Re-evaluation of the Cablac Limestone at its type area, East Timor: Revision of the Miocene stratigraphy of Timor

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    Abstract

    The Cablac Limestone, widely recorded in Timor, has its type area on Cablac Mountain where it was regarded as a Lower Miocene shallow-marine carbonate-platform succession. The Bahaman-like facies placed in the Cablac Limestone are now known to belong to the Upper Triassic–Lower Jurassic rather than the Lower Miocene. On the northern slopes of Cablac Mountain, a crush breccia, formerly regarded as the basal conglomerate of the formation, is now considered to have developed along a high-angle fault separating Banda Terrane units of Asian affinity from an overthrust limestone stack containing units belonging to the Gondwana and Australian-Margin Megasequences. The Cablac breccia includes rock fragments that were probably derived locally from these tectonostratigraphic units after terrane emplacement and overthrusting. Clasts include peloid and oolitic limestones of the Upper Triassic–Lower Jurassic derived from the Gondwana Megasequence, deep-water carbonate pelagites of the Cretaceous and Paleogene derived from the Australian-Margin Megasequence, Upper Oligocene–Lower Miocene (Te Letter Stage) shallow-water limestone derived from the Banda Terrane, and a younger Neogene calcarenite containing clasts of mixed tectonostratigraphic affinity. There is no evidence for significant sedimentary or tectonic transport of clasts that form the breccia. The clast types and the present understanding of the geological history of Timor suggest that the crush breccia formed late in the Plio-Pleistocene uplift history of Timor. It is not the basal conglomerate of the Cablac Limestone. However, the clasts of an Upper Oligocene–Lower Miocene limestone found in the breccia suggest that a shallow-marine limestone unit of this age either outcrops in the region and has not been detected in the field, or has been eroded completely during late Neogene uplift. The clasts are similar in age and lithology to an Upper Oligocene–Lower Miocene formation that unconformably overlies a metamorphic complex in the Booi region of West Timor, similar to the Lolotoi Metamorphic Complex (Banda Terrane) that is juxtaposed against the crush breccia of Cablac Mountain. The Cablac Limestone at its type area includes a mixed assemblage of carbonate rock units ranging in age from Triassic to Plio-Pleistocene and representing diverse facies. As a formation, the name “Cablac Limestone” should be discarded for a Cenozoic unit. The Upper Oligocene–Lower Miocene shallow-water limestone unit that is typified by outcrops in the Booi region of West Timor, and that has contributed to clasts in the Cablac breccia, is informally named the Booi limestone. It is considered part of the allochthonous Banda Terrane of Asian affinity and represents the only shallow-marine Lower Miocene unit known from Timor. The only other Miocene sedimentary unit known from Timor includes carbonate pelagites – designated the Kolbano beds – probably deposited on an Australian continental terrace at water depths between 1000 and 3000 m. On the northeastern edge of Cablac Mountain, oolitic limestone and associated units of the Gondwana Megasequence, the Kolbano beds of the Australian-Margin Megasequence, and the Booi limestone and associated metasediments of the Banda Terrane were juxtaposed by a Plio-Pleistocene high-angle fault along which the Cablac crush breccia formed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)366-378
    JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
    Volume33
    Issue number5-6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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