Sedimentation of the Lower Cretaceous Xiagou formation and Its Response to Regional Tectonics in the Qingxi Sag, Jiuquan Basin, NW China
Under the constraint of an isochronous sequence stratigraphic framework, sediment infill of the Xiagou Formation reflects the overall control of dynamic tectonic movements and episodic sedimentations in the Qingxi Sag. Structure reactivity during post-depositional processes could cause stratigraphic variations in longitudinal time and lateral space. This study documents sediment infill features and their response to the tectonic evolutions of the Qingxi Sag. The data sets include comparison of cores, well drilling, 3D seismic, inter-well correlation, wave impedance inversion profiles, original strata recovery data, sedimentary fades spatial evolution and their superimposition with paleogeomorphology. The Jiuquan Basin is a Mesozoic-Cenozoic superposition basin comprising an early rifting graben phase and a later compression phase. Since the Early Cretaceous, the basin has undergone four major tectonic episodes: 1) extension during the Early Cretaceous, 2) tectonic inversion caused by northwest-southeast contraction from the Late Cretaceous to the Paleocene, 3) weak extension from the Eocene to the Miocene and 4) contraction from the Miocene to the present. Therefore, the Jiuquan Basin is the product of taphrogenic, collisional and shearing movements. Seismic interpretations of sequence and maximum flooding surface divide the Xiagou Formation into three third order sequences: SQK1g(0), SQK1g(1) and SQK1g(2+3). Five sedimentary facies associations are identified: the shoreland plain, fan delta dominated sedimentary systems, turbidite deposits, shallow lakes and half-deep lake systems. From K1g(0) to K1g(2+3), decreased sandstone percentages in three fan delta areas indicate a continuously transgressive process, which shows the transition from proximal to distal sites in most statistic wells and an obvious decrease of fan delta scales. The northeast-southwest faults control the lakeward distributions of delta fronts and turbidite fans. The correspondence of sedimentary infill and its response to tectonic movements have been demonstrated in the Qingxi Sag. The more active eastern part of the northeastern boundary fault has an important influence on the northeastward migration of depocenters in the Xiagou Formation. The topography developed continuously from K1g(0) to K1g(2+3), but the diminished subsidence indicates the dominant geological process varying from intense fault rifting in an early period to relatively gentle and overall subsidence in a later period during the Early Cretaceous. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.