Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, is the largest natural terrestrial landmass in the South China Sea and is centrally located. Using bathymetry and marine multi-channel seismic data, we explored the seismic stratigraphic features of the offshore and isolated carbonate platform north of Taiping Island. The western flank of the carbonate platform is characterized by an intercalation between high-amplitude and low-amplitude reflections, showing the landward and seaward migration of the platform foreslope deposits. In addition, there are two offshore carbonate build-ups that are underlain by normal faults. Six sequence boundaries and five depositional sequences caused by eustatic sea level cycles are identified and correlated with the eustatic sea level change chart. Although the evolution of the seismic sequences is partly controlled by local tectonics, the overall stacking pattern of the sedimentary strata in our study area reveals five third-order cycles and one second-order cycle, which is in accordance with the eustatic sea level chart. Additionally, the formations of the Western Taiping Seamount Group and the Zhenghe-Daoming Trough are preliminarily analyzed based on seismic data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes