Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the Southeast China Block: New insights from basin analysis

L. S. Shu*, X. M. Zhou, P. Deng, B. Wang, S. Y. Jiang, J. H. Yu, X. X. Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

382 Citations (Scopus)


In order to better understand the Mesozoic tectonic evolution of Southeast China Block (SECB in short), this paper describes geological features of Mesozoic basins that are widely distributed in the SECB. The analyzed data are derived from a regional geological investigation on various Mesozoic basins and a recently compiled 1:1,500,000 geological map of Mesozoic-Cenozoic basins. Two types of basin are distinguished according to their tectonic settings, namely, the post-orogenic basin (Type I) and the intracontinental extensional basin (Type II); the latter includes the graben and the half-graben or faulted-depression basins. Our studies suggest that the formation of these basins connects with the evolution of geotectonics of the SECB. The post-orogenic basin (Type I) was formed in areas from the piedmont to the intraland during the interval from Late Triassic to Early Jurassic; and the formation of the intracontinental extensional basin (Type II) connects with an intracontinental crustal thinning setting in the Late Mesozoic. The graben basin was generated during the Middle Jurassic and is associated with a bimodal volcanic eruption; and the half-graben or faulted-depression basin, filled mainly by the rhyolite, tuff and sedimentary rocks during Early Cretaceous, is occupied by the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene red-colored terrestrial clastic rocks. We noticed that the modern outcrops of numerous granites and basins occur in a similar level, and the Mesozoic granitic bodies contact with the adjacent basins by large normal faults, suggesting that the modern landforms between granites and basins were yielded by the late crustal movement. The modern basin and range framework was settled down in the Cretaceous. Abundant sedimentary structures are found in the various basins, from that the deposited environments and paleo-currents are concluded; during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic time, the source areas were situated to the north and northeast sides of the outcrop region. In this paper, we present the study results on one geological and geographical separating unit and two separating fault zones. The Wuyi orogenic belt is a Late Mesozoic paleo-geographically separating unit, the Ganjiang fault zone behaves as the western boundary of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks, and the Zhenghe-Dapu fault zone separates the SE-China Coastal Late Mesozoic volcanic-sedimentary basins and the Wuyi orogenic belt. Finally, we discuss the geodynamic mechanisms forming various basins, proposing a three-stage model of the Mesozoic sedimentary evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-391
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Basin analysis
  • Mesozoic
  • Southeast China Block
  • Tectonic evolution


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