The “source-to-sink” concept originated in the study of global change and atmospheric pollution. In recent years, the concept of a source-to-sink system has been widely applied in continental margin sedimentary analysis. In our research, the idea of source-to-sink is applied to the continental rift basin sedimentary system in the Bohai Sea area. The idea emphasizes that the sedimentation dynamics, including erosion, transportation, and accumulation, are considered as a complete source-to-sink system. The sand-rich region often corresponds to a source-to-sink coupling system in a complex continental rift basin, which includes the effective provenance, high-efficiency routing system, and base-level transition. In addition, (1) the effective provenance can be subdivided into explicit and implicit provenance systems in which the implicit provenance system has been shown to be a significant advancement in reservoir prediction for the Bohai Sea area, (2) the sediment-transport pathways and slope-break zone constitute the routing systems, and (3) the base-level transition is one of the allogenic factors that controls the position of the sandstone distribution in a sequence. Based on a large number of previous studies and different characteristics of sequence-stratigraphic models in the Bohai Sea area, we have evaluated three types of source-to-sink systems, including the fault-steep slope, strike-slip fault slope, and gentle slope pattern. In addition, the fault-steep-slope source-to-sink coupling system can be further subdivided into four types, namely, the corner, relay ramps, fault-throw diminishment-type, and valley-type source-to-sink systems. The source-to-sink system of the gentle slope pattern includes the uplift axis valley-type source-to-sink system and the slope-valley-type source-to-sink system. A small-scale, thick layer of fan delta is formed in the fault-steep-slope zone. A continuous braided river delta is formed in the strike-slip fault slope zone. A large-scale, thin layer of braided river delta is formed in the gentle slope zone. The characteristics of source-to-sink systems in continental rift basins are established for the exploration or prediction of favorable zones in the study area, as well as in similar basins.

You do not currently have access to this article.