Microfossils and a U-Pb age dating on zircon grains in the tuff beds exposed in the axial part of the Tsukeng anticline along the Pinglin River in the Western Foothills near Nantou, central Taiwan, show an occurrence of the Eocene volcanics unconformably beneath the uppermost part of the Latest Oligocene Wuchihshan Formation. This is the first discovery of the Eocene tuff exposed in the Western Foothills.The proposed Miocene " Tsukeng Formation" and " Takeng Formation" of Ho et al. (1956) named for sequences exposed in the Nantou area, Western Foothills, have to be abandoned and the standard Oligocene-Miocene lithostratigraphy used commonly in the Western Foothills of northern Taiwan is properly applicable in central Taiwan. The thick pink-brown-green colored volcanics unconformably beneath the uppermost Wuchihshan Formation is named for the first time as the Pinglin Tuff which contains Late Middle Eocene calcareous nannofossils (Zone NP16) consistent with a U-Pb age dating (38.8. ±. 1. Ma) on zircon grains in the tuff. The Pinglin Tuff is overlying the Middle Eocene Chungliao Formation which contains indigenous larger foraminifera Discocyclina dispansa ex. interc. sella-dispansa and calcareous nannofossils of Zones NP14-15. The Middle Eocene Pinglin Tuff and Chungliao Formation represent the Paleogene syn-rift sequence unconformably overlain by the Latest Oligocene-Miocene post-rift sequence. This is the first document with conclusive paleontological data and age dating showing an occurrence of Paleogene marine rift basin exposed in the Western Foothills. This study also confirms similar Tertiary basin architecture between the Taiwan Strait-Pearl River Mouth Basin in the NE South China Sea and the Western Foothills onland central Taiwan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth-Surface Processes