A Structural Interpretation Model and Restoration of the Mesozoic Proto-basin for the Kuqa Depression, Tarim Basin

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The Tarim Oil Company of PetroChina provided the seismic data and approved the usage of the data in this paper. The interpretation of the geophysical data used in this paper was assisted by Ma Peiling of the Korla Branch of the BGP. The research work was supported by the National Science and Technology Major Special Project (Grant No. 2011ZX05003-004) and the National Key Basic Research Development Plan (Grant No. 2011CB201100). Prof. Chen Shefa from Central South University provided some valuable suggestions. Three anonymous reviewers made a number of insightful suggestions for revising the paper, which played a key role in improving its quality.

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    A thrust-fold belt consisting of a series of thrusts and buckling folds developed in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata within the Kuqa Depression, Tarim Basin. In this study, a structural interpretation model of the Kuqa Depression is established and the Mesozoic proto-basin is reconstructed on the basis of outcrop geology along the basin margin, seismic, well-log and CEMP data. The model is called ‘delaminate contractional deformation’, which emphasizes the decoupling between the Cenozoic, Mesozoic, pre-Mesozoic and the basin-basement within the Kuqa Depression, but there is no unified detachment. The model has a shortening amount ranging from 12 km to 16 km and the depth involved in contractional deformation ranges from 21 km to 28 km. A prototype of the Mesozoic basin reconstructed by interpretation model is a sub-basin superposed on the transitional zone between the uplift at the northern edge of the Tarim Craton and the southern Tianshan orogenic wedge formed in the Hercynian orogeny. Lithospheric thermal and crustal isostatic activity after the Hercynian orogeny maybe the controlling dynamic factors of basin subsidence during the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic, the difference in rock mechanical properties between different levels, craton and orogenic wedge being the major cause of the ‘delaminate contractional deformation’ during the Himalayan orogeny.

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QI Jiafu, LI Yong, XU Zhenping, YANG Shujiang, SUN Tong.2023. A Structural Interpretation Model and Restoration of the Mesozoic Proto-basin for the Kuqa Depression, Tarim Basin[J]. Acta Geologica Sinica(),97(1):207-225

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  • Received:August 31,2021
  • Revised:June 07,2022
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  • Online: February 28,2023
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