Upper Miocene to Quaternary unidirectionally migrating deep-water channels in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea

  • Gong C
  • Wang Y
  • Zhu W
 et al. 
  • 70


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 43


    Citations of this article.


A series of short and steep unidirectionally migrating deep- water channels, which are typically without levees and migrate progressively northeastward, are identified in the Baiyun de- pression, Pearl River Mouth Basin. Using three-dimensional seismic and well data, the current study documents their mor- phology, internal architecture, and depositional history, and discusses the distribution and depositional controls on the bottom current–reworked sands within these channels. Unidirectionally migrating deep-water channels consist of different channel-complex sets (CCSs) that are, overall, short and steep, and their northeastern walls are, overall, steeper than their southwestern counterparts. Within each CCS, bot- tom current–reworked sands in the lower part grade upward into muddy slumps and debris-flow deposits and, finally, into shale drapes. Three stages of CCSs development are recognized: (1) the early lowstand incision stage, during which intense gravity and/ or turbidity flows versus relatively weak along-slope bottom currents of the North Pacific intermediate water (NPIW-BCs) resulted in basal erosional bounding surfaces and limited bottom current–reworked sands; (2) the late lowstand lateral-migration and active-fill stage, with gradual CCS widening and progres- sively northeastward migration, characterized by reworking of gravity- and/or turbidity-flow deposits by vigorous NPIW-BCs and theCCSs being mainly filled by bottomcurrent–reworked sands and limited slumps and debris-flow deposits; and (3) the transgression abandonment stage, characterized by the ter- mination of the gravity and/or turbidity flows and the CCSs being widely draped by marine shales. These three stages re- peated through time, leading to the generation of unidirec- tionallymigrating deep-water channels. The distribution of the bottom current–reworked sands varies both spatially and temporally. Spatially, these sands mainly accumulate along the axis of the unidirectionally mi- grating deep-water channels and are preferentially deposited to the side toward which the channels migrated. Temporally, these sands mainly accumulated during the late lowstand lateral-migration and active-fill stage. The bottom current–reworked sands developed under the combined action of gravity and/or turbidity flows and along- slope bottom currents of NPIW-BCs. Other factors, including relative sea level fluctuations, sediment supply, and slope con- figurations, also affected the formation and distribution of these sands.Theproposeddistributionpatternof thebottomcurrent– reworked sands has practical implications for predicting res- ervoir occurrence and distribution in bottom current–related channels

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Chenglin Gong

  • Yingmin Wang

  • Weilin Zhu

  • Weiguo Li

  • Qiang Xu

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free