A Seismic Study on Muddy Sediment Deposits in the Northern Shelf of the East China Sea

동중국해 북부대륙붕에 발달한 니질 퇴적체의 탄성파 연구

  • Choi Dong-Lim (South Sea Institute, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Lee Tae-Hee (South Sea Institute, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Yoo Hae-Soo (Marine Geoenvironment Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Lim Dhong-Il (South Sea Institute, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Huh Sik (Marine Geoenvironment Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Kim Kwang-Hee (Marine Geoenvironment Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute)
  • 최동림 (한국해양연구원 남해연구소) ;
  • 이태희 (한국해양연구원 남해연구소) ;
  • 유해수 (한국해양연구원 해양환경연구본부) ;
  • 임동일 (한국해양연구원 남해연구소) ;
  • 허식 (한국해양연구원 해양환경연구본부) ;
  • 김광희 (한국해양연구원 해양환경연구본부)
  • Published : 2005.12.01


We present the sedimentary sequence and distribution pattern of the late Holocene muddy deposits in the northern East China Sea shelf using the high-resolution 'Chirp' profiles. The seismic sedimentary sequence overlying acoustic basement (basal reflector-B) can be divided into two depositional units (Unit 1 and 2) bounded by erosional bounding surface (mid reflector-M). The lower Unit 1 above basal reflector-H is characterized by the acoustically parallel to subparallel reflections and channel-fill facies. The upper Unit 2, up to 7 m in thickness, shows seismically semi-transparent seismic facies and lenticular body form. On the base of sequence stratigraphic concept, these two sediment units have developed during transgression and highstand period, respectively, since the last sea-level lowstand. The transgressive systems tract (Unit 1) lie directly on the sequence boundary (reflector B) that have farmed during the last glacial maximum. The transgressive systems tract in this study consists mostly of complex of delta, fluvial, and tidal deposits within the incised valley estuary system. The maximum flooding surface (reflector M) corresponding to the top surface of transgressive systems tract is obviously characterized by erosional depression. The highstand systems tract (Unit 2) above maximum flooding surface is made up of the mud patch filled with the erosional depression. The high-stand mud deposits showing a circle shape just like a typhoon symbol locates about 140 km off the south of Cheju Island with water depth of $60\~90m$. Coverage area and total sediment volume of the mud deposits are about $3,200km^2$ and $10.7\times10^9\;m^3$, respectively. The origin of the mud patch is interpreted as a result of accumulating suspended sediments derived from the paleo-Yellow and/or Yangtze Rivers. The circular distribution pattern of the mud patch appears to be largely controlled by the presence of cyclonic eddy in the northern East China Sea.


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