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DYNAMIC FACTORS FOR THE OPENING OF SOUTH CHINA SEA AND A NUMERICAL MODELING DISCUSSION

XIA Bin 1, CUI Xuejun 1, ZHANG Y H 2, LIU Baoming 1, WANG Ran 1 and YAN Yi 1 (1. CAS Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology and Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, GD 510640, China; 2. CSIRO Exploration & Mining, P.O.Box 1130, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia)  
The dynamic mechanism for the expansion of South China Sea together with its tectonic evolution and structural characteristics is discussed in this paper. As South China Sea is located on the convergent hinge among the Eurasian plate, the Pacific plate and the Indo-Australian plate, the tectonic evolution and the dynamic mechanism for the formation of South China Sea are very complicated. Based on our study on the tectonic evolution and the dynamic mechanism for the formation of South China Sea, a numerical approach was used to explore the behaviors of the “tectonic extrusion” and the “asthenosphere upwelling”. It is suggested in this paper that it is the combination of mechanical extension and asthenosphere upwelling that proves to be the most efficient way to thin the entire lithosphere, and that represents the most likely driving force for the opening and spreading of the South China Sea.
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