The Evolution of the South China Sea Basin in the Mesozoic–Cenozoic and Its Significance for Oil and Gas Exploration: A Review and Overview
Fengli Yang, Zhuan Sun, Zuyi Zhou, Zhe Wu, Dengliang Gao, Qianyu Li, 2013. "The Evolution of the South China Sea Basin in the Mesozoic–Cenozoic and Its Significance for Oil and Gas Exploration: A Review and Overview", Tectonics and Sedimentation: Implications for Petroleum Systems, Dengliang Gao
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The greater South China Sea (SCS) Basin is composed of basins of different generations and styles. These polyhistory basins formed in complicated geologic settings and evolved through different tectonic regimes. Based on a classical basin classification scheme and data from previous studies, we summarize the evolution of tectonic environments of the SCS in the Mesozoic-Cenozoic into a Late Triassic-middle Eocene divergent-convergent cycle and a late Eocene-present divergent-convergent cycle. The two cycles are in turn composed of four evolutionary phases, which are (1) Late Triassic-Middle Jurassic divergent continental margin setting, (2) Late Jurassic-middle Eocene convergent intracontinentalsetting, (3) late Eocene-Miocene divergent continental margin setting, and (4) Pliocene present convergent continental margin setting. We identify temporal sequence and spatialdistribution of major polyhistory basins in the SCS associated with the four basin evolutionary phases in the two tectonic cycles. Each basin corresponds to a specific pressure, space, and temperature, and overprinting of the basin caused changes in pressure, space, and temperature with time. Unraveling this complex and dynamic nature of the polyhistory basins can be instrumental in assessing the hydrocarbon potential and exploration risk in the SCS.
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The influence of tectonics on sedimentation and hydrocarbon accumulation is different among extensional, strike-slip, and contractional structural styles. Addressing the role of different structural styles and syntectonic sedimentation in petroleum systems is essential to assess the hydrocarbon potential of sedimentary basins. This 18-chapter volume is small enough to focus on the interplay among tectonics, sedimentation, and petroleum systems. Yet it is big enough to cover the diversity of structural styles in important petroliferous sedimentary basins around the globe, including those in west Africa, east Africa, east Brazil, east United States of America, Gulf of Mexico, South China Sea, the Russian Arctic, and the Mediterranean Sea.