Mechanism of Formation of Deep Basins on Continental Crust

  1. Raymond A. Price
  1. E. V. Artyushkov1 and
  2. M. A. Baer2

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM048p0175

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

How to Cite

Artyushkov, E. V. and Baer, M. A. (1989) Mechanism of Formation of Deep Basins on Continental Crust, in Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources (ed R. A. Price), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM048p0175

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Physics of the Earth, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, USSR

  2. 2

    Ministry of Geology of the USSR, Moscow, USSR

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904528

Online ISBN: 9781118666654

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Keywords:

  • Sedimentary basins—Congresses;
  • Mines and mineral resources—Congresses;
  • Power resources—Congresses

Summary

An analysis has been undertaken of the sedimentary cover structure of a large number of deep basins on continental crust in the main Phanerozoic fold belts and in cratonic regions. This analysis reveals that most basins formed without significant stretching of the underlying crust.

Deep basins on continental crust can be related to two major types. Deep-water basins (1–3 km) arise from very rapid subsidence of short duration (1–10 Ma). A high rate of subsidence precludes thermal relaxation as a mechanism. The time and space relationships between subsidence and orogeny preclude a significant role of thrust loading. Data on crustal structure indicate destruction of the lower crust beneath deep basins formed by rapid subsidence. This is may be associated with a gabbro-eclogite transformation associated with asthenospheric upwelling to the base of the crust. Such upwelling is in agreement with slight uplift and volcanism that commonly preceded rapid subsidence.

The second basin type is represented by deep sedimentary basins (5–15 km) produced by slow sediment-loaded subsidence of long duration (500–1000 Ma). These basins are stable with respect to compression, which indicates that they form on a thick cratonic lithosphere. Cratonic basins should arise due to large density increases in the lower crust.

In the regions studied intense crustal shortening occurred only in deep basins formed by rapid subsidence. These are the classic “miogeosynclines”. Thinning of the crust and lithosphere following rapid subsidence ensures later compression of the basins under convergent plate motions.