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Tectonostratigraphic framework in the eastern Korean continental margin, East Sea: Implication for evolution of the Hupo Basin
Basin Research  (IF4.308),  Pub Date : 2021-11-27, DOI: 10.1111/bre.12641
Yongjoon Park, Nyeonkeon Kang, Boyeon Yi, Gwangsoo Lee, Donggeun Yoo

Integrating seismic interpretation facilitates the discernment of tectonostratigraphic evolution in the eastern Korean continental margin, East Sea. The sedimentary succession of this margin is divided into three major seismic units based on distinct unconformities. These unconformities and their associated seismic characteristics indicate that the eastern Korean continental margin has experienced four evolutionary stages through extensional and subsequent two-phase tectonic inversions. Early Miocene back-arc opening of the East Sea triggered the extension of NNW–SSE and N–S trending rifts, resulting in non-marine to deep-marine deposition of typical rift-related linked sedimentological systems in the eastern Korean continental margin. In the early Late Miocene, changes in plate motion and the subduction mode of the Japanese island (NW–SE compression) caused the positive inversion of extensional fault-bounded half-grabens in the eastern Korean continental margin, and the Hupo Basin was likely created by the regional flexural response. During this depositional period, hemipelagic sedimentation accompanied by episodic gravity-controlled slope failures was predominant in the deep-water environment. The subsidence of the Hupo Basin was enhanced by crustal shortening (E–W compression) that was induced by subduction initiation at the western margin of the Ulleung Basin during the late Early Pliocene (ca. 3.8 Ma). At that time, sedimentary environment gradually became shallower with time and coarse-grained terrigenous input into the Hupo Basin began so that shallow- to deep-marine sedimentation occurred. In the Quaternary period, the uplift of the Hupo Bank and coeval subsidence of the Hupo Basin were maintained by continued compressive neotectonics. The shallow- to deep-marine deposition continued, but greater quantities of coarse-grained terrestrial sediment were transported into the Hupo Basin due to combined effects on tectonics and eustasy. Based on the tectonostratigraphic reconstruction developed in this study, we propose that the Hupo Basin is likely a Late Miocene–Quaternary compression-related basin induced by crustal or thrust loading.