Variation of depositional environment during the evolution of deepwater fold-and-thrust belt in the Frontal Ridge area offshore SW Taiwan

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Liang-Fu Lin1, Char-Shine Liu1, Che-Chuan Lin1, Ho-Han Hsu1, Jih-Hshin Chang1, Song-Chuen Chen2, Yunshuen Wang2 and San-Hsiung Chung2, (1)NTU National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, (2)Central Geological Survey, Taipei, Taiwan
The area offshore SW Taiwan is an active margin where the accretionary prism of the Luzon arc-trench system has obliquely overridden the continental margin of the South China Sea (SCS). Located by the Penghu Submarine Canyon, the Frontal Ridge is the westernmost structural relief of the orogenic wedge which is separated from the SCS continental margin by a deformation front. The Penghu submarine canyon, which starts from the China continental shelf and cuts across the fold-and-thrust belt, may plays an important role for transporting orogenic sediments from on shore Taiwan to the deep sea South China Sea basin. In this study, high-resolution seismic data collected in the Frontal Ridge area have been analyzed, a significant variation of stratigraphic architectures with time were identified by detailed analyzing both structural and depositional characteristics. Seismic facies analysis shows that the older parallel strata were eroded and superimposed by a series of lobe-channel-levee complex, interpreted as the fan deposits of the paleo Penghu Submarine Canyon. These deposits were later deformed by a multi-stage frontal thrusting. We propose a model to show how tectonic processes change the depositional environment. During the evolution of fold-and-thrust belt, the slope gradient and sedimentation rate changed. The Frontal Ridge area was at the abyssal plain, and then changed to the continental rise environment. Finally, convergent tectonics changed this area to be part of the orogenic wedge, and frontal fold developed.