Characterization of the proto-Philippine Sea Plate: Evidence from the emplaced oceanic lithospheric fragments along eastern Philippines

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The proto-Philippine Sea Plate (pPSP) has been proposed by several authors to account for the origin of the Mesozoic supra-subduction ophiolites along the Philippine archipelago. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the ophiolites in the eastern portion of the Philippines is undertaken. Available data on the geology, ages and geochemical signatures of the oceanic lithospheric fragments in Luzon (Isabela, Lagonoy in Camarines Norte, and Rapu-Rapu island), Central Philippines (Samar, Tacloban, Malitbog and Southeast Bohol), and eastern Mindanao (Dinagat and Pujada) are presented. Characteristics of the Halmahera Ophiolite to the south of the Philippines are also reviewed for comparison. Nearly all of the crust-mantle sequences preserved along the eastern Philippines share Early to Late Cretaceous ages. The geochemical signatures of mantle and crustal sections reflect both mid-oceanic ridge and supra-subduction signatures. Although paleomagnetic information is currently limited to the Samar Ophiolite, results indicate a near-equatorial Mesozoic supra-subduction zone origin. In general, correlation of the crust-mantle sequences along the eastern edge of the Philippines reveal that they likely are fragments of the Mesozoic pPSP.