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    Evolution of the continental margin of south to central Vietnam and its relationship to opening of the South China Sea (East Vietnam Sea)

    Nguyen, H.H. and Carter, Andrew and Hoang, L.V. and Fox, M. and Pham, S.N. and Vinh, H.B. (2022) Evolution of the continental margin of south to central Vietnam and its relationship to opening of the South China Sea (East Vietnam Sea). Tectonics 41 (2), ISSN 0278-7407.

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    The continental margin of south to central Vietnam is notable for its high elevation plateaus many of which are covered by late Cenozoic basalt flows. It forms the westernmost margin of a wide continental rift of the South China Sea (East Vietnam Sea), and uplift has been considered a result of either rifting or younger intraplate basalt magmatism. To investigate margin development apatite thermochronometry was applied to a dense array of samples collected from across and along the margin of south to central Vietnam. Results, including thermal history models, identified a distinct regional episode of fast cooling between c. 37 and 30 Ma after which cooling rates remained low. The fast cooling coincides with a period of fast extension across the South China Sea (East Sea) region that preceded continental break-up recorded by Oligocene grabens onshore. A thermal model is used test different processes that might influence the inferred cooling including a distinct pulse of exhumation; a decrease in exhumation followed by an associated transient decrease in geothermal gradients and, underplating coincident with rifting. Thermal relaxation following Mesozoic arc magmatism is ruled out as geotherms returned to background rates within 20 Myrs of emplacement, well before the onset of fast cooling. Models support fast cooling attributed to accelerated erosion during early stages of rifting. Some additional heating from either underplating, and/or hot mantle upwellings is also possible. No evidence was found to support regional uplift associated with the intraplate magmatism, enhanced monsoon-driven erosion or seafloor spreading dynamics.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: London Geochemistry and Isotope Centre
    Depositing User: Andy Carter
    Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 11:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:15


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