Tectonic Controls of Volcanism and Complex Movements Along the Sumatran Fault System

Author : M. Posavec, D. Taylor, Th. Van Leeuwen & A. Spector
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 43 – 60
Volume Number : 6
Year : 1973
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm06197305

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 6, Jul, 1973, pp. 43 – 60

Tectonic Controls of Volcanism and Complex Movements Along the Sumatran Fault System


1Lockwood Survey Corporation Ltd., Toronto, Canada

2Conzinc Riotinto Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., P.O. Box 291, Kuala Lumpur

3P.T. Riotinto Bethlehem Indonesia, Kotak Pos 83, Padang, Sumatra Barat, Indonesia


Abstract: Recent geological work within the Contract Area of P.T. Riotinto Bethlehem Indonesia in West Sumatra, including aerial photographic and aeromagnetic surveys by Lockwood Survey Corporation, have yielded much new data on the Sumatran Fault Zone and have revealed its intimate connection with volcanism.

Three major fault zones each characterized by complex wrench, thrust and subordinate normal faulting can be recognized from aerial photographic interpretation. During the Quaternary significant displacements along the Sumatran Fault Zone occurred and are still continuing, and in consequence morphological features and especially drainage patterns are in the closest correspondence to the fracture systems. Strong E-W magnetic lineaments thought to represent major intermediate intrusives at depth are found associated with volcanic centres. Where these lineaments are cut by strands of the fault zones volcanoes are located.

Igneous activity along original E-W alignments and dextral transcurrent faulting along NNW trending zones interact to produce a barrier range of volcanic rocks along the active fault zone with evenly spaced active volcanic centres at 75-100 km. distances along it. The total horizontal shift along the fault is approximately 130 km. since the inception of the present volcanic cycle.

The fault system is thought to be a fundamental fracture whose full explanation is to be sought within the concept of a plate tectonic interpretation of the geology of Southeast Asia.