Wenyan Xie, University of Petroleum (China)
Yongjun Zhu, PetroChina (China)
Jianqun Jiang, PetroChina (China)
Liguo Hu, PetroChina (China)
Keyuan Guo, PetroChina (China)
Xi Wei, PetroChina (China)
The South China Sea is a passive marginal sea, whose evolution was strongly controlled by the movement of surrounding plates. Most of the northern marginal basins experienced inversion from mid to late Cenozoic. The intensity, age and dynamics of inversion differ from basin to basin. The inversion of the Yinggehai (Song-Hong) and Qiongdongnan basin occurred mainly in the northwest part of the basin, with fold axis trending roughly NS. The amplitude decreases from west to east, and inversion becomes younger toward south. Inversion in Yinggehai and Qiongdongnan basin started from late Oligocene (30Ma) or later and lasted till middle Miocene (about 15.5Ma). It's supposed that the south southeastward extrusion of Indochina led to the compression along the roughly NS-trending Yingxi fault and Zhongjian fault. The Beibu Gulf basin inverted at about 10.4Ma with folds developing mainly in the northwest part. The amplitude decreases from west to east and from north to south, which is supposed to be caused by the dextral slip of South China block along the Red River Fault Zone. The inversion in Pearl River Mouth basin appeared as fault block movement, uplift and erosion, partial folding and development of NWW trending shear faults. The intensity of inversion in Pearl River Mouth basin decreases from east to west, suggesting the compression from east, maybe from the compression of Philippine Sea plate toward South China Sea.