Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Early Permian radiolarians from the extension of the Sa Kaeo Suture in Cambodia – tectonic implications


A reconnaissance survey of part of western Cambodia has found quarries in and near the town of Pailin containing chert, basalt, volcaniclastic rocks, gabbro and serpentinite. Abandoned quarries contain chert and basalt clasts in a volcaniclastic matrix and may constitute a mélange. A new, recently active, quarry contains these rock units in close and coherent contact but they lack the serpentinitic matrix of the Thung Kabin Mélange of eastern Thailand. The rock units are in close contact and may best be described collectively as a dismembered ophiolite. The mélange–ophiolite association constitutes a 3 km wide, 20 km long E–W belt separating a northern 200 km2 block of the mainly amphibolitic Pailin Crystalline Complex from a southern area of Triassic submarine fan siliciclastic rocks. The cherts yield the first documented radiolarian fauna from Cambodia and include a moderately well-preserved Asselian–Sakmarian age fauna consisting of Pseudoalbaillella sakmarensis, Pseudoalbaillella scalprata morphotype scalprata, Pseudoalbaillella sp. cf. P. simplex, Pseudoalbaillella u-forma morphotype II, Pseudoalbaillella sp. cf. P. elegans, Pseudoalbaillella sp. cf. P. lomentaria, Albaillella sp., Pseudoalbaillella spp., Trilonche? sp., Latentifistularia gen. et sp. indet. and Entactinaria gen. et sp. indet. The Pailin ophiolitic rocks, mélange and volcanic rocks occur within a generally E–W-trending belt, which suggests that the Sa Kaeo Suture does not extend southeastwards paralleling the Thai–Cambodian border, nor extend under the Cardamom Mountains but, rather, extends eastwards into Cambodia and possibly then turns southwards along the strike of the Pursat–Kampot Fold Belt.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence:
Hide All
AltermannW. 1989. The Permo-Carboniferous facies development in Thailand: a plate-tectonic discussion. Comptes Rendus des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences (Paris) 4, 119–26.
ArboitF., CollinsA. S., MorleyC. K., KingR. & AmrouchK. 2016. Detrital zircon analysis of the southwest Indochina terrane, central Thailand: unravelling the Indosinian orogeny. Geological Society America Bulletin 128, 1024–43.
BunopasS. 1982. Palaeogeographic history of western Thailand and adjacent parts of South East Asia–a plate tectonics interpretation. Geological Survey of Thailand Special Paper 5, 1810.
BerrangéJ. & JobbinsE. 1976. The geology, gemmology, mining methods and economic potential of the Pailin ruby and sapphire gemfield, Khmer Republic. British Geological Survey, Overseas Division Report 35, 168.
BlomeC. D. & ReedK. M. 1992. Permian and Early (?) Triassic radiolarian faunas from the Grindstone terrane, central Oregon. Journal of Paleontology 66, 351–83.
BurrettC. F., Zaw Khin, MeffreS., LaiC. K., KhositanontS., ChaodumrongP., UdchachonM., EkinsS. & HalpinJ. 2014. The configuration of Greater Gondwana—evidence from U–Pb geochronology of detrital zircons from the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic of Southeast Asia and China. Gondwana Research 26, 3151.
BurrettC., UdchachonM., ThassanapakH. & ChitnarinA. 2015. Conodonts, radiolarians and ostracodes from the Permian E-lert Formation, Loei Fold Belt, Indochina Terrane. Geological Magazine 152,106–42.
ChaodumrongP., BookanpayN. & SeeyunghanN. 2010. Field Guide to Eastern Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Bureau Geological Survey, Department of Mineral Resources (in Thai).
ChutakositkanonV. & HisadaK. 2008. Tectono-stratigraphy of the Sa Kaeo–Chantaburi accretionary complex, eastern Thailand: reconstruction of tectonic evolution of oceanic plate–Indochina collision. In Proceedings of the International Symposia on Geoscience Resources and Environments of Asian Terranes (GREAT 2008) (eds Choowong M. & Thitimakorn T.), pp. 330–38. Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
CornellW. & SimpsonR. D. 1985. New Permian albaillellid radiolarians from West Texas. Micropaleontology 31, 271–9.
DeflandreG. 1952. Albaillela nov. gen., Radiolaire fossile du Carbonifere inferieur, type d'une lignite aberrante teinte. Comptes Rendus des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences (Paris) 234, 872–4.
DeflandreG. 1953. Radiolaires fossils. In Traite de Zoologie volume 1 (ed. Grasse P. D.), pp. 398436. Paris: Masson.
De WeverP., DumitricaP., CauletJ. P., NigriniC. & CaridroitM. 2001. Radiolarians in the Sedimentary Record. Singapore: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
DottinO. & ZinsznerB. 1972. Feuille Pothisat, 1:200,000. Paris, France: Bureau de Récherches Géologiques et Minieres (BRGM).
EhrenbergC. G. 1838. Uber die Bildung der Kreidefelsen und des Kreidmergels durch unsichtbare Organismen. Abhandlungen der Konigliche Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin Jahrgang 1838, 59147.
FontaineH. 2002. Permian of Southeast Asia: an overview. Journal of Asian Earth Science 20, 567–88.
FontaineH. & WorkmanD. 1978. Review of the geology and mineral resources of Kampuchea, Laos and Vietnam. In Third Regional Conference on Geology and Mineral Resources of Southeast Asia (ed. Nutalaya P.), pp. 54603. Bangkok, Thailand.
GublerJ. 1935. Études géologiques au Cambodge occidental. Bulletin du service géologique de l'Indochine 22 (3), 1174.
HadaS., BunopasS., IshiiK. & YoshikuraS. 1997. Rift–drift history of Shan–Thai and Indochina/East Malaya blocks. In The International Conference on Stratigraphy and Tectonic Evolution of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific (ed. Dheeradilok P.), pp. 105–18. Bangkok, Thailand.
HattoriI. & YoshimaruM. 1982. Lithofacies distribution and radiolarian fossils in the Nanjo area in Fukui prefecture, central Japan. News of Osaka Micropaleontologists Special Volume 5, 103–16 (in Japanese).
HoldsworthB. K. 1966. Radiolaria from the Namurian of Derbyshire. Palaeontology 9, 319–29.
HoldsworthB. K. 1969. Namurian Radiolaria of the genus Ceratoikiscum from Staffordshire and Derbyshire, England. Micropaleontology 15, 221–9.
HoldsworthB. K. 1977. Paleozoic Radiolaria; stratigraphic distribution in Atlantic borderlands. In Stratigraphic Micropaleontology of Atlantic Basins and Borderlands (ed. Swain F. M.), pp. 167–84. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
HoldsworthB. K. & JonesD. L. 1980. Preliminary radiolarian zonation for Late Devonian through Permian time. Geology 8, 281–5.
IshidaK. 1985. Discovery of Permian radiolarians from the pelitic rocks in the Middle Zone of the Chichibu Belt in eastern part of Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku. The Journal of the Geological Society of Japan 91, 155–6 (in Japanese).
IshigaH. 1982. Late Carboniferous and Early Permian radiolarians from the Tamba Belt, Southwest Japan. Earth Science (Chikyu Kagaku) 36, 333–9.
IshigaH. 1983. Morphological change in the Permian Radiolaria, Pseudoalbaillella scalprata in Japan. Transactions and Proceedings of the Palaeontological Society of Japan, new series 129, 18.
IshigaH. 1986. Late Carboniferous and Permian radiolarian biostratigraphy of southwest Japan. Journal of Geoscience, Osaka City University 29, 89100.
IshigaH. 1990. Paleozoic radiolarians. In Pre-Cretaceous Terranes of Japan (eds Ichikawa K., Mizutani S., Hara I., Hada S. & Yao A.), pp. 285–95. Osaka, Japan: Nihon–Insatsu.
IshigaH. & ImotoN. 1980. Some Permian radiolarians in the Tamba District, Southwest Japan. Earth Science (Chikyu Kagaku) 34, 333–45.
IshigaH., ImotoN., YoshidaM. & TanabeT. 1984. Early Permian radiolarians from the Tamba Belt, southwest Japan. Earth Science (Chikyu Kagaku) 38, 4452.
IshigaH., KitoT. & ImotoN. 1982. Permian radiolarian biostratigraphy. News of Osaka Micropaleontologists, Special Volume 5, 1726.
IshiiK., KatoM. & NakamuraK. 1969. Permian limestones of west Cambodia–lithofacies and biofacies. Palaeontological Society of Japan Special Paper 14, 4155.
IsozakiY. & TamuraH. 1989. Late Carboniferous and Early Permian radiolarians from the Nagato Tectonic Zone and their implication to geologic evolution of the Inner Zone, southwest Japan. The Memoirs of the Geological Society of Japan 33, 167–76 (in Japanese with English abstract).
JasinB. 2008. Some Permian radiolarians from Bukit Yoi, Pokok Sena, Kedah. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia 54, 53–8.
JasinB. & AliC. A. 1997. Lower Permian Radiolaria from the Pos Blau area, Ulu Kelantan, Malaysia. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 15, 327–39.
JasinB. & HarunZ. 2011. Radiolarian biostratigraphy of peninsular Malaysia–an update. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia 57, 2738.
Zaw Khin, MeffreS., LaiC., BurrettC., SantoshM., GrahamI., ManakaT., SalamA., KamvongT. & CromieP. 2014. Tectonics and metallogeny of mainland Southeast Asia — a review and contribution. Gondwana Research 26, 530.
KozurH. W. 1981. Albaillellidea (Radiolaria) aus dem Unterperm des Vorurals. Geologisch–Paläontologische Mitteilungen Innsbruck 10, 263–74.
KozurH. & MostlerH. 1989. Radiolarien und Schwammskleren aus dem Unterperm des Vorurals. Geologische–Paläeontologische Mitteilungen Innsbruck 2, 147275.
KuriharaT. & KametakaM. 2008. Radiolaria-dated Lower Permian clastic-rock sequence in the Fukuji area of the Hida-gaien terrane, central Japan, and its inter-terrane correlation across Southwest Japan. Island Arc 17, 531–45.
KuwaharaK. 1992. Late Carboniferous to Early Permian radiolarian assemblages from Miyagawa area, Mie prefecture, Japan. News of Osaka Micropaleontologists 8, 17 (in Japanese with English abstract).
LingH. Y. & ForsytheR. D. 1987. Late Paleozoic pseudoalbaillellid radiolarians from southernmost Chile and their geologic significance. In Gondwana Six: Structure, Tectonics, and Geophysics (ed. McKenzie G. D.), pp. 253260. American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph vol. 40. Washington, DC, USA.
LingH. Y., ForsytheR. D. & DouglassR. C. 1985. Late Paleozoic microfaunas from southernmost Chile and their relation to Gondwanaland forearc development. Geology 13, 357–60.
MetcalfeI. 1996. Gondwanaland dispersion, Asian accretion and evolution of eastern Tethys. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 43, 605–23.
MorleyC. K., AmpaiwanP., ThanudamrongS., KuenphanN. & WarrenJ. 2013. Development of the Khao Khwang fold and thrust belt: implications for the geodynamic setting of Thailand and Cambodia during the Indosinian Orogeny. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 63, 705–19.
MouretC. 1994. Geological history of northeastern Thailand since the Carboniferous relations with Indochina and Carboniferous–early Cenozoic evolution model. In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Stratigraphic Correlation of Southeast Asia (eds Angsuwathana P., Wongwanich T., Tansathein W., Wongsomsak S. & Tulyatid J.), pp. 132–58. Bangkok, Thailand: Department of Mineral Resources.
MüllerJ. 1858. Über die Thalassicollen, Polycystinen und Acanthometren des Mittelmeeres. Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Jahrgang 1858, 162.
NazarovB. B. & OrmistonA. R. 1993. New biostratigraphically important Paleozoic Radiolaria of Eurasia and North America. In Radiolaria of Giant and Subgiant Fields in Asia (eds Blueford J. & Murchey B.), pp. 2260. Micropaleontology Press, Special Publication no. 6.
NieX., FengQ., MetcalfeI., BaxterA. & LiuG. 2016. Discovery of a Late Devonian magmatic arc in the southern Lancanjiang zone, western Yunnan: geochemical and zircon–Pb geochronological constraints on the evolution of Tethyan ocean basins in SW China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 118, 3250.
NuchanongT. 2014. Geology of Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Department of Mineral Resources.
OrmistonA. R. & BabcockL. 1979. Follicucullus, new radiolarian genus from the Guadalupian (Permian) Lamar Limestone of the Delaware Basin. Journal of Paleontology 53, 328–34.
OrmistonA. R. & LaneH. R. 1976. A unique radiolarian fauna from the Sycamore Limestone (Mississippian) and its biostratigraphic significance. Palaeontographica Abt A 154, 158–80.
PessagnoJ. E. A. & NewportR. L. 1972. A new technique for extracting radiolaria from radiolarian chert. Micropaleontology 18 (2), 231–4.
QianX., FengQ. L., WangY. J., ChonglakmaniC. & MonjaiD. 2016. Geochronological and geochemical constraints on the mafic rocks along the Luang Prabang zone: Carboniferous back-arc setting in northwest Laos. Lithos 245, 6075.
RiddM. & MorleyC. K. 2011. The Khao Yai Fault on the southern margin of the Khorat Plateau and the pattern of faulting in southeast Thailand. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 122, 143–56.
RiedelW. R. 1967. Protozoa, Subclass Actinopoda. In The Fossil Record (eds Harland W. B., Holland C. H., House M. R., Hughes N. F., Reynolds A. B., Rudwick M. J. S., Satterthwaite G. E., Tarlo L. B. H. & Willey E. C.), pp. 291–8. London: The Geological Society of London.
SaesaengseerungD., AgematsuS., SashidaK. & SardsudA. 2009. Discovery of Lower Permian radiolarian and conodont faunas from the bedded chert of the Chanthaburi area along the Sra Kaeo suture zone, eastern Thailand. Paleontological Research 13, 119–38.
SangsomphongA., TulyatidD., ThitimakornT. & CharusiriP. 2013. Tectonic blocks and suture zones of eastern Thailand: evidence from enhanced airborne geophysical analysis. Annals of Geophysics 56, 112.
SashidaK. 1995. Late Carboniferous and Early Permian radiolarian biostratigraphy in the chert block embedded in the Jurassic Kawai Formation, Kanto Mountains, central Japan. Annual Reports of the Institute of Geoscience, University of Tsukuba 21, 3340.
SashidaK., IgoH., AdachiS., UenoK., NakornsriN. & SardsudA. 1998. Late Paleozoic radiolarian faunas from northern and northeastern Thailand. Science Reports of the Institute of Geoscience, University of Tsukuba B 19, 117.
SashidaK., IgoH., HisadaK., NakornsriN. & AmpornmahaA. 1993. Occurrence of Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic Radiolaria in Thailand (preliminary report). Journal of Southeast Asia Earth Sciences 8, 97108.
SashidaK. & NikornsriN. 1997. Lower Permian radiolarian faunas from the Khanu Chert Formation distributed in the Sukhothai area, northern central Thailand. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Stratigraphy and Tectonic Evolution of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific (eds Dheeradilok P., Hinthong C., Chaodumrong P., Putthapiban P., Tansathien W., Utha–aroon W.C., Sattayarak N., Nuchanong T. & Techawan S.), pp. 101–8. Bangkok, Thailand: Department of Mineral Resources.
SashidaK. & SalyapongseS. 2002. Permian radiolarian faunas from Thailand and their paleogeographic significance. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 20 (6), 691701.
ShenS., FengQ., YangW., ZhangZ. & ChonglakmaniC. 2010. Study on the geochemical characteristics of ocean-ridge and ocean island volcanic rocks in the Nan–Uttaradit zone, northern Thailand. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry 29, 175–81.
ShengJ. & WangY. 1985. Fossil radiolaria from Kufeng formation at Longtan, Nanjing. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 24, 171–80.
ShiL., FengQ., ShenJ., ItoT., & ChenZ.-Q. 2016. Proliferation of shallow-water radiolarians coinciding with enhanced oceanic productivity in reducing conditions during the Middle Permian, South China: evidence from the Gufeng Formation of western Hubei Province. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 444, 114.
ShimakawaM., & YaoA. 2006. Lower–Middle Permian radiolarian biostratigraphy in the Qinzhou area, South China. Journal of Geosciences, Osaka City University 49 (3), 3147.
SoneM., MetcalfeI. & ChaodumrongP. 2012. The Chantaburi Terrane of southeastern Thailand: stratigraphic confirmation as a disrupted segment of Sukhothai Arc. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 61, 1632.
SpillerF. C. P. 1996. Late Paleozoic radiolarians from the Bentong-Raub suture zone, Peninsular Malaysia. Island Arc 5, 91103.
SuzukiN., KojimaS., KanoH., YamakitaS., MisakiA., EhiroM., OtohS., KuriharaT. & AoyamaM. 2005. Permian radiolarian faunas from chert in the Khabarovsk Complex, Far East Russia, and the age of each lithologic unit of the Khabarovsk Complex. Journal of Paleontology 79, 687701.
Tara Te Duong. 2006. Petroleum development, a Cambodian perspective: offshore Cambodian areas and onshore Tonle Sap Basin. In 4th Asian Petroleum Technology Symposium, pp 120. Siem Reap, Cambodia.
UenoK. & CharoentitiratT. 2011. Carboniferous and Permian. In The Geology of Thailand (eds Ridd M., Barber A. & Crow M.), pp. 71136. London: The Geological Society of London.
United Nations. 1993. Cambodia Explanatory Brochure. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Atlas of Mineral Resources of the ESCAP Region Volume 10.
WangY., ChengY. & YangQ. 1994. Biostratigraphy and systematics of Permian radiolarians in China. Palaeoworld 4, 172202.
WangY. J. & YangQ. 2011. Biostratigraphy, phylogeny and paleobiogeography of CarboniferousPermian radiolarians in South China. Palaeoworld 20, 134–45.
WielchowskyC. C. & YoungJ. D. 1985. Regional facies variation in Permian rocks of the Phetchabun Fold and Thrust Belt, Thailand. In Proceedings on Geology and Mineral Resources Development of Northeastern Thailand (eds Thanvarachorn P., Hokjaroen S. & Youngme W.), pp. 4155. Khon Kaen University, Thailand.
WuH. R. & LiH. S. 1989. Carboniferous and Permian radiolarian in the Menglian area, western Yunnan. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 6 (4), 337–43.
WuH. R., XianX. Y. & KuangG. D. 1994. Late Paleozoic radiolarian assemblages of southern Guangxi. Scientia Geologica Sinica 29 (4), 339–45 (in Chinese, with English abstract).
XianW. & ZhangN. 1998. Early to Middle Permian radiolarians from the Kuhfeng Formation in southeastern Guangxi, South China. Earth Science (Chikyu Kagaku) 52, 188202.
XieL., YangW. Q., LiuG. C. & FengQ. L. 2011. Late Paleozoic Radiolaria from the Upper Triassic sedimentary mélange in Shangrila, Southwest China and its geological significance. Palaeoworld 20, 203–17.
YangW. Q., FengQ. L., ShenS. Y. & ChonglakmaniC. 2009. Constraints of U–Pb zircon dating on the evolution of the Nan–Uttaradit suture zone in northern Thailand. Acta Geoscientica Sinica 30 (1), 88–9.
YoshidaH. & MurataM. 1985. Permian radiolarian biostratigraphy from the north-eastern part of Saiki City, Oita Prefecture, Japan. Journal of the Geological Society of Japan 91, 525–53 (in Japanese).
ZhaoZ., HuangX., ZhangX., YangB., ChenZ.-Q. & XiongF. 2016. Permian radiolarians from the A'nyemaqen mélange zone in the Huashixia area of Madoi County, Qinghai Province, Western China, and their implications on regional tectonism. Journal of Earth Sciences 27, 623–30.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 19 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 135 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 24th April 2017 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.