Holocene uplifted coral reefs in Lanyu and Lutao Islands to the southeast of Taiwan
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Lanyu and Lutao Islands to the southeast of Taiwan are located in the northern extension of the Luzon Arc. Crustal deformation of these islands provides a key to understand the collision of the Luzon Arc against Taiwan. To clarify the style and the rate of vertical movement during the Holocene, uplifted coral reefs fringing these two islands were investigated. Living corals were also investigated for comparison with fossil corals. It was found that Isopora palifera lives dominantly in the upper slope of the present-day fringing coral reefs in Lanyu Island at an average depth of 101 ± 46 cm (one standard deviation) below mean sea level. Using I. palifera as an accurate indicator of paleo-sea levels, Holocene relative sea-level changes were reconstructed. Lanyu Island has been uplifted continuously at a rate of 2.0 mm yr−1, at least during the late Holocene from 2,269 cal. yr BP to the present. Lutao Island has been uplifted at an average rate of 1.2 mm yr−1, since at least 5,749 cal. yr BP, although it is unclear whether the uplift was continuous. The present observations, combined with the GPS displacement field and deep crustal structure, suggest that the continuous uplift is related to aseismic slip on the Longitudinal Valley Fault.
KeywordsUplifted coral reefs Holocene Isopora palifera Taiwan Tectonics
Mean sea level
Longitudinal Valley Fault
This research was partly funded by the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo. We would like to acknowledge the following people: Professor Y. G. Chen gave valued input on the geology of Lanyu and Lutao Islands, Dr. C. Hongo identified species of fossil corals and reviewed the manuscript, and Mr. A. Kobayashi and Mrs. Y. Isozaki helped with XRD analysis.
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