The sedimentary and tectonic evolution of the Amur River and North Sakhalin Basin: New evidence from seismic stratigraphy and Neogene-Recent sediment budgets

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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers and International Association of Sedimentologists. The North Sakhalin Basin in the western Sea of Okhotsk has been the main site of sedimentation from the Amur River since the Early Miocene. In this article, we present regional seismic reflection data and a Neogene-Recent sediment budget to constrain the evolution of the basin and its sedimentary fill, and consider the implications for sediment flux from the Amur River, in particular testing models of continental-scale Neogene drainage capture. The Amur-derived basin-fill history can be divided into five distinct stages: the first Amur-derived sediments (>21-16.5 Ma) were deposited during a period of transtension along the Sakhalin-Hokkaido Shear Zone, with moderately high sediment flux to the basin (71 Mt year-1). The second stage sequence (16.5-10.4 Ma) was deposited following the cessation of transtension, and was characterised by a significant reduction in sediment flux (24 Mt year-1) and widespread retrogradation of deltaic sediments. The third (10.4-5.3 Ma) and fourth (5.3-2.5 Ma) stages were characterised by progradation of deltaic sediments and an associated increase in sediment flux (48-60 Mt year-1) to the basin. Significant uplift associated with regional transpression started during this time in southeastern Sakhalin, but the north-eastward propagating strain did not reach the NE shelf of Sakhalin until the Pleistocene (<2.5 Ma). This uplift event, still ongoing today, resulted in recycling of older deltaic sediments from the island of Sakhalin, and contributed to a substantially increased total sediment flux to the adjacent basinal areas (165 Mt year-1). Adjusted rates to discount these local erosional products (117 Mt year-1) imply an Amur catchment-wide increase in denudation rates during the Late Pliocene-Pleistocene however, this was likely a result of global climatic and eustatic effects, combined with tectonic processes within the Amur catchment and possibly a smaller drainage capture event by the Sungari tributary, rather than continental-scale drainage capture involving the entire upper Amur catchment.

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Basin Research

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