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《Advances in Earth Science》 2009-12
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Opening of the South China Sea and its implications for Southeast Asian tectonics since the late Mesozoic

LI Chunfeng1,WANG Pinxian1,Dieter Franke2,LI Jiabiao3,Randell Stephenson4,XU Shukun5,Peter Michael6,ZHOU Zuyi1,JIAN Zhimin1,LI Qianyu1,LIU Zhifei1,GENG Jianhua1,Gaku Kimura7,YAN Pin8,QIU Xuelin8,WANG Liaoliang9,XIE Xinong10,WU Shiguo11,WU Nengyou12(1.Tongji University,Shanghai 200092,China;2.Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources,Hannover D-30655,Germany;3.Second Institute of Oceanography,State Oceanic Administration,Guangzhou 310012,China;4.University of Aberdeen,Aberdeen AB24 3FX,Scotland;5.Taiwan Central University,Taoyuan 32001,Taiwan China;6.University of Tulsa,Tulsa 74104,USA;7.The University of Tokyo,Tokyo,113-0033,Japan;8.South China Sea Institute of Oceanology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Guangzhou 510301,China;9.Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey,Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources,Guangzhou 510075,China;10.China University of Geosciences,Wuhan 430074,China;11.Institute of Oceanology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Qingdao 266071,China;12.Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Guangzhou 510640,China)  
The opening of the South China Sea(SCS)reveals complex patterns of continental margin break-up and basin formation.Despite extensive studies in the area,accurate dating on basement rocks and overlying sediments in the deep basin is currently lacking.This leaves a large margin of error in estimated opening ages and renders various hypotheses regarding its opening mechanism and history untested.Further,only with an accurate account on the opening of the SCS can we better understand the formations of western Pacific marginal sea basins,as well as the possible roles it played in accommodating the southeast extrusion of the Indochina block due to the collision between the India plate and the Eurasian plate and the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau.We for the first time propose drilling at four sites in the deep SCS ocean basin.These four drilling sites are located in four different subunits(the northeasternmost SCS,the northwest sub-basin,the east sub-basin,and the southwest sub-basin)of the SCS Basin,and are designed strategically to fulfill the overall research objective,which is to unravel the opening history of the SCS and its implications for Southeastern Asian tectonics since the late Mesozoic.The site in the northeasternmost SCS basin will help determine crustal affinity of that part of crust and verify the existence of the proto-SCS.The site in the northwest sub-basin will give us the likely earliest opening age of the SCS.The two sites in the east and southwest sub-basins will focus on determining the absolute ages,basement mineralization and magnetization,and the relative opening sequences of these two sub-basins.The water depths at these sites range from about 2 910 m to about 4 400 m,and the drilling depths are estimated to be from about 700 mbsf to about 2 200 mbsf.The total penetration depth is 5 959 m,of which 5 359 m is through sediment and 600 m or 400 m into basement.Each site is located using existing geophysical site survey data,and an effort is being made to acquire additional site survey data.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金项目“日本南海海槽俯冲增生楔前缘的构造变形分析—兼与马尼拉俯冲带的对比”(编号:40876022);; 国家重点基础研究发展规划项目子课题“南海新生代大陆边缘的构造演化模式”(编号:2007CB411702);; 国家高技术研究发展计划重点项目“大洋钻探站位调查关键技术研究”(编号:2008AA093001)资助
【CateGory Index】: P736.21;P756.5
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