Tandem suturing and disarticulation of the Taiwan orogen revealed by its neotectonic elements
Taiwan's numerous active faults and folds demarcate distinct eastern and western neotectonic belts. The western belt results from the attachment and subsequent detachment of a sliver of continental lithosphere to the Eurasian continental margin. The eastern belt is the product of the same continental sliver docking with and then separating from the Luzon volcanic arc. Thus, the active Taiwan orogen is a tandem suturing and tandem disengagement of a volcanic arc and a continental sliver to and from the Eurasian continental margin. This progressive suturing and separation is a superb, living demonstration of the fundamental weakness of lithospheric sutures. Furthermore, this neotectonic architecture provides the basis for understanding the Taiwan's seismic sources.