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The uplift history of northeastern Asian continental margin has been the subject of much debate. The Sanjiang Basin is an ideal area to investigate the uplift history of this margin. We present new data from sandstone petrology, whole-rock geochemistry, U–Pb geochronology and Hf isotopy of detrital zircons to trace the provenance of the basin and to unravel the uplift history of the northeastern Asian continental margin. We investigated the chemical and plagioclase indices of alteration and index of compositional variability (CIA, PIA and ICV, respectively) in samples from two formations. The geochemical proxies indicate that source rocks were subjected to an intensified weathering process. Based on the high SiO2/Al2O3 values and low K2O, we infer that the two basinal strata experienced silicification and insignificant potassium metasomatism. Sandstone petrography is indicative of low degrees of sedimentary sorting, suggesting a proximal deposition. The provenance fingerprints of light rare earth, high-field-strength and transition metal elements indicate that parts of the provenance included recycled sediments, and that first-cycle sediments were derived mainly from felsic rocks with a minor contribution from intermediate and mafic rocks. The combined detrital zircon U–Pb ages and Hf isotopic results constrain the contributions of different source terranes over time. The provenance results, in combination with seismic profile interpretations from the Sanjiang Basin, suggest that the northeastern Asian continental margin experienced at least three stages of uplift, which were driven by subduction initiation of the Paleo-Pacific Ocean during the Jurassic Period, a plate motion change during the Early Cretaceous Epoch, and a shallowing of the slab dip angle during the Late Cretaceous Epoch.
Eastern Australia was affected by late Cenozoic intraplate deformation in response to far-field stress transmitted from the plate boundaries, but little is known about the intensity and pattern of this deformation. We used recently surveyed two-dimensional seismic reflection lines and aeromagnetic data, and data from the recently released Australian Stress Map, to investigate the structure of the Nagoorin Basin in eastern Queensland. The western margin of the Nagoorin beds was displaced by the Boynedale Fault, which is a NNW-striking SW-dipping oblique strike-slip reverse fault with a vertical throw of c. 900 m and c. 16 km sinistral displacement. A significant part of this large sinistral displacement is interpreted to have occurred prior to late Cenozoic time. Several low-angle (<30°) thin-skinned thrusts with a flat-ramp geometry also displaced the Nagoorin beds, which are interpreted to have developed along detachment surfaces in oil shales and claystone. The Boynedale Fault is a segment within longer NNW-striking faults that include the North Pine and West Ipswich fault systems in eastern Queensland. These NNW-striking faults are potentially active, and may accommodate neotectonic thrust movement in response to the present-day NE–SW orientation of SHmax. Results of this study, in conjunction with previous information on sedimentary basins in eastern Australia, indicate that Cenozoic contractional deformation is stronger at the continental margins, possibly due to the presence of pre-existing rift-related structures.
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