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Spatial and temporal variability of sediment infilling and episodic rifting in the North Pearl River Mouth Basin, South China Sea

Abstract : Pearl River Mouth Basin (PRMB) is a typical episodically rifting basin, and its sediment records exhibit a multistage infilling process. To build the coupling relationship between the spatial variability of tectonic movement and sediment dispersal pattern, we character the source-to-sink system distribution within continental margin and analysis their dominated factors with quantitative statistical methods. First, we identify the faults and calculate the rifting rate by interpreting the two-dimensional (2D) seismic data and zircon or apatite fission-track data (ZFT/AFT). Accordingly, based on the various trending of the rifting rate evolution, we classified rifting process episodically into three patterns: accelerated rifting decelerated rifting, and uniform rifting. Then, we integrated the data available on detrital zircon U–Pb, rare earth element, and heavy mineral assemblage to identify the responding S2S components associated with the above various rifting processes. Results show that in the first tectonic stage during the early Eocene, the sediments were mainly sourced from an intrabasin provenance area, whereas in the late Eocene to the Oligocene, the paleo-Pearl River provided the sediments to the sink area. We restore the facies association of the sink area by studying the core samples, electric well logs, and three-dimensional (3D) seismic data. During the accelerated and uniform rifting processes, coarse-grained deposited along the boundary faults, which includes the fan delta and subaqueous fans. During decelerated rifting, the depositional environment was dominated by braided channels, meandering channels, and tide-influenced channel accretion. Based on the quantitative analysis the relationship between the grain size of the sediment in each S2S segment and the rifting rate, more fine-grained components were preserved in the decelerated rifting system, while coarse-grained sediments fill the accelerated rifting depression and uniform rifting components. Furthermore, the sediment supply and relative height can influence the volume of the S2S system in the uniform rifting system. In the decelerated rifting basin, the sediment supply is the major factor associated with the development of S2S, whereas the relative height is the major factor associated with the accelerated rifting basin.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 9:24:13 AM
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Chao Fu, Shengli Li, Shunli Li, Jianyong Xu. Spatial and temporal variability of sediment infilling and episodic rifting in the North Pearl River Mouth Basin, South China Sea. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, Elsevier, In press, pp.104702. ⟨10.1016/j.jseaes.2021.104702⟩. ⟨insu-03150749⟩

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