The basement structure of the Cenozoic Enping Sag, within the Pearl River Mouth Basin on the northern margin of South China Sea, is revealed by borehole-constrained high-quality 3D seismic reflection data. Such data suggest that the Enping Sag is bounded in the north by a low-angle normal fault. We interpret this low-angle normal fault to have developed as the result of the reactivation of a pre-existing thrust fault part of a pre-Cenozoic thrust system. This is demonstrated by the selective reactivation of the pre-existing thrust and by diffuse contractional deformation recognized from the accurate analysis of basement reflections. Another significant result of this study is the finding of some residual rift basins within the basement of the Enping Sag. Both the thrust system and the residual basins are interpreted to have developed after the emplacement of continental margin arc-related granitoids (J3-K1) that define the basement within the study area. Furthermore, seismic sections show that the pre-existing residual rift basins are offset by the main thrust fault and they are both truncated by the Tg unconformity. These structural relationships, interpreted in the frame of previous studies, help us to reconstruct a six-event structural evolution model for the Enping Sag from the late Mesozoic to the early Cenozoic. In particular, we interpret the residual rift basins to have formed as the result of back-arc extension due to the slab roll-back of the Paleo-Pacific Plate subduction in the early K2. The thrust system has recorded a compressional event in the late K2 that followed the back-arc extension in the SCS area. The mechanism of this compressional event is still to be clarified, and might be related to continuous subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate or to the continent-continent collision between a micro-continental block and the South China margin.

A low-angle normal fault and basement structures within the Enping Sag, Pearl River Mouth Basin: Insights into late Mesozoic to early Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the South China Sea area

Ye Q.;Camanni G.;
2018

Abstract

The basement structure of the Cenozoic Enping Sag, within the Pearl River Mouth Basin on the northern margin of South China Sea, is revealed by borehole-constrained high-quality 3D seismic reflection data. Such data suggest that the Enping Sag is bounded in the north by a low-angle normal fault. We interpret this low-angle normal fault to have developed as the result of the reactivation of a pre-existing thrust fault part of a pre-Cenozoic thrust system. This is demonstrated by the selective reactivation of the pre-existing thrust and by diffuse contractional deformation recognized from the accurate analysis of basement reflections. Another significant result of this study is the finding of some residual rift basins within the basement of the Enping Sag. Both the thrust system and the residual basins are interpreted to have developed after the emplacement of continental margin arc-related granitoids (J3-K1) that define the basement within the study area. Furthermore, seismic sections show that the pre-existing residual rift basins are offset by the main thrust fault and they are both truncated by the Tg unconformity. These structural relationships, interpreted in the frame of previous studies, help us to reconstruct a six-event structural evolution model for the Enping Sag from the late Mesozoic to the early Cenozoic. In particular, we interpret the residual rift basins to have formed as the result of back-arc extension due to the slab roll-back of the Paleo-Pacific Plate subduction in the early K2. The thrust system has recorded a compressional event in the late K2 that followed the back-arc extension in the SCS area. The mechanism of this compressional event is still to be clarified, and might be related to continuous subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate or to the continent-continent collision between a micro-continental block and the South China margin.
TECTONOPHYSICS
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/756361
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