Volume 40 Issue 2
Apr.  2021
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Article Contents
Bin Wang, Fuliang Lü, Shuang Li, Jian Li, Zhili Yang, Li Li, Xuefeng Wang, Yintao Lu, Taotao Yang, Jingwu Wu, Guozhong Sun, Hongxia Ma, Xiaoyong Xu. A buried submarine canyon in the northwestern South China Sea: architecture, development processes and implications for hydrocarbon exploration[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2021, 40(2): 29-41. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1751-0
Citation: Bin Wang, Fuliang Lü, Shuang Li, Jian Li, Zhili Yang, Li Li, Xuefeng Wang, Yintao Lu, Taotao Yang, Jingwu Wu, Guozhong Sun, Hongxia Ma, Xiaoyong Xu. A buried submarine canyon in the northwestern South China Sea: architecture, development processes and implications for hydrocarbon exploration[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2021, 40(2): 29-41. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1751-0

A buried submarine canyon in the northwestern South China Sea: architecture, development processes and implications for hydrocarbon exploration

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1751-0
Funds:  The National Scientific Foundation of China under contract No.41876054; the National Science and Technology Major Project “the evaluations of deepwater oil and gas geological conditions and targets in Zhongjian area of the South China Sea” under contract No.2017ZX05026006; the CNPC Science and Technology Major Projects under contract No. 2019A-1009&2019D-4309; the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract No. XDA13010101; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41706054.
More Information
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: lishuang@scsio.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2019-08-30
  • Accepted Date: 2020-03-19
  • Available Online: 2021-04-02
  • Publish Date: 2021-04-02
  • High-resolution multichannel seismic data enables the discovery of a previous, undocumented submarine canyon (Huaguang Canyon) in the Qiongdongnan Basin, northwestern South China Sea. The Huaguang Canyon with a NW orientation is 140 km in length, and 2.5 km to 5 km in width in its upper reach and 4.6 km to 9.5 km in width in its lower reach. The head of the Huaguang Canyon is close to the Xisha carbonate platform and its tail is adjacent to the Central Canyon. This buried submarine canyon is formed by gravity flows from the Xisha carbonate platform when the sea level dropped in the early stage of the late Miocene (around 10.5 Ma). The internal architecture of the Huaguang Canyon is mainly characterized by high amplitude reflections, indicating that this ancient submarine canyon was filled with coarse-grained sediments. The sediment was principally scourced from the Xisha carbonate platform. In contrast to other buried large-scale submarine canyons (Central Canyon and Zhongjian Canyon) in the Qiongdongnan Basin, the Huaguang Canyon displays later formation time, smaller width and length, and single sediment supply. The coarse-grained deposits within the Huaguang Canyon provide a good environment for reserving oil and gas, and the muddy fillings in the Huaguang Canyon have been identified as regional caps. Therefore, the Huaguang Canyon is a potential area for future hydrocarbon exploration in the northwestern South China Sea. The result of this paper may contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of submarine canyons formed in carbonate environment.
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