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Tectonostratigraphic evolution of a rift basin and corresponding source-to-sink systems: Implications for the western Bohai Bay Basin, North China

Abstract : The Bohai Bay Basin, a typical intracontinental rift basin, records East Asia's kinematic plate history during the Cenozoic. The rifting process was driven by the counterclockwise rotation in the direction of the Pacific Plate subduction. From the early Eocene to the Oligocene, the rifting process can be divided into three stages: extension initiation, peak extension, and post-extension. The corresponding rifting rate was calculated based on 40Ar-39Ar data. Then, the provenance area evolution of the above three rifting stages was established by combining the detrital zircon U–Pb data and heavy mineral assemblage data (ZTR, GZi, and ATi). According to the results calculated by 40Ar/39Ar analysis, the topography of the sink area in the western Bohai bay basin was characterized by moderately rising subsidence rates (100 m/Ma) during the extension initiation stage (Paleocene-Early Eocene), when surface drainage was restricted to a limited area with steep channel slopes. During this stage, referring to the core description and seismic interpretation results, the fan delta distributes most of the sediment, most of which migrates from the proximal region. Until the peak extension stage, the source-sink system develops as the rate of subsidence increases (200 m/Ma), making the sink area larger, and this period involves multiple types of pathways, including synsedimentary faults and erosional valleys. Sediments from Taihang Massif and Jiaoliao Massif infill the subsidence zone at the distal end. Then, in the post-extension stage, the source-sink systems involve a multi-provenance area (i.e., sourcing from both proximal and distal areas), a large sink area, and a gentle channel gradient due to a decrease in subsidence rate (60–80 m/Ma). Catchment relief, sediment migration distance, and average fault displacement were used, and these parameters were related to the sediment supply (Qs) for the three rifting stages. We find that during extension initiation and peak extension, the source-to-sink systems show a high amount of sand influx (Qsand/) and that the ratio Qsand/Qs total shows a proportional relationship with catchment relief and average fault displacement; this relationship is inversely proportional to the catchment-unit area. Also, according to the types of pathways, we classified the source-to-sink systems during this period into three types, steep eroded pathway (Type-I S2S), gentle slope developed with several boundary faults (Type-II S2S), steep slope with observably eroded valleys or fault-troughs (Type-III S2S). The ratio of Qsand/Qs is only related to the sediment migration distance and average fault displacement in the post-extension stage. Besides the above three types of source-to-sink systems, we found that multi-stage faults developed along the slope (Type-IV S2S) predominated during this stage.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 9:43:55 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 4:14:21 AM

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Chao Fu, Shengli Li, Shunli Li, Jianyong Xu. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of a rift basin and corresponding source-to-sink systems: Implications for the western Bohai Bay Basin, North China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2022, 139, pp.105587. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2022.105587⟩. ⟨insu-03585291⟩

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