Petrographic and age analysis of sandstones, detailed structural analysis and gravity modeling were conducted to investigate the origin of the Gondwana Sequence in the Timor Region, and to better constrain the tectonic evolution of the active Banda Arc. Our field studies and U/Pb zircon age analysis helped assign most units to either Asian or Australian affinity. Detrital zircon from uplifted Banda forearc units (Asian affinity) have U/Pb ages as young as 80 Ma (Standley and Harris, in press). In contrast, analysis of detrital zircon from Gondwana Sequence sandstones accreted to the Banda Arc from Savu to East Timor are no younger than 234.6 ± 4.0 Ma, and have peak ages at 301 Ma and 1873 Ma with some Archean ages. These age constraints provide a reliable new application for distinguishing rocks units as Asian or Australian affinity. Petrographic and provenance analysis of Triassic Australian affinity greywacke units yield QFL abundances consistent with a proximal, syn-rift, intracratonic or recycled orogen source, from the northeast. The Mount Isa region to the east has the most similar peak U/Pb zircon ages to the Gondwana Sequence. However an extension of this terrane to the west, which would have rifted away during Jurassic breakup, is required to account for the immaturity of the sandstones. Structural measurements of Gondwana Sequence units accreted to the Banda Arc show a northwest - southeast paleo and current maximum stress direction, and vergence mostly to the southeast. Individual thrust sheets are 3 km thick and account for 50% total shortening. The deformational grain of Timor is a hybrid of the east-west strike of Banda Arc and northeast-southwest strike of incoming Australian continental margin structures. The Banda forearc, which is 200 km wide north of Savu, progressively narrows towards East Timor. In order to constrain the location of the forearc, three area-balanced structural models were tested against the gravity field of the Banda Arc. The best fit model requires internal shortening and under-stacking of the forearc beneath the arc, which may account for the cessation of volcanism and uplifted coral terraces north of East Timor.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Geological Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





Timor, Banda Arc, Banda Orogen, Structure, Tectonics, Gravity Modeling, Gondwana Sequence, Provenance



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Geology Commons