Patterns of basin fill in Triassic turbidites of the Nanpanjiang basin: Implications for regional tectonics and impacts on carbonate-platform evolution

Daniel J. Lehrmann, Daniel H. Chaikin, Paul Enos, Marcello Minzoni, Jonathan L. Payne, Meiyi Yu, Alexa Goers, Tanner Wood, Paula Richter, Brian M. Kelley, Xiaowei Li, Yanjiao Qin, Lingyun Liu, Gang Lu

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43 Scopus citations


The Nanpanjiang Basin occurs in a key position for resolving controversies of basin tectonics and patterns of plate assembly at the junction between south China and Southeast Asian plates. Paleocurrent measurements indicate that siliciclastic turbidites in the basin were sourced by the Precambrian Jiangnan uplift to the northeast, the Precambrian Yunkai uplift to the southeast and the Triassic Songma suture to the south. Detrital zircon geochronology reveals Archean (2500 Ma), Paleoproterozoic (1800-1900 Ma), Neoproterozoic (900-1000 Ma) and Paleozoic (420-460 Ma) ages consistent with derivation from the Jiangnan and Yunkai uplifts. A large Permian-Triassic peak of 250 Ma is present in the southern basin and attenuates northward suggesting derivation from an arc developed along the Songma suture. Sandstone QFL compositions average 65/12/23% and plot in the recycled orogen field except for a few samples in the southern basin that fall in the dissected arc field. The compositions are consistent with derivation from Precambrian basement that includes orogenic complexes. In the southern basin, Middle Triassic turbidites contain greater lithics and feldspars and Lower Triassic turbidites have volcaniclastic composition consistent with derivation from a southerly arc. Our preferred interpretation is evolution from remnant basin to a large peripheral foreland with southward subduction and convergence with Indochina along the Songma suture. The previously proposed Dian-Qiong zone is not a suture as its map location places it within carbonate platforms bounded by identical stratigraphy. The Nan-Uttaradit zone is too distant to have provided voluminous siliciclastic flux to the basin. The Nanpanjiang Basin provides an example of the evolution of an exceptionally large foreland with far-field rejuvenation of Precambrian uplifts and carbonate platforms that were significantly influenced by siliciclastic flux. The timing and pattern of turbidite basin fill impacted platform evolution by enabling margin progradation in areas proximal to siliciclastic sources, whereas platforms distant from sources were driven to aggradation and extreme relief with large-scale gravitational sector collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-612
Number of pages26
JournalBasin Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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