Open image in new window Analysis of Quaternary Mass Transport Deposits Based on Seismic Data in Southern Deep-Water Region of Qiongdongnan Basin, South China Sea

  • Dawei WangEmail author
  • Shiguo Wu
  • Genshun Yao
  • Fuliang Lü
  • Michael Strasser
Conference paper


Mass transport deposits (MTDs) were identified in Quaternary sedimentary sequences of the southern deep-water (water depth 1,000–1,500 m) region of the Qiongdongnan Basin, South China Sea. Based on high resolution 3D seismic data, seismic amplitude and coherence data are obtained and used to analyse MTDs. Through the seismic profile, two-way-travel time (TWT) time map, time thickness and time slice of target strata, profile characteristics and internal structure of MTDs are revealed. MTDs are characterized of mounded, hummocky, chaotic, low amplitude and discontinuous seismic reflection. MTD-internal thrusts and basal groove marks indicate mass-transport direction from WSW to ENE, suggesting MTD source in the shelf edge/upper slope system offshore central Vietnam, where mountainous rivers deliver high amount of terrigenous clastics. Since about 0.78–1.8 Ma, three depositional cycles characterized by basal MTDs overlain by turbidite channel levee systems have been emplaced in the study area. Timing and source of MTDs suggest a causal link between Quaternary high sedimentation rate to the shelf/upper slope in the Western South China Sea influenced by the eccentricity scale sea-level change and the emplacement of MTDs.


Deep-water Mass transport deposits Qiongdongnan basin 



We acknowledge Dr. Yasuhiro Yamada for constructive comments, which greatly improve this manuscript. And we thank China National Petroleum Company and China National Offshore Oil Cooperation for their permissions to release the seismic and well data. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40906028 and 91228208) and Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences XDA11030103.


  1. Bull S, Cartwright J, Huuse M (2009) A review of kinematic indicators from mass-transport complexes using 3D seismic data. Mar Petrol Geol 26:1132–1151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gee M, Gawthorpe R, Friedmann S (2006) Triggering and evolution of a giant landslide, offshore Angola revealed by 3D seismic stratigraphy and geomorphology. J Sediment Res 76:9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Li ST, Lin CS, Zhang QM (1998) Dynamic process of episodic rifting in continental marginal basin and tectonic events since 10 Ma in South China Sea. Chin Sci Bull 43(8):797–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Moscardelli L, Wood LJ (2008) New classification system for mass transport complexes in offshore Trinidad. Basin Res 20:73–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Perov G, Bhattacharya JP (2011) Pleistocene shelf-margin delta: intradeltaic deformation and sediment bypass. Northern gulf of Mexico. AAPG Bull 95:1617–1641. doi: 10.1306/01271109141 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ru K, Pigott JD (1986) Episodic rifting and subsidence in the South China Sea. AAPG Bull 70(9):1136–1155Google Scholar
  7. Schimanski A, (2002) Holocene sedimentation on the Vietnamese shelf: from source to sink. PhD Dissertation, Christian Albrecht University, Kiel, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  8. Sun QL, Wu SG, Lüdmann T, Wang B, Yang TT (2011) Geophysical evidence for cyclic sediment deposition on the southern slope of Qiongdongnan Basin. South China sea. Mar Geophys Res 32:415–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Tung TT, Stive MJF, van de Graaff J (2008) Stabilization of tidal inlets along the central coast of Vietnam. COPEDEC VII, Dubaï, UAE. Paper 190Google Scholar
  10. Wang D, Wu S, Dong D, Yao G, Cao Q (2009) Seismic characteristics of quaternary mass transport deposits in Qiongdongnan basin. Mar Geol Quater Geol 29(3):69–74Google Scholar
  11. Wang D, Wu S, Qin Z, Spence G, Lü F (2013) Seismic characteristics of the Huaguang mass transport deposits in the Qiongdongnan Basin. South China Sea: implications for regional tectonic activity. Mar Geol 346:165–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Yao GS, Yuan SQ, Wu SG, Zhong C (2008) The double provenance supply depositional model and its exploration prospect in the deepwater of Qiongdongnan Basin. Petrol Explorat Dev 35(6):685–691. doi: 10.1016/S1876-3804(09)60101-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Yuan SQ, Wu SG, Lüdmann T, Yao GS, Lü FL, Cao F, Wang HR, Li L (2009) Fine-grained Pleistocene deepwater turbidite channel system on the slope of Qiongdongnan Basin, northern South China Sea. Mar Petrol Geol 26:1441–1451. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.03.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shiguo Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Genshun Yao
    • 3
  • Fuliang Lü
    • 3
  • Michael Strasser
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and EnvironmentInstitute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Marine Oil & gas Research CenterInstitute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  3. 3.PetroChina Hangzhou Institute of GeologyHangzhouChina
  4. 4.Geological Institute, ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations