ABSTRACT

The Yinggehai–Song Hong Basin has received a large amount of terrigenous sediment from different continental blocks since the Paleogene. The Yingdong slope, which is located on the eastern side of this basin, is an important potential gas province, but the provenance of the marine sediments in this area are poorly understood. The detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology of sedimentary rocks from the lower Miocene to Quaternary is examined in this study to investigate the temporal and spatial variations in provenance since the early Miocene. The U-Pb ages of detrital zircon range from 3078 to 30 Ma, suggesting that sediment input is derived from multiple sources. Detailed analyses of these components indicate that both the Red River and Hainan are likely the major sources of the sediments on the Yingdong slope, with additional minor contributions from central Vietnam (eastern Indochina block) and possibly the Songpan–Garze block. Variations in the dominant detrital zircon populations within stratigraphic successions display an increasing contribution from the Red River since the middle Miocene. This resulted from the progradation of the Red River Delta in the northern basin and may have also been influenced by regional surface uplift and associated climate changes in East Asia. This study shows that the Red River has had a relatively stable provenance since at least the early Miocene, indicating that any large-scale drainage capture of the Red River should have occurred before circa 23 Ma.

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