14. Late Oligocene to Miocene Reef Formation on Kita-Daito-Jima, Northern Philippine Sea

  1. Maria Mutti2,
  2. Werner Piller3 and
  3. Christian Betzler4
  1. Y. Iryu,
  2. S. Inagaki,
  3. Y. Suzuki and
  4. K. Yamamoto

Published Online: 3 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch14

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

How to Cite

Iryu, Y., Inagaki, S., Suzuki, Y. and Yamamoto, K. (2012) Late Oligocene to Miocene Reef Formation on Kita-Daito-Jima, Northern Philippine Sea, in Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition (eds M. Mutti, W. Piller and C. Betzler), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften Universität Potsdam, Postfach 60 15 53 D-14415 Potsdam, Germany

  2. 3

    Institute for Earth Sciences (Geology & Paleontology) University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 26, A-8010 Graz, Austria

  3. 4

    Geologisch-Palaeontologisches Institut, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany

Author Information

  1. Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aobayama, Sendai, 980-8578, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 5 APR 2012

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 42 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis5,6

Series Editor Information

  1. 5

    School of Geography, Geology and the Environment Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research, Kingston University London, UK

  2. 6

    Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444337914

Online ISBN: 9781118398364



  • Reef;
  • Kita-daito-jima;
  • oxygen isotopes;
  • carbon isotopes;
  • strontium isotopes;
  • sea-level change


An old borehole, 432.7m deep, drilled in 1934 and 1936 on Kita-daito-jima, northern Philippine Sea, reveals the reef evolution on this island during the Late Oligocene to Miocene. Four depositional units have been defined by lithological changes and are numbered sequentially from the top of the hole downward. A linear decrease in known strontium-isotope ages of Unit C4, represented by fine-grained, lagoonal deposits, indicates that reef growth kept pace with tectonic subsidence from 18.6 to 24.4 Ma. Unit C3, composed of locally dolomitized, lagoonal deposits rich in coral clasts, is divided into three subunits (C3c, C3b, C3a) based on lithology, carbon and oxygen stable-isotope compositions, and strontium-isotope ages. Rapid reef growth occurred at ∼16.1Ma and ∼15.5Ma (Subunits C3c and C3b) when, because of sea-level falls, the island returned to a water-depth range (<50 m) at which reef formation could occur. Unit C2 is characterized by abundant branching coral colonies indicative of a very shallow reef environment. Coral fauna in Unit C1 is dominated by tabular and encrusting colonies that are indicative, in present-day reefs, of a middle fore-reef environment. Taking the central-island drilling location into account, it can be inferred that Unit C1 formed on a submerged platform. An age-depth section of Kita-daito-jima combined with known global eustatic curves suggests that Units C1 and C2 may have accumulated during the early Late Miocene. Reef formation on Kita-daito-jima was controlled by the combined effects of sea-level changes and tectonic movements (subsidence and uplift). Two modes of reef formation have been recognized: growth that kept pace with the subsidence of the island; and rapid reef formation that commenced at sea-level falls. The latter indicated that sea-level falls are key events that revived drowned reefs and that reefs are not necessarily specific to warm periods with high sea-levels.