Deglacial and Holocene evolution of the Vietnam shelf: stratigraphy, sediments and sea-level change.

Schimanski, A. and Stattegger, K. (2005) Deglacial and Holocene evolution of the Vietnam shelf: stratigraphy, sediments and sea-level change. Marine Geology, 214 (4). pp. 365-387. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2004.11.001.

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On the Vietnam Shelf more than 1000 miles of shallow high-resolution seismics were analyzed to unravel post-glacial evolution in a tropical, siliciclastic environment together with 25 sediment cores from water depths between 21 and 169 m to determine stratigraphy, distribution and style of sedimentation. Fourty-seven samples were dated with the AMS-C-14 technique. The shelf was grouped into three regions: a southern part, a central part, and a northern part. On the broad Southern Shelf sedimentation is influenced by the Mekong River, which drains into the SCS in this area. Here, incised valley fills are abundant that were cut into the late Pleistocene land surface by the Paleo-Mekong River during times of sea level lowstand. Those valleys are filled with transgressive deposits. The Holocene sedimentation rate in this low gradient accommodation-dominated depositional system is in the range of 5-10 and 25-40 cm/ky at locations sheltered from currents. The Central Shelf is narrow and the sedimentary strata are conformable. Here, numerous small mountainous rivers reach the SCS and transport large amounts of detrital sediment onto the shelf. Therefore, the Holocene sedimentation rate is high with values of 50-100 cm/ky in this supply-dominated depositional system. The broad Northern Shelf in the vicinity of the Red River Delta shows, as on the Southern Shelf incised valleys cut into the Pleistocene land surface by paleo river channels. In this accommodation-dominated shelf area, the sedimentation rate is low with values of 5-10 cm/ky. Where applicable, we assigned the sampled deposits to different paleo-facies. The latter are related to certain intervals of water depths at their time of deposition. Comparison with the sea-level curve of [Hanebuth, T.J.J., Stattegger, K., Grootes, P., 2000. Rapid flooding of the Sunda Shelf; a lateglacial sea-level record. Science, 288: 1033-1035.] indicates subsidence on the Central Shelf, which is in agreement with the high sedimentation rates in this area. In contrast, data from the Northern Shelf suggest tectonic uplift that might be related to recent tectonic movements along the Ailao Shan-Red River Fault zone. Data from the Southern Shelf are generally in agreement with the sea-level curve mentioned above. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: South China Sea Holocene transgression sea level shelf sediments terrigenous input Vietnam south china sea last glacial maximum sunda shelf mixing rates accumulation discharge ocean asia sequences history
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.margeo.2004.11.001
ISSN: 0025-3227
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 05:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 18:03

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