Scientific article

Upper Triassic carbonate deposits of Seram (Indonesia): palaeogeographic and geodynamic implications

Published inPalaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, vol. 206, no. 1-2, p. 75-102
Publication date2004

The Upper Triassic limestones of central and western and Seram, were deposited on an extensive carbonate platform, already identified in various localities all around the Banda Sea: Sinta Ridge, central–east Sulawesi, Buru, Misool and the Wombat Plateau (off NW Australia). The Triassic deposits are found in the parautochthonous, as well as in the allochthonous series of Seram; the facies of the two series are of Gondwanian–Australian type in the Parautochthonous and of Laurussian–Asian type in the Allochthonous. The Asinepe Limestone (=Manusela Formation), on which this study is based, has been considered as part of the allochthonous series. The Triassic reefal lithotypes can be divided into four main facies, as follows: (1) the boundstone facies forming the buildup cores; (2) the oncolitic grainstone-rudstone facies, indicating high energy conditions; (3) foraminiferal packstone-grainstone facies, characteristic of moderate to high energy conditions; and (4) the foraminiferal-megalodont mudstone facies, inferred to have accumulated in a quiet lagoonal environment. Forming the buildup cores of about 4 m long, 2 m high; they are separated by depressions filled with reef detrital sands; The Asinepe Limestone was deposited during the Late Triassic (Carnian–Norian to Rhaetian). This range is corroborated by foraminiferal and palynological data, and the coral framebuilders give evidence for a Norian–Rhaetian age. There is a some consensus that Seram and the Island of Buru, located west of Seram, belong to the same tectonic block (Seram-Buru Block). According to geochemical and geodynamic interpretations, the Seram-Buru Block is derived from Irian Jaya or from Papua New Guinea. The palynological results are consistent with reconstructions that place the Seram-Buru Block in a palaeogeographic zone distinct from that of Sulawesi, and therefore from the Kolonodale Block. For these reasons, it is here proposed that, during the Upper Triassic, the Seram-Buru Block and the Kolonodale Block were two separated entities, the former located in a more tropical position than the latter. In addition, the Seram palynological association shows a composite microflora of the warm Onslow and the cold Ipswich-types, suggesting that the Seram microcontinent moved progressively to the north and crossed the boundary between the temperate and the warm subequatorial belts at one point in the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic.

  • Seram
  • Upper Triassic
  • Reefal carbonates
  • Foraminifers
  • Corals
  • Palynomorphs
  • Palaeobiogeography
  • Plate tectonics
Citation (ISO format)
MARTINI, Rossana et al. Upper Triassic carbonate deposits of Seram (Indonesia): palaeogeographic and geodynamic implications. In: Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 2004, vol. 206, n° 1-2, p. 75–102. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2003.12.020
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0031-0182

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