Identification and stage classification of Precambrian rifts in the Tarim craton, northwestern China

  • Chunfang ZhengEmail author
  • Guiting Hou
Original Paper


The study of Precambrian rifts, such as those found in the Tarim craton, is of great interest in the field of deep petroleum exploration as the source rocks of the rifts are depositional deep lacustrine facies. In this study, two buried rifts (Manjiaer and Wushi rifts) that may exist in the Tarim craton are identified based on the seismic profiles. Through the analysis of the outcrops and stratigraphic columns of the identified rifts, two types of rifts are classified and their evolution is divided into different stages. The evolution of the Manjiaer rift, which experiences frequent volcanic activity, can be roughly divided into three rift periods. Meanwhile, the evolution of the Wushi rift can be simply divided into two rift periods during the Nanhuan–Sinian period. A noticeably stronger activity of the Manjiaer rift in comparison with that of the Wushi rift was noted. The paleogeography of the Proterozoic Tarim craton was also reconstructed, and the prospect for deep petroleum exploration in the Tarim craton is proposed.


Tarim craton Precambrian rifts Aulacogen Manjiaer rift Wushi rift 


Funding information

This work was supported by funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.41530207) and State Key Projects (2014A0213 and 2016ZX05051004).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, Education Administration, School of Earth and Space SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Peking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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