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Marine Geophysical Research

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 371–384 | Cite as

Breakup unconformities at the end of the early Oligocene in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, South China Sea: significance for the evolution of basin dynamics and tectonic geography during rift–drift transition

  • Yue Gong
  • Changsong LinEmail author
  • Zhongtao Zhang
  • Bo Zhang
  • Liangfeng Shu
  • Xuan Feng
  • Fanghao Hong
  • Zuochang Xing
  • Hanyao Liu
  • Enyu Su
Original Research Paper
  • 138 Downloads

Abstract

The widely distributed unconformity (T7) in Pearl River Mouth Basin, formed at ~ 30 Ma, is one of the most important unconformities of northern South China Sea related to the evolution of basin dynamics. Based on seismic data and logs, this study documents the distribution of the unconformity in Pearl River Mouth Basin (PRMB) and discusses the mechanism of the breakup unconformity in the evolution of the basin. The study verifies that the T7 boundary is a breakup unconformity: (1) most fault tips end at T7 unconformity or the offset diminishes markedly across the unconformity, and (2) these faults control the stratal thickness, reflected by the wedge shape formation. The T7 unconformity can be divided into three zones according to different structures and contact relationships: (1) the angular unconformity zone, (2) the local unconformity and onlap zone, and (3) the conformity zone, these three correspond to strong erosion zone, weak erosion zone, and non-erosion zone respectively. The distribution pattern of the breakup unconformity in this study area is controlled by the tectonic and geomorphology in the different zones of a basin: The angular erosion zone in the north is controlled by fault activity, but in local unconformity and onlap zone the erosion is mainly caused by diapir or local uplift. The conformity zone is located at the depression center in an underwater environment. This pattern indicates that the mechanism of the breakup unconformity is related to the erosion on shoulder uplift structure at the basin margin in rift stage.

Keywords

Breakup unconformity Early Oligocene Pearl River Mouth Basin South China Sea 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 91328201, 91528301 and 41130422) and the Research Project “Sequence architecture and depositional systems of the continental slope in the Pearl River Mouth Basin” from the Shenzhen Branch of CNOOC Ltd. We are grateful to the reviewers for their thorough and constructive advices to improve our manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yue Gong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Changsong Lin
    • 3
    Email author
  • Zhongtao Zhang
    • 4
  • Bo Zhang
    • 4
  • Liangfeng Shu
    • 4
  • Xuan Feng
    • 4
  • Fanghao Hong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zuochang Xing
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hanyao Liu
    • 3
  • Enyu Su
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Energy ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Marine Reservoir Evolution and Hydrocarbon Enrichment MechanismMinistry of EducationBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Ocean SciencesChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Shenzhen Branch of CNOOC Ltd.ShenzhenChina

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