Marine Geophysical Constraints on the Origin and Evolution of Ulleung Basin and the Seamounts in the East Sea

울릉분지와 동해 해산의 기원과 발달과정에 대한 해양지구물리학적 연구

  • Kim Jinho (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Park Soo-chul (Department of Oceanography, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Kang Moo-hee (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Kim Kyong-O (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Han Hyun-chul (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources)
  • Published : 2005.12.01


The East Sea, a marginal sea or back-arc basin, consists of Japan Basin, Yamato Basin, and Ulleung Basin and is surrounded by the Pacific Plate and Philippine Sea Plate. Ulleung Basin locates in the southwestern part of the East Sea and shows the depth of 1,500 m in average and 2,500 m in maximum, connecting to the Japan Basin along 2,000 m contour. The slope of the seafloor is greater in the western side of the basin than in the southern and the eastern side. The crustal thickness of the Ulleung Basin from the OBS tends to get thicker toward the north and the west side and the sediment thickness of the Ulleung Basin is getting thicker toward the southeast side and reaches up to 12 km. The crustal type of the Ulleung Basin was variously suggested as like as a rifted continental crust, an extended continental crust, and an incipient oceanic trust. The origin of the crustal formation and the Ulleung Basin, however, is still controversial. Based on the bathymetry and gravtiy anomaly data for this study, the axis of the Ulleung Basin shows that the basin develops along the axis trending NW-SE direction and reveals a general symmetry of the bathymetry. And also the free-air gravity anomalies show a very similar pattern to the bathymetry of the basin. The sediment thickness is relatively thicker in the southeastern side of the basin than in the northwestern side. Although the crustal age of the Ulleung Basin is supposed to be younger than them of the Japan Basin and the Yamato Basin, the free-air gravity anomalies of the Ulleung Basin ranging -40 to 50 mGals are lower than the other basins, which suggests that the densities of crust and sediment of the Ulleng Basin are lower than the Japan Basin and the Yamato Basin.


  1. 강무희 (2000) 동해 독도주변 해산의 지질학적 및 지구물리학적 특성과 그 지사학적 의미. 충남대학교 지질학과 석사학위 논문. 105p
  2. 김원균, 김창환, 박찬홍, 한현철, 권문상, 민경덕, 김백수, 최영섭 (2000) 독도 및 그 주변 해산 중력 이상의 지구조적 해석. 자원환경지질, 33권, p. 537-545
  3. 김한준 (1999) 탄성파 탐사를 통해 본 울릉분지의 지각특성과 동해형성에 있어서의 의미. 지구물리학회, 2권, p. 9-26
  4. 박찬홍, N. Isezaki, N. Seama, 김성렬 (1999b) 자기이상의 analytic signal 및 자극화 변환에 의한 울릉분지의 구조 해석. 지질학회, 35권, p. 297-308
  5. Ingle, C. J. (1992) Subsidence of the Japan Sea: strati-graphic evidence from ODP sites and onshore sections. Proceedings ODP, Sci. Results, v. 127/128, Pt. 2, p. 1197-1218
  6. Lee, K. E., (1992) Geological structure of Ulleung back-arc basin East Sea. MS thesis, Seoul National University, Seoul, 121 p
  7. Otofuji, Y. and Matsuda, T. (1983) Paleomagentic evidence for the clockwise rotation of Southwest Japan. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 62, p. 349-359
  8. Smith, W. H. F. and Sandwell, T. (1997) Global Sea Floor Topography from Satellite Altimetry and Ship Depth Soundings. Sci., v. 277, p. 1956-1962
  9. Tamaki, K. (1986) Age estimation of the Japan Sea on the basis of stratigraphy, basement depth and heat flow data. J. Geomagn. Geoelectr., v. 38, p. 427-446
  10. Tamaki, K. (1988) Geological structure of the Japan Sea and its tectonic implications. Bull. Geol. Surv. Jpn., v. 39, p. 269-365
  11. Tamaki, K. (1995) Opening tectonics of the Japan Sea. In Taylor, B.(ed.) Backarc Basins: Tectonics and mag-matism. Plenum Press, New York, p. 407-420
  12. Yoon, S. H. (1994) The eastern continental margin of Korea: seismic stratigraphy, geologic structure and tectonic evolution, unpublished Ph. D. thesis. Seoul National University, Seoul, 235 p
  13. Yoon, S. H. and Chough, S. K. (1995) Regional strike slip in the eastern continental margin of Korea and its tectonic implications for the evolution of Ulleung Basin, East Sea(Sea of Japan). Geol. Soc. Bull. Am., v. 107, p. 83-97<0083:RSSITE>2.3.CO;2
  14. Chough, S. K. and Barg, E. (1987) Tectonic history of Ulleung basin margin, East Sea(Sea of Japan). Geology v. 15, p. 45-48<45:THOUBM>2.0.CO;2
  15. Tamaki, K., Suyehiro, K. Allan, J. Ingle, J. C. and Pis-ciotto, K. (1992) Tectonic synthesis and implications of Japan Sea ODP drilling. Proceedings ODP Sci. Results, v. 127/128, Pt. 2, p. 1333-1350
  16. 강무희, 한현철, 윤혜수, 이치원 (2002) 동해 독도주변 해산의 지구물리학적 특성. 해양학회, 7권, p. 267-285
  17. Lee, G. H., Kim, H. J. Suh, M. C. and Hong, J. K. (1999) Crustal structure, volcanism, and opening mode of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea(Sea of Japan). Tectonophysics, v. 308, p. 503-525
  18. Otofuji, Y. and Matsuda, T (1987) Amount of clockwise rotation of Southwest Japan-fan shape opening of the southwestern part of the Japan Sea. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 85, p. 289-301
  19. Kim, H. J., Han, S. J., Lee, G. H. and Huh, S. (1998) Seismic study of the Ulleung Basin crust and its implications for the opening of the East Sea(Japan Sea). Mar. Geophys. Res., v. 20, p. 219-237
  20. 이종익, 허순도, 허식, 천종화, 한상준 (2000) 동해 한국대지에서 채취된 화강암편의 지구화학 및 Sr-Nd 동위원소 조성. 지질학회, 36권, p. 279-294
  21. Otofuji, Y, Kambara, A. Matsuda, T. and Nohda, S. (1994) Counterclockwise rotation of northeast Japan: pale-omagnetic evidence for regional extent and timing of rotation. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 121, p. 503-518
  22. 박찬홍, 김정우, 허식, 원중선, 석봉출, 유해수 (1999a) 울릉분지에서의 선상중력과 위성중력 통합에 의한 중력 해상도 향상 및 해석. 지구물리학회, 2권, p. 27-38
  23. Otofuji, Y, Itaya, T. and Matsuda, T. (1991) Rapid rotation of southwest Japan-paleomagnetism and K-Ar ages of Miocene volcanic rocks of southwest Japan. Geophys. J. Int., v. 105, p. 397-405
  24. Lee, G. H. and Suk, B. C. (1998) Latest Neogene-Qua-ternary seismic stratigraphy of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea(Sea of Japan). Mar. Geol., v. 146, p. 205-224
  25. Chough, S. K., Lee, K. E. Chun, S. S. and Han, J. H. (1989) The Ulleung back-arc basin: geological outline and petroleum potential. Acta Oceanographica Tai-wanica, v. 24, p. 1-22
  26. Jolivet, L., Huchon, Ph. and Rangin, C. (1989) Tectonic setting of Western Pacific marginal basins. Tectonophysics, v. 160, p. 23-47
  27. Jolivet, L., Huchon, Ph., Brun, J. E, Chamot-Rooke, N., LePichon, X. and Thomas, J. C. (1991) Arc deformation and marginal basin opening, Japan Sea as a case study. J. Geophys. Res., v. 96, p. 4367-4384
  28. Jolivet, L, Shibuya, H. and Fournier, M. (1995) Paleo-magnetic rotations and the Japan Sea opening. In Taylor, B. and Natland, J.(ed.) Active Margins and Marginal Basins of the Western Pacific. Geophys. Monogr. Sen, vol. 88, AGU, Washington, D.C., p. 355-369
  29. Otofuji, Y. and Matsuda, T. and Nohda, S. (1985) Pale-omagnetic evidences for the Miocene counterclockwise rotation of northeast Japan-rifting process of the Japan arc. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett, v. 75, p. 265-277
  30. Lallemand, S. and Jolivet, L. (1985) Japan Sea: a pull apart basin. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 76, p. 375-389
  31. Lee, G. H., Kim, H. J., Han, S. J. and Kim, D. C. (2001) Seismic stratigraphy of the deep Ulleung Basin in the East Sea Qapan Sea) back-arc basin. Mar. Petrol. Geol., v. 18, p. 615-634
  32. 이치원 외 20인 (1997) 한반도 주변해역 조사 및 해저지질도 작성 연구(독도 해역). 한국자원연구소, KR-97(C)-21, 222p
  33. Carter, D. J. T. (1980) Echo-sounding correction tables: Formerly Matthews Tables. 3rd(ed.), Hydrographic Dept, Ministry of Defense, Taunton, Somerset, UK, 139p
  34. Otofuji, Y. and Matsuda, T. (1984) Timing of rotational motion of Southwest Japan inferred from paleomag-netism. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 70, p.. 373-382
  35. Jolivet, L. and Tamaki, K. (1992) Neogene kinematics in the Japan Sea region and the volcanic activity of the Northeast Japan arc. Proceedings ODR Sci. Results, v. 127/128, Pt. 2, p. 1311-1331