Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 66–75 | Cite as

Tectono-thermal evolution of the Liwan Sag, deepwater area in the Zhujiang River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea

  • Xiaoyin Tang
  • Shaopeng Huang
  • Shuchun Yang
  • Guangzheng Jiang
  • Mo Ji
  • Shengbiao Hu


The Liwan Sag, with an area of 4 000 km2, is one of the deepwater sags in the Zhujiang River (Pearl River) Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea. Inspired by the exploration success in oil and gas resources in the deepwater sags worldwide, we conducted the thermal modeling to investigate the tectono-thermal history of the Liwan Sag, which has been widely thought to be important to understand tectonic activities as well as hydrocarbon potential of a basin. Using the multi-stage finite stretching model, the tectonic subsidence history and the thermal history have been obtained for 12 artificial wells, which were constructed on basis of one seismic profile newly acquired in the study area. Two stages of rifting during the time periods of 49–33.9 Ma and 33.9–23 Ma can be recognized from the tectonic subsidence pattern, and there are two phases of heating processes corresponding to the rifting. The reconstructed average basal paleo-heat flow values at the end of the rifting events are ~70.5 and ~94.2 mW/m2 respectively. Following the heating periods, the study area has undergone a persistent thermal attenuation phase since 23 Ma and the basal heat flow cooled down to ~71.8–82.5 mW/m2 at present.


tectono-thermal evolution thermal history heat flow deepwater area Liwan Sag 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoyin Tang
    • 1
  • Shaopeng Huang
    • 1
  • Shuchun Yang
    • 3
  • Guangzheng Jiang
    • 2
  • Mo Ji
    • 3
  • Shengbiao Hu
    • 2
  1. 1.Geothermal and Environmental Research LaboratoryXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.CNOOC Research InstituteBeijingChina

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