This chapter of the bibliography contains about 108 pages with about 848 titles on the Sulawesi region, subdivided in two chapters:

  1. V.1. Sulawesi
  2. V.2. Buton, Tukang Besi

Download pdf - Chapter V. SULAWESI (1.65 MB)

V.1. Sulawesi

Despite a long history of geological studies, monographic publications on the Sulawesi region have never been attempted. Today Sulawesi is at the junction of three major tectonic plates, Eurasia to the west, Pacific to the East and Australia to the South. Its peculiar K-shape reflects a Late Cretaceous- Recent history of subduction and multiple collisions, followed by Miocene and younger extension (Bone Basin, Gorontalo Basin) and strike-slip faulting.

The western and northern arms mainly represent a volcanic arc terrane, with multiple periods of arc volcanism and granitoid intrusions between Late Cretaceous to Miocene and younger, above West and South dipping subduction zones. Reported ages of volcanics are variable, but mean peaks of activity appear to be Late Cretaceous, M Eocene, Late Oligocene- E Miocene and M Miocene and younger.

W-E cross-section  through SW Sulawesi)
W-E cross-section through SW Sulawesi, showing rel. thick Eocene sandstones with coal on 'old slates', grading upward into limestone and intruded by large, young granitoid (Verbeek, 1908).

The West Sulawesi volcanic-plutonic arcs are built on pre-Late Cretaceous accretionary complexes, composed of high-pressure metamorphic rocks and ophiolites (outcrops of Bantimala, Barru, Latimojong basement complexes), which may have formed a single complex with the SE Kalimantan Meratus complex and also the Central Java Luk-Ulo complex (Wakita et al. 1996).

W-E cross-section through SW Sulawesi, showing highly folded Cretaceous, overlain by Eocene clastics with coal and Late Eocene Nummulites limestone', capped by volcanics  ('T Hoen and Ziegler, 1915)
W-E cross-section through SW Sulawesi, showing highly folded Cretaceous, overlain by Eocene clastics with coal and Late Eocene Nummulites limestone', capped by volcanics  ('T Hoen and Ziegler, 1915)

Intensely folded Late Cretaceous 'flysch' is overlain unconformably by less-deformed Eocene clastics with coals, which were surveyed in detail in the early 1900's, but were never deemed commercial. These are overlain by widespread Late Eocene Nummulites platform carbonates, and capped by thick Miocene and younger volcanics.

The tectonics of Sulawesi today is dominated by a few large sinistral strike-slip fault zones (Palu-Koro, Matano and Malili-Kendari). These faults accommodate the NW relative movements of parts of Sulawesi due to the continued convergence of Pacific, Australian and Eurasian Plates after the M Miocene collision of the Bangai-Sula microcontinent (Magetsari et al. 1987, etc.). As documented by paleomagnetic data, this convergence also caused the 60° counterclockwise rotation of the SW arm of Sulawesi (Panjaitan and Mubroto, 1994) and 90° clockwise rotation of the North arm.

This currently active NW-SE relative motion of the Sulawesi region also created young accretionary prisms/ fold-and-thrust belts at the N side of the North Arm (with subduction of Celebes Sea oceanic crust) and at the W side of West Sulawesi (with probable consumption of much of Makassar Straits basin floor below W Sulawesi in the last 10 My; e.g. Pubellier et al. 2005) .

East Sulawesi is characterized by one of the world's largest ophiolite complexes. Age of obduction is believed to be Late Eocene- Early Oligocene. .Below the relatively flat-lying ophiolite cover is a poorly known, but significant Late Triassic- Cretaceous marine sediment section. Milsom et al. (2000) suggested E Sulawesi, Buton, Buru and Seram were parts of a single microcontinent that separated from Australia in the Jurassic and collided with the Eurasian margin to form the Sulawesi orogen in the Oligocene.

Suggested Reading Sulawesi:
General, Tectonics

Abendanon (1916), Audley-Charles (1974), Sukamto (1978), Van Leeuwen (1981), Panjaitan & Mubroto (1993), Magetsari et al. (1987), Parkinson (1998), Villeneuve et al. (2001), Van Leeuwen & Muhardjo (2005), Van Leeuwen et al. (2007, 2010)

C Sulawesi metamorphics

De Roever (1947, 1950, 1953, 1956), Helmers (1991), Parkinson (1998), Kadarusman & Parkinson (2000)

W Sulawesi volcanics

Priadi et al. (1994), Bergman et al. (1996), Polve et al. (1997, 2001), Elburg & Foden (1998, 1999), Soeria-Atmadja et al. (1999), Elburg et al. (2002, 2003)

SW Sulawesi basement

Miyazaki et al. (1996), Wakita et al (1996), Parkinson et al. (1998), Soesilo & Sopaheluwakan (1998), Maulana et al. (2010)

SW Sulawesi Tertiary

'T Hoen & Ziegler (1915), Hasan (1991), Wilson & Bosence (1996), Wilson et al. (2000)

E Sulawesi/ ophiolites

Koolhoven (1930), Kundig (1956), Monnier et al (1994, 1995), Kadarusman et al. (2004)

East/ SE Sulawesi Mesozoic

Cornee et al. (1994, 1995, 1999), Martini et al. (1997), Milsom et al. (2000), Surono (1996), Surono & Bachri (2002)

N Sulawesi volcanic arc

Koperberg (1929), Carlile et al. (1990), Kavalieris et al. (1992).

V.2. Buton, Tukang Besi Islands

Buton and the adjacent Tukang-Besi islands are located at the SE end of SE Sulawesi and are frequently viewed as a small micro-continental plate that collided with East Sulawesi in Miocene time. However, its geology and stratigraphy share many similarities with SE Sulawesi and there is no clear tectonic suture between the two. Both areas have a similar Late Triassic- Paleogene succession (with Buton probably in a more distal position in the Triassic), and both are overlain by remnants of a near-horizontal obducted ophiolite sheet.

W-E cross-section through Tobelo Mts of N Buton
W-E cross-section through Tobelo Mts of N Buton, showing intensely folded Triassic clastics and carbonates and Jurassic- Cretaceous pelagic carbonates, unconformably overlain by Miocene-Pliocene clastics (Hetzel, 1936)

Buton is famous for its Late Triassic oil shales and Tertiary tar sands, which were sourced from these.

Suggested Reading Buton:

Hetzel (1936), Davidson (1991), Smith & Silver (1991), Milsom et al. (1999), Milsom (2000).

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