The Yinggehai and Qiongdongnan basins in the northwestern South China Sea preserve a large volume of Cenozoic sediments. However, their sources are still remain controversial and need a further research. This paper uses discriminant diagrams and bivariate plots of major, trace and rare earth elements, combined with heavy mineral data and detrital zircon U-Pb ages to determine the provenance, source area weathering and tectonic setting of the Upper Miocene to Pliocene sediments in the Yinggehai and Qiongdongnan basins, offshore South China Sea. The sandstone samples used in this study are characterized by four features: (i) The studied sandstones are first-cycle deposits, no recycling processes are recorded in these sediments, and there is a low degree of weathering conditions in the source areas. (ii) The sandstones from the DF fan, LD fan and Central Canyon System may have a similar source, being derived from an old upper continental crust mainly composed of felsic igneous source rocks. (iii) Detrital zircon U-Pb ages suggest that Central Vietnam is likely to be the dominant source of the DF fan, LD fan and Central Canyon System. (iv) The tectonic setting of the sandstones in the DF fan, LD fan and Central Canyon System belongs to the continental island arc (CIA) or the active continental margin (ACM) fields.
Marine and Petroleum Geology – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2017
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