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Distribution of the East China Sea continental shelf basins and depths of magnetic sources

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The acoustic basement map of the East China Sea, established by the Shanghai Offshore Petroleum Bureau with all available industry seismic data, shows the existence of a 30-km-wide, 10-km-deep basin, that we named the Ho Basin. The Ho Basin belongs to a series of elongated deep basins extending over 600 km east of the Taiwan-Sinzi Ridge and flanked to the East by a ridge named the Longwan Ridge in its northern part. This new system of basin and ridge was probably formed during middle Miocene, sometimes in between rifting episodes occurring in the Taipei Basin and Okinawa Trough. It complements the already defined system of five belts of backarc basins and associated arc volcanic ridges in the East China Sea, which are progressively younger from the Mainland China shoreline (late Cretaceous/early Tertiary) to the Okinawa Trough (Present). In order to determine the crustal thickness beneath the East China Sea continental shelf, we used a power spectrum method to calculate the depth of the top (Zt) and the centroid (Zo) of the magnetic basement by fitting a straight line through the high- and low-wave number portions of the power spectrum, respectively. Then, the depth of the base (Zb) is estimated from Zt and Zo. After optimizing the size of the data squares, we demonstrate that, except for basins more than 10 km deep, Zt corresponds to the basement depths and Zb, the depth of the Curie point, to the Moho depth. As wide-angle reflection and refraction data are scarce in the East China Sea, this method provides a way to characterize the crustal thickness of the East China Sea and to compute the theoretical heat flow values.


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Correspondence to Jing-Yi Lin.

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Lin, J., Sibuet, J. & Hsu, S. Distribution of the East China Sea continental shelf basins and depths of magnetic sources. Earth Planet Sp 57, 1063–1072 (2005) doi:10.1186/BF03351885

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Key words

  • East China Sea
  • backarc basins
  • spectral analysis
  • depth of magnetic sources