Tectonic implications of Mesozoic magmatism to initiation of Cenozoic basin development within the passive South China Sea margin

Hue Anh Mai, Yu Lu Chan, Meng Wan Yeh, Tung Yi Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The South China Sea (SCS) is one of the classical example of a non-volcanic passive margin situated within three tectonic plates of the Eurasian, Indo-Australian and Philippine Sea plate. The development of SCS resulted from interaction of various types of plate boundaries, and complex tectonic assemblage of micro blocks and accretionary prisms. Numerous models were proposed for the formation of SCS, yet none can fully satisfy different aspects of tectonic forces. Temporal and geographical reconstruction of Cretaceous and Cenozoic magmatism with the isochrones of major basins was conducted. Our reconstruction indicated the SE margin of Asia had gone through two crustal thinning events. The sites for rifting development are controlled by localized thermal weakening of magmatism. NW–SE extension setting during Late Cretaceous revealed by magmatism distribution and sedimentary basins allow us to allocate the retreated subduction of Pacific plate to the cause of first crustal thinning event. A magmatic gap between 75 and 65 Ma prior to the initiation of first basin rifting suggested a significant modification of geodynamic setting occurred. The Tainan basin, Pearl River Mouth basin, and Liyue basins started to develop since 65 Ma where the youngest Late Cretaceous magmatism concentrated. Sporadic bimodal volcanism between 65 and 40 Ma indicates further continental extension prior to the opening of SCS. The E–W extension of Malay basin and West Natuna began since late Eocene followed by N–S rifting of SCS as Neotethys subducted. The SCS ridge developed between Pearl River Mouth basin and Liyue basin where 40 Ma volcanic activities concentrated. The interaction of two continental stretching events by Pacific followed by Neotethys subduction with localized magmatic thermal weakening is the cause for the non-volcanic nature of SCS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1174
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume107
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1

Fingerprint

basin evolution
magmatism
tectonics
basin
rifting
crustal thinning
Cretaceous
subduction
tectonic plate
Philippine Sea plate
accretionary prism
Pacific plate
passive margin
sea
plate boundary
sedimentary basin
geodynamics
volcanism
Eocene
river basin

Keywords

  • Basin development
  • Magmatism
  • South China Sea
  • Tectonic reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "Tectonic implications of Mesozoic magmatism to initiation of Cenozoic basin development within the passive South China Sea margin",
abstract = "The South China Sea (SCS) is one of the classical example of a non-volcanic passive margin situated within three tectonic plates of the Eurasian, Indo-Australian and Philippine Sea plate. The development of SCS resulted from interaction of various types of plate boundaries, and complex tectonic assemblage of micro blocks and accretionary prisms. Numerous models were proposed for the formation of SCS, yet none can fully satisfy different aspects of tectonic forces. Temporal and geographical reconstruction of Cretaceous and Cenozoic magmatism with the isochrones of major basins was conducted. Our reconstruction indicated the SE margin of Asia had gone through two crustal thinning events. The sites for rifting development are controlled by localized thermal weakening of magmatism. NW–SE extension setting during Late Cretaceous revealed by magmatism distribution and sedimentary basins allow us to allocate the retreated subduction of Pacific plate to the cause of first crustal thinning event. A magmatic gap between 75 and 65 Ma prior to the initiation of first basin rifting suggested a significant modification of geodynamic setting occurred. The Tainan basin, Pearl River Mouth basin, and Liyue basins started to develop since 65 Ma where the youngest Late Cretaceous magmatism concentrated. Sporadic bimodal volcanism between 65 and 40 Ma indicates further continental extension prior to the opening of SCS. The E–W extension of Malay basin and West Natuna began since late Eocene followed by N–S rifting of SCS as Neotethys subducted. The SCS ridge developed between Pearl River Mouth basin and Liyue basin where 40 Ma volcanic activities concentrated. The interaction of two continental stretching events by Pacific followed by Neotethys subduction with localized magmatic thermal weakening is the cause for the non-volcanic nature of SCS.",
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T1 - Tectonic implications of Mesozoic magmatism to initiation of Cenozoic basin development within the passive South China Sea margin

AU - Mai, Hue Anh

AU - Chan, Yu Lu

AU - Yeh, Meng Wan

AU - Lee, Tung Yi

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N2 - The South China Sea (SCS) is one of the classical example of a non-volcanic passive margin situated within three tectonic plates of the Eurasian, Indo-Australian and Philippine Sea plate. The development of SCS resulted from interaction of various types of plate boundaries, and complex tectonic assemblage of micro blocks and accretionary prisms. Numerous models were proposed for the formation of SCS, yet none can fully satisfy different aspects of tectonic forces. Temporal and geographical reconstruction of Cretaceous and Cenozoic magmatism with the isochrones of major basins was conducted. Our reconstruction indicated the SE margin of Asia had gone through two crustal thinning events. The sites for rifting development are controlled by localized thermal weakening of magmatism. NW–SE extension setting during Late Cretaceous revealed by magmatism distribution and sedimentary basins allow us to allocate the retreated subduction of Pacific plate to the cause of first crustal thinning event. A magmatic gap between 75 and 65 Ma prior to the initiation of first basin rifting suggested a significant modification of geodynamic setting occurred. The Tainan basin, Pearl River Mouth basin, and Liyue basins started to develop since 65 Ma where the youngest Late Cretaceous magmatism concentrated. Sporadic bimodal volcanism between 65 and 40 Ma indicates further continental extension prior to the opening of SCS. The E–W extension of Malay basin and West Natuna began since late Eocene followed by N–S rifting of SCS as Neotethys subducted. The SCS ridge developed between Pearl River Mouth basin and Liyue basin where 40 Ma volcanic activities concentrated. The interaction of two continental stretching events by Pacific followed by Neotethys subduction with localized magmatic thermal weakening is the cause for the non-volcanic nature of SCS.

AB - The South China Sea (SCS) is one of the classical example of a non-volcanic passive margin situated within three tectonic plates of the Eurasian, Indo-Australian and Philippine Sea plate. The development of SCS resulted from interaction of various types of plate boundaries, and complex tectonic assemblage of micro blocks and accretionary prisms. Numerous models were proposed for the formation of SCS, yet none can fully satisfy different aspects of tectonic forces. Temporal and geographical reconstruction of Cretaceous and Cenozoic magmatism with the isochrones of major basins was conducted. Our reconstruction indicated the SE margin of Asia had gone through two crustal thinning events. The sites for rifting development are controlled by localized thermal weakening of magmatism. NW–SE extension setting during Late Cretaceous revealed by magmatism distribution and sedimentary basins allow us to allocate the retreated subduction of Pacific plate to the cause of first crustal thinning event. A magmatic gap between 75 and 65 Ma prior to the initiation of first basin rifting suggested a significant modification of geodynamic setting occurred. The Tainan basin, Pearl River Mouth basin, and Liyue basins started to develop since 65 Ma where the youngest Late Cretaceous magmatism concentrated. Sporadic bimodal volcanism between 65 and 40 Ma indicates further continental extension prior to the opening of SCS. The E–W extension of Malay basin and West Natuna began since late Eocene followed by N–S rifting of SCS as Neotethys subducted. The SCS ridge developed between Pearl River Mouth basin and Liyue basin where 40 Ma volcanic activities concentrated. The interaction of two continental stretching events by Pacific followed by Neotethys subduction with localized magmatic thermal weakening is the cause for the non-volcanic nature of SCS.

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