The Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic evolutionary history of the East Asian continental margin has been the focus of many researchers because of the overprinting of multiple tectonic domains. Previous studies have suggested that the westward subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate and the Pacific Plate resulted in the deconstruction of the North China Craton and controlled the formation of the related basins on the continental margin of East Asia. However, controversy remains regarding the tectonic transition processes and mechanisms that occurred from the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic. Since the Mesozoic, the Bohai Bay Basin on the eastern margin of the North China Craton of East China has been influenced by multiple tectonic domains of the Paleo-Tethys, Paleo-Pacific, and Pacific oceans, and there are complete records of these tectonic transition processes. The Bozhong Depression is a subbasin in the Bohai Bay Basin, which is a crucial area for researching the tectonic evolution of the Bohai Bay Basin throughout the Mesozoic−Cenozoic and the regional tectonic evolution of the eastern continental margin of China. Based on 3-D seismic data, logging core data, and a balanced cross section in the Bozhong area, combined with data from the apatite fission-track inversion model, we reconstructed the tectonic evolutionary history of central Bohai Bay Basin and established a three-cycle and eight-stage tectonic model of the central Bohai Bay Basin during the Mesozoic−Cenozoic. The three cycles are the Indosinian, the Yanshinian, and the Himalayan. (1) The Indosinian was marked by two stages. During the early Indosinian, NW-trending thrust faults were formed due to the collision and northward subduction of the South China Block underneath the North China Block. In the late Indosinian, the tectonic stress in the central Bohai Bay Basin shifted from compression to extension. Consequently, the thrust faults reversed, leading to the deposition of Early−Middle Jurassic strata. (2) The Yanshanian cycle comprises three main phases. Early Yanshanian transpressional shearing led to the formation of a NE/NNE-trending, left-lateral strike-slip fault due to NWW-directed subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate. Middle Yanshanian transtensional shearing was driven by Paleo-Pacific Plate rollback and resulted in regional extension and the negative inversion of previous compressive faults. Late Yanshanian compression gave rise to the basin reversion, which resulted from an increased subduction speed of the Paleo-Pacific Plate and a transition from a high angle to a low angle. (3) The Himalayan cycle was marked by three phases. During the early Paleogene, the region was characterized mainly by extension, and NE-trending, right-lateral strike-slip normal faults began to form. This coincided with a decrease in the Pacific Plate’s subduction speed. In the late Paleogene, the subduction rate of the Pacific Plate increased, resulting in the change of the central Bohai Bay Basin from an extensional environment to one marked by regional differential compression. In the Neogene, regional thermal subsidence and depression sedimentation occurred, which were probably induced by the increasing subduction speed and rollback of the Pacific Plate. The Bozhong Depression has experienced multiple stages of tectonic evolution, which indicates the concurrent and superimposed effects and transition of multiple tectonic domains.

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