EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Late Cenozoic sea-level indicators in west Luzon, Philippines

Kathrine Maxwell1,2, Hildegard Westphal1,2,3, Alessio Rovere4,5, and Kevin Garas6,7
Kathrine Maxwell et al.
  • 1Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen, Germany
  • 2University of Bremen, Department of Geosciences, Bremen, Germany
  • 3King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 4Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics - Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy
  • 5MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 6Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), Quezon City, Philippines
  • 7Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Using the framework of the World Atlas of Last Interglacial Shorelines (WALIS), we produced a standardized database of Last Interglacial (LIG) sea-level indicators in Southeast Asia after reviewing available studies on relative sea-level (RSL) proxies such as coral reef terraces and tidal notches in the Philippines; Sulawesi; and Sumba, Timor, and Alor regions. In total, we reviewed 43 unique RSL proxies in the region and highlighted sites for future studies. Following this work, we revisited a site in west Luzon, Philippines where LIG coral reef terraces were previously reported. In this paper, we present new geomorphic and stratigraphic data on the fossil coral reef terraces in Pangasinan, west Luzon which adds to the limited sea-level indicators in the region. The low-lying areas of western Pangasinan are underlain by sequences of calcareous sandstone-mudstone with minor pebbly conglomerate and tuffaceous sandstone units belonging to the Sta. Cruz Formation, with tentative age designation of Late Miocene to Early Pliocene. Unconformably overlying the tentatively assigned sandstone unit of Sta. Cruz Formation is the Plio-Pleistocene Bolinao Limestone, the youngest formational unit in the area. Based on previous literature, a sequence of coral reef terraces (possibly LIG) is cut onto the Bolinao Limestone. Rising to about 14 meters above mean sea level (m amsl) along the coast of western Pangasinan are previously dated Holocene coral reef terraces. While additional data is needed to shed more light on the RSL changes in the region, our work proves to be more challenging due to the difficulties of doing field surveys during a global pandemic. Nonetheless, we hope that data from this research will help us further understand the different drivers of past sea-level changes in SE Asia providing necessary geologic baseline data for projections of sea-level change in the future.

How to cite: Maxwell, K., Westphal, H., Rovere, A., and Garas, K.: Late Cenozoic sea-level indicators in west Luzon, Philippines, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10973,, 2022.