First high-resolution near-seafloor survey of magnetic anomalies of the South China Sea

Author(s): Lin, J.; Xu, X.; Li, C.; Sun, Z.; Zhu, J.; Zhou, Z.; Qiu, N.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole, MA, United States
Other:
Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey, Guangzhou, China
Tongji University, School of Ocean and Earth Science, Shanghai, China
Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Guangzhou, China
Volume Title: AGU 2013 fall meeting
Source: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Vol.2013; American Geophysical Union 2013 fall meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 9-13, 2013. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Note: In English
Summary: We successfully conducted the first high-resolution near-seafloor magnetic survey of the Central, Southwest, and Northern Central Basins of the South China Sea (SCS) during two cruises on board Chinese R/V HaiYangLiuHao in October-November 2012 and March-April 2013, respectively. Measurements of magnetic field were made along four long survey lines, including (1) a NW-SE across-isochron profile transecting the Southwest Basin and covering all ages of the oceanic crust (Line CD); (2) a N-S across-isochron profile transecting the Central Basin (Line AB); and (3) two sub-parallel NE-SW across-isochron profiles transecting the Northern Central Basin of the SCS (Lines D and E). A three-axis magnetometer was mounted on a deep-tow vehicle, flying within 0.6 km above the seafloor. The position of the tow vehicle was provided by an ultra-short baseline navigation system along Lines D and E, while was estimated using shipboard GPS along Lines AB and CD. To investigate crustal magnetization, we first removed the International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) of 2010 from the measured magnetic data, and then downward continued the resultant magnetic field data to a horizontal plane at a water depth of 4.5 km to correct for variation due to the fishing depth of the deep-tow vehicle. Finally, we calculated magnetic anomalies at various water depths after reduction-to-the-pole corrections. We also constructed polarity reversal block (PRB) models of crustal magnetization by matching peaks and troughs of the observed magnetic field anomaly. Our analysis yielded the following results: (1) The near-bottom magnetic anomaly showed peak-to-trough amplitudes of more than 2,500 nT, which are several times of the anomaly amplitudes at the sea surface, illustrating that deep-tow measurements acquired much higher spatial resolutions. (2) The deep-tow data revealed several distinctive magnetic anomalies with wavelengths of 5-15 km and amplitudes of several hundred nT. These short-wavelength anomalies were unrecognized in sea surface measurements. (3) Preliminary results showed that the study regions might have experienced several episodes of magnetic reversal events that were not recognized in existing models. (4) We are currently investigating the geomagnetic timing of these relatively short-duration events to determine the detailed spreading history of the sub-basins of the SCS. These high-resolution near-seafloor magnetic survey lines are located close to the planned drilling sites of IODP Expedition 349 scheduled for January-March 2014.
Year of Publication: 2013
Research Program: IODP2 International Ocean Discovery Program
Key Words: 07 Marine Geology and Oceanography; Expedition 349; International Ocean Discovery Program; Magnetic anomalies; North Pacific; Northwest Pacific; Pacific Ocean; South China Sea; West Pacific
Coordinates: N125500 N183400 E1170100 E1145500
Record ID: 2015080374
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