28. Plate Interior Poly-Phase Basins

  1. Cathy Busby3 and
  2. Antonio Azor4
  1. Cari L. Johnson1 and
  2. Bradley D. Ritts2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch28

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

How to Cite

Johnson, C. L. and Ritts, B. D. (2011) Plate Interior Poly-Phase Basins, in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances (eds C. Busby and A. Azor), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch28

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106, USA

  2. 4

    Departamento de Geodinámica, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain

Author Information

  1. 1

    Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, 115 S. 1460 East – FASB 383, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA

  2. 2

    Chevron Energy Technology Company, 6001 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San Ramon, CA 94583, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 30 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405194655

Online ISBN: 9781444347166



  • hybrid intraplate basins;
  • sedimentary facies;
  • subsidence mechanisms;
  • sandstone provenance;
  • Eurasia


Many basin classification systems emphasize specific tectonic settings, subsidence driving mechanisms and structural settings. While these fundamental controls on sedimentary basins are critically important for understanding the genetic stratigraphy of these basins and are a logical framework for classification, there are hybrid basin types that are not easily classified in such systems. Plate interior poly-phase (PIP) basins are hybrid sedimentary basins that form in structurally active plate interiors, in response to evolving plate tectonic boundary conditions and their interplay with intraplate mechanics. These basins are typically very large and thick with sedimentary deposits that record several, often diverse, phases of structural activity and perhaps changing tectonic settings. Changes in tectonic setting may include movement into a progressively more plate interior position as a result of terrane amalgamation and/or changes in plate boundary conditions, such as transitions from convergent to transform margins, or shifts in trench migration. These tectonic driving mechanisms couple with the basin substrate and surrounding crust, and the accumulating sedimentary pile, to create accommodation space through multiple processes. These basinsmay exhibit temporally and spatially varying structural styles, but often structural ponding becomes one major factor in accommodation creation. Examples of PIP basins include the Tarim, Ordos, Sichuan, and Junggar basins in China; the Black Sea and Caspian basins in centraleastern Asia; and smaller systems scattered across Mongolia, western China, Tibet, and other parts of central Asia. The predominance of PIP basins in Eurasia is a combination of the young continent's inherent strength heterogeneity and long-lived Phanerozoic record of active tectonics.