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Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 93–106 | Cite as

On the tectonic problems of the southern East China Sea and adjacent regions: Evidence from gravity and magnetic data

  • Luning Shang
  • Xunhua Zhang
  • Bo Han
  • Runlin Du
Article

Abstract

In this paper, two sets of gravity and magnetic data were used to study the tectonics of the southern East China Sea and Ryukyu trench-arc system: one data set was from the ‘Geological-geophysical map series of China Seas and adjacent areas’ database and the other was newly collected by R/V Kexue III in 2011. Magnetic and gravity data were reorganized and processed using the software MMDP, MGDP and RGIS. In addition to the description of the anomaly patterns in different areas, deep and shallow structure studies were performed by using several kinds of calculation, including a spectrum analysis, upward-continuation of the Bouguer anomaly and horizontal derivatives of the total-field magnetic anomaly. The depth of the Moho and magnetic basement were calculated. Based on the above work, several controversial tectonic problems were discussed. Compared to the shelf area and Ryukyu Arc, the Okinawa Trough has an obviously thinned crust, with the thinnest area having thickness less than 14 km in the southern part. The Taiwan-Sinzi belt, which terminates to the south by the NW-SE trending Miyako fault belt, contains the relic volcanic arc formed by the splitting of the paleo Ryukyu volcanic arc as a result of the opening of the Okinawa Trough. As an important tectonic boundary, the strike-slip type Miyako fault belt extends northwestward into the shelf area and consists of several discontinuous segments. A forearc terrace composed of an exotic terrane collided with the Ryukyu Arc following the subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate. Mesozoic strata of varying thicknesses exist beneath the Cenozoic strata in the shelf basin and significantly influence the magnetic pattern of this area. The gravity and magnetic data support the existence of a Great East China Sea, which suggests that the entire southern East China Sea shelf area was a basin in the Mesozoic without alternatively arranged uplifts and depressions, and might have extended southwestward and connected with the northern South China Sea shelf basin.

Key words

tectonics southern East China Sea Ryukyu trench-arc system gravity anomaly magnetic anomaly 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luning Shang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xunhua Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bo Han
    • 2
    • 3
  • Runlin Du
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Marine GeosciencesOcean University of ChinaQingdaoP. R. China
  2. 2.Function Laboratory for Marine Mineral Resource Geology and ExplorationQingdao National Oceanography LaboratoryQingdaoP. R. China
  3. 3.Institute of Marine GeologyMinistry of Land and ResourcesQingdaoP. R. China

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