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Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 255–264 | Cite as

On tectonic problems of the Okinawa Trough

  • Li Nai-sheng
Geology

Abstract

The Okinawa Trough is a very active tectonic zone at the margin of the Northwest Pacific and is typical of back-are-rifting at the young stage of tectonic evolution. Many scientists from Japan, China, Germany, France, the U.S.A. and Russia have done a lot of geologic and geophysical investigations there. It is well known that the Okinawa Trough is an active back-are rift with extremely high heat flow, very strong hydrothermal circulation, strong volcanic and magmatic activity, frequent earthquakes, rapid subsidence and rifting, well-developed fault and central graben. But up to now, there are still some important tectonic problems about the Okinawa Trough that require clarification on some aspects such as the type of its crust, its forming time, its tectonic evolution, the distribution of its central grabens, the relationship between its high heat flow and tectonic activity. Based on the data obtained from seismic survey, geomagnetic and gravity measurements, submarine sampling and heat flow measurements in the last 15 years, the author discusses the following tectonic problems about the Okinawa Trough: (1) If the Okinawa Trough develops oceanic crust or not. (2) Is the South Okinawa Trough tectonically more active than the North Okinawa Trough with shallower water and few investigation data on it. (3) The formation time of the Okinawa Trough and its tectonic evolution. The Okinawa Trough has a very thin continental crust. Up to now, there is no evidence of oceanic crust in the Okinawa Trough. The North, Middle and South Okinawa Trough are all very strongly active areas. From 6 Ma B. P., the Okinawa Trough began to form. Since 2 Ma, the Okinawa Trough has been very active.

Key words

Okinawa Trough tectonic activity crustal structure back-are rifting 

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Copyright information

© Science Press 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Nai-sheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina

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