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ArticleAges and magnetic structures of the South China Sea constrained by deep tow magnetic surveys and IODP Expedition 349(John Wiley & Sons, 2014-12-27) Li, Chun-Feng ; Xu, Xing ; Lin, Jian ; Sun, Zhen ; Zhu, Jian ; Yao, Yongjian ; Zhao, Xixi ; Liu, Qingsong ; Kulhanek, Denise K. ; Wang, Jian ; Song, Taoran ; Zhao, Junfeng ; Qiu, Ning ; Guan, Yongxian ; Zhou, Zhiyuan ; Williams, Trevor ; Bao, Rui ; Briais, Anne ; Brown, Elizabeth A. ; Chen, Yifeng ; Clift, Peter D. ; Colwell, Frederick S. ; Dadd, Kelsie A. ; Ding, Weiwei ; Almeida, Ivan Hernandez ; Huang, Xiao-Long ; Hyun, Sangmin ; Jiang, Tao ; Koppers, Anthony A. P. ; Li, Qianyu ; Liu, Chuanlian ; Liu, Zhifei ; Nagai, Renata H. ; Peleo-Alampay, Alyssa ; Su, Xin ; Tejada, Maria Luisa G. ; Trinh, Hai Son ; Yeh, Yi-Ching ; Zhang, Chuanlun ; Zhang, Fan ; Zhang, Guo-LiangCombined analyses of deep tow magnetic anomalies and International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 349 cores show that initial seafloor spreading started around 33 Ma in the northeastern South China Sea (SCS), but varied slightly by 1–2 Myr along the northern continent-ocean boundary (COB). A southward ridge jump of ∼20 km occurred around 23.6 Ma in the East Subbasin; this timing also slightly varied along the ridge and was coeval to the onset of seafloor spreading in the Southwest Subbasin, which propagated for about 400 km southwestward from ∼23.6 to ∼21.5 Ma. The terminal age of seafloor spreading is ∼15 Ma in the East Subbasin and ∼16 Ma in the Southwest Subbasin. The full spreading rate in the East Subbasin varied largely from ∼20 to ∼80 km/Myr, but mostly decreased with time except for the period between ∼26.0 Ma and the ridge jump (∼23.6 Ma), within which the rate was the fastest at ∼70 km/Myr on average. The spreading rates are not correlated, in most cases, to magnetic anomaly amplitudes that reflect basement magnetization contrasts. Shipboard magnetic measurements reveal at least one magnetic reversal in the top 100 m of basaltic layers, in addition to large vertical intensity variations. These complexities are caused by late-stage lava flows that are magnetized in a different polarity from the primary basaltic layer emplaced during the main phase of crustal accretion. Deep tow magnetic modeling also reveals this smearing in basement magnetizations by incorporating a contamination coefficient of 0.5, which partly alleviates the problem of assuming a magnetic blocking model of constant thickness and uniform magnetization. The primary contribution to magnetic anomalies of the SCS is not in the top 100 m of the igneous basement.
ArticleSeismic stratigraphy of the central South China Sea basin and implications for neotectonics(John Wiley & Sons, 2015-03-16) Li, Chun-Feng ; Li, Jiabiao ; Ding, Weiwei ; Franke, Dieter ; Yao, Yongjian ; Shi, Hesheng ; Pang, Xiong ; Cao, Ying ; Lin, Jian ; Kulhanek, Denise K. ; Williams, Trevor ; Bao, Rui ; Briais, Anne ; Brown, Elizabeth A. ; Chen, Yifeng ; Clift, Peter D. ; Colwell, Frederick S. ; Dadd, Kelsie A. ; Hernandez-Almeida, Ivan ; Huang, Xiao-Long ; Hyun, Sangmin ; Jiang, Tao ; Koppers, Anthony A. P. ; Li, Qianyu ; Liu, Chuanlian ; Liu, Qingsong ; Liu, Zhifei ; Nagai, Renata H. ; Peleo-Alampay, Alyssa ; Su, Xin ; Sun, Zhen ; Tejada, Maria Luisa G. ; Trinh, Hai Son ; Yeh, Yi-Ching ; Zhang, Chuanlun ; Zhang, Fan ; Zhang, Guo-Liang ; Zhao, XixiCoring/logging data and physical property measurements from International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 349 are integrated with, and correlated to, reflection seismic data to map seismic sequence boundaries and facies of the central basin and neighboring regions of the South China Sea. First-order sequence boundaries are interpreted, which are Oligocene/Miocene, middle Miocene/late Miocene, Miocene/Pliocene, and Pliocene/Pleistocene boundaries. A characteristic early Pleistocene strong reflector is also identified, which marks the top of extensive carbonate-rich deposition in the southern East and Southwest Subbasins. The fossil spreading ridge and the boundary between the East and Southwest Subbasins acted as major sedimentary barriers, across which seismic facies changes sharply and cannot be easily correlated. The sharp seismic facies change along the Miocene-Pliocene boundary indicates that a dramatic regional tectonostratigraphic event occurred at about 5 Ma, coeval with the onsets of uplift of Taiwan and accelerated subsidence and transgression in the northern margin. The depocenter or the area of the highest sedimentation rate switched from the northern East Subbasin during the Miocene to the Southwest Subbasin and the area close to the fossil ridge in the southern East Subbasin in the Pleistocene. The most active faulting and vertical uplifting now occur in the southern East Subbasin, caused most likely by the active and fastest subduction/obduction in the southern segment of the Manila Trench and the collision between the northeast Palawan and the Luzon arc. Timing of magmatic intrusions and seamounts constrained by seismic stratigraphy in the central basin varies and does not show temporal pulsing in their activities.