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Structural Characteristics and Formation Dynamics: A Review of the Main Sedimentary Basins in the Continent of China

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The formation and evolution of basins in the China continent are closely related to the collages of many blocks and orogenic belts. Based on a large amount of the geological, geophysical, petroleum exploration data and a large number of published research results, the basement constitutions and evolutions of tectonic–sedimentary of sedimentary basins, the main border fault belts and the orogenesis of their peripheries of the basins are analyzed. Especially, the main typical basins in the eight divisions in the continent of China are analyzed in detail, including the Tarim, Ordos, Sichuan, Songliao, Bohai Bay, Junggar, Qiadam and Qiangtang basins. The main five stages of superimposed evolutions processes of basins revealed, which accompanied with the tectonic processes of the Paleo–Asian Ocean, Tethyan and Western Pacific domains. They contained the formations of main Cratons (1850–800 Ma), developments of marine basins (800–386 Ma), developments of Marine–continental transition basins and super mantle plumes (386–252 Ma), amalgamation of China Continent and developments of continental basins (252–205 Ma) and development of the foreland basins in the western and extensional faulted basin in the eastern of China (205–0 Ma). Therefore, large scale marine sedimentary basins existed in the relatively stable continental blocks of the Proterozoic, developed during the Neoproterozoic to Paleozoic, with the property of the intracontinental cratons and peripheral foreland basins, the multistage superimposing and late reformations of basins. The continental basins developed on the weak or preexisting divisional basements, or the remnant and reformed marine basins in the Meso–Cenozoic, are mainly the continental margins, back–arc basins, retroarc foreland basins, intracontinental rifts and pull–apart basins. The styles and intensity deformation containing the faults, folds and the structural architecture of regional unconformities of the basins, responded to the openings, subductions, closures of oceans, the continent–continent collisions and reactivation of orogenies near the basins in different periods. The evolutions of the Tianshan–Mongol–Hinggan, Kunlun–Qilian–Qinling–Dabie–Sulu, Jiangshao–Shiwandashan, Helanshan–Longmengshan, Taihang–Wuling orogenic belts, the Tibet Plateau and the Altun and Tan–Lu Fault belts have importantly influenced on the tectonic–sedimentary developments, mineralization and hydrocarbon reservoir conditions of their adjacent basins in different times. The evolutions of basins also rely on the deep structures of lithosphère and the rheological properties of the mantle. The mosaic and mirroring geological structures of the deep lithosphère reflect the pre–existed divisions and hot mantle upwelling, constrain to the origins and transforms dynamics of the basins. The leading edges of the basin tectonic dynamics will focus on the basin and mountain coupling, reconstruction of the paleotectonic–paleogeography, establishing relationship between the structural deformations of shallow surface to the deep lithosphère or asthenosphere, as well as the restoring proto–basin and depicting residual basin of the Paleozoic basin, the effects of multiple stages of volcanism and paleo–earthquake events in China.
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Keywords: continent of China; interaction dynamics of basin and orogeny; sedimentary basin; structural architecture; superimposed evolution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2016

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