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the emergence of Miocene reefs in South china Sea and its resilient adaptability under varying eustatic, climatic and oceanographic conditions

Abstract : During the Miocene, extensive carbonate deposition thrived over wide latitudinal ranges in Southeast Asia despite perturbations of the global climate and thermohaline circulation that affected the Asian continent. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of its emergence, adaptability in siliciclastic-dominated margins and demise, especially in southern South China Sea (SCS), are largely speculative and remains enigmatic along with a scarcity of constraints on paleoclimatic and palaeoceanographic conditions. Here we show, through newly acquired high-resolution geophysical data and accurate stratigraphic records based on strontium isotopic dating, the evolution of these platforms from ~15.5–9.5 Ma is initially tied to tectonics and eustasy, and ultimately, after ~9.5 Ma, to changes in the global climate patterns and consequent palaeoceanographic conditions. Our results demonstrate at least two paleodeltas that provided favourable substratum of elevated sand bars, which conditioning the emergence of the buildups that inadvertently mirrored the underlying strata. We show unprecedented evidences for ocean current fluctuations linked to the intensification of the Asian summer monsoon winds resulting in the formation of drifts and moats, which extirpated the platforms through sediment removal and starvation. This work highlights the imperative role of palaeoceanography in creating favourable niches for reefal development that can be applicable to carbonate platforms elsewhere.
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Manoj Mathew, Adelya Makhankova, David Menier, Benjamin Sautter, Christian Betzler, et al.. the emergence of Miocene reefs in South china Sea and its resilient adaptability under varying eustatic, climatic and oceanographic conditions. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10, pp.7141. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-64119-9⟩. ⟨hal-02557398⟩

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