Studies at the Department of Earth Sciences aims to explore the
relationships between the pattern of global tectonics and the nature
and distribution of the Earth's mineral and energy resources.
Myanmar (Burma) is the largest country sited within the SE
Asian peninsula, and has long been known to be rich in
tin-tingsten, copper, gold, zinc, gemstones, oil, gas and coal:
its long history of exploration includes the development of at
least three `world-class' deposits: Bawdwin (lead-zinc), Monywa
(Copper) and Mawchi (Tungsten). The country's complex geology
reflects its siting within the confluence of a number of tectonic
plates, with a collisional history stretching from the Cretaceous
to at least Eocene at the eastern end of the Asian-Indian suture.
It is due to this long and multiple geological and tectonic
history that Myanmar has one of the most diverse and richly
endowed collections of natural resources in SE Asia: simply, the
distribution of ore deposits can be directly related to the
We are taking a multiple approach: building a GIS database of known
outcrops, mines etc in an attempt to relate this to the underlying
geology; sampling the metamorphic belts in order to better
constrain the P-T-t history and relate this into the regional
geology; granite studies and linking this to other work in the SE
Asian Tin belts.
Click here for a PDF
presentation of our GIS database.
We are working with local scientists in an attempt to better
understand this fascinating country.
Malay Tin Granite Belt
Three contrasting granite belts have been defined in South-east
Asia across southern Thailand, the Malay peninsula and Sumatra:
the Western province (Cretaceous I- and S-types), the Central Main
Range province (mainly Triassic S-types) and the Eastern province
(mainly Permo-Triassic I-types). The Phuket suite of granites in
southwest Thailand includes both hornblende- and biotite-bearing
granites and more evolved biotite- and muscovite (± garnet and
tourmaline) granites, interpreted as resulting from fractional
crystallization of a subduction-related granite melt, subsequently
affected by crustal thickening, remobilization and hydrothermal
alteration. Abundant pegmatite veins contain tin-tungsten
mineralization. This project aims to obtain precise U-Th-Pb zircon
and monazite ages from each belt across the Malay tin granite
province. We have preliminary ages from the Phuket tin granites in
SW Thailand, the Central belt granites from Kuala Lumpur
(Malaysia) and the Eastern belt granites from Tioman Island.
Searle, M.P., Whitehouse, M.J., Robb, L.J., Ghani, A.A., Hutchison, C.S.,
Sone, M., Ng, S.W-P., Roselee, M.H., Chung, S-L. & Oliver, G.J.H. (2012).
Tectonic evolution of the Sibumasu–Indochina terrane collision zone in
Thailand and Malaysia: constraints from new U–Pb zircon chronology of
SE Asian tin granitoids. Journal of the Geological Society, 169(4), 489–500.