Chiang Mai/Inthanon and Bentong-Raub suture zones. The West Sumatra and West Burma blocks were accreted to the Sundaland core in the Late Permian-Early Triassic. SW Borneo and/or East Java-West Sulawesi are now identified as the missing 'Argoland' that separated from NW Australia in the Jurassic and accreted to SE Sundaland in the Cretaceous.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe SE Asian gateway
    Subtitle of host publicationhistory and tectonics of the Australia-Asia Collision
    EditorsRobert Hall, Michael Andrew Cottam, Moyra Elizabeth Jane Wilson
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherGeological Society of London
    Number of pages29
    ISBN (Print)9781862393295
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameGeological Society special publication
    PublisherGeological Society of London
    ISSN (Print)0305-8719


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