Bohai Bay Basin, located in eastern China, is considered a Cenozoic rifted basin. The basin is atypical in terms of its Neogene–Quaternary postrift subsidence history in that it experienced intensive tectonic reactivation, rather than the relative tectonic quiescence experienced during this stage by most rift basins. This Neogene–Quaternary tectonic reactivation arose principally in response to two tectonic events: (1) activity on a dense array of shallow faults and (2) accelerated tectonic subsidence that occurred during the postrift stage. These two events were neither strictly temporally nor spatially equivalent. The dense array of shallow faults form a northwest–southeast-trending belt in the central part of the basin, with displacement induced by the reactivation of older northeast- and northwest-trending basement faults and an associated substantial component of strike-slip displacement occurring after 5.3 Ma. The intensive reactivation of these faults contributed to the atypically accelerated rate of postrift tectonic subsidence of the basin that commenced ca. 12Ma. However, this was not the sole cause of this accelerated tectonic subsidence: A combination of geological activity deep within the crust led to the buildup of intraplate stresses, and this, combined with ongoing thermal subsidence, acted as an additional contributory factor that drove unusually high rates of subsidence for this basin. This episode of accelerated postrift tectonic reactivation resulted in conditions favorable for hydrocarbon accumulation.

You do not currently have access to this article.