Recent Developments and Advances in Geological Oceanography and Ocean Observation in the Pacific Ocean and Its Marginal Basins

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Geological Oceanography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2024 | Viewed by 3997

Special Issue Editors

Hubei Key Laboratory of Marine Geological Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: marine geology; sedimentology; South China Sea

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Guest Editor
School of Marine Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
Interests: tectonic evolution of oceanic lithosphere; basin sedimentation and hydrocarbon accumulation in deep water area of the South China Sea
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
MLR Key Laboratory of Marine Mineral Resources, Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey, Guangzhou 510075, China
Interests: natural gas hydrate (NGH); marine geology and geophysics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Pacific Ocean, the largest and deepest ocean on our planet, holds pivotal importance for marine geology and oceanography studies. We are pleased to invite researchers and scholars to contribute to a comprehensive and enlightening compilation of recent advancements and breakthroughs in the field of geological oceanography and ocean observation, specifically focusing on the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins. This forthcoming research album aims to highlight the latest findings, methodologies, and applications in the study of geological features, processes, and observations within this vast marine realm. It seeks to explore the dynamic nature and mineral resources (e.g., oil, gas, gas hydrate) of the Pacific Ocean and its marginal seas through sedimentology, geochemistry, geophysics, marine biology, and oceanography. Join us in exploring and discussing recent developments and advances in geological oceanography and ocean observation in the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins. This collaborative effort will undoubtedly contribute to expanding our knowledge base and shaping the future of scientific research in marine geology and oceanography.

Potential topics of interest for paper submissions may include, but are certainly not limited to:

  1. Tectonic evolution and sedimentary evolution in the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins.
  2. Exploration of hydrocarbon resources (e.g., oil, gas, gas hydrate) and mineral resources (manganese nodules) in the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins.
  3. Submarine volcanic and hydrothermal activities in the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins.
  4. Sedimentation, provenance analysis and depositional processes in the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins.
  5. Advances in petroleum exploration and development technology, drilling technology and rock deformation.
  6. Advances in ocean observation techniques, including autonomous vehicles and remote sensing technologies.
  7. Climate change impacts and implications for the Pacific Ocean and its surrounding regions.
  8. Marine chemistry and biogeochemical cycles in the Pacific Ocean.
  9. Studies on the paleoceanography of the Pacific Ocean and its implications for future climate scenarios.

We encourage researchers, academicians, and professionals in the field to submit original research papers, reviews, or case studies that contribute to our understanding of the geological oceanography and ocean observation in the Pacific Ocean and its marginal basins. Additionally, we welcome interdisciplinary studies that integrate various scientific disciplines to gain a holistic perspective of this unique marine ecosystem.

Dr. Entao Liu
Dr. Qiangtai Huang
Dr. Jiangong Wei
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sedimentary evolution
  • hydrocarbon exploration
  • tectonic evolution
  • ocean observation
  • marine chemistry
  • pacific Ocean
  • oil and gas exploration

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

26 pages, 21625 KiB  
Article
Mid-Deep Circulation in the Western South China Sea and the Impacts of the Central Depression Belt and Complex Topography
by Hongtao Mai, Dongxiao Wang, Hui Chen, Chunhua Qiu, Hongzhou Xu, Xuekun Shang and Wenyan Zhang
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(5), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12050700 - 24 Apr 2024
Abstract
As a key component of meridional overturning circulation, mid-deep circulation plays a crucial role in the vertical and meridional distribution of heat. However, due to a lack of observation data, current knowledge of the dynamics of mid-deep circulation currents moving through basin boundaries [...] Read more.
As a key component of meridional overturning circulation, mid-deep circulation plays a crucial role in the vertical and meridional distribution of heat. However, due to a lack of observation data, current knowledge of the dynamics of mid-deep circulation currents moving through basin boundaries and complicated seabed topographies is severely limited. In this study, we combined oceanic observation data, bathymetric data, and numerical modeling of the northwest continental margin of the South China Sea to investigate (i) the main features of mid-deep circulation currents traveling through the central depression belt and (ii) how atmospheric-forcing (winds) mesoscale oceanic processes such as eddies and current–topography interactions modulate the mid-deep circulation patterns. Comprehensive results suggest that the convergence of different water masses and current–topography interactions take primary responsibility for the generation of instability and enhanced mixing within the central depression belt. By contrast, winds and mesoscale eddies have limited influence on the development of local circulation patterns at mid-deep depths (>400 m). This study emphasizes that the intensification and bifurcation of mid-deep circulation; specifically, those induced by a large depression belt morphology determine the local material cycle (temperature, salinity, etc.) and energy distribution. These findings provide insights for a better understanding of mid-deep circulation structures on the western boundary of ocean basins such as the South China Sea. Full article
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22 pages, 18659 KiB  
Article
Astronomical Time Scale of the Late Pleistocene in the Northern South China Sea Based on Carbonate Deposition Record
by Chunhui Zhang, Wanyi Zhang, Chengjun Zhang, Liwei Zheng, Shiyi Yan, Yuanhao Ma and Wei Dang
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(3), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12030438 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Variations in solar insolation caused by changes in the Earth’s orbit—specifically its eccentricity, obliquity, and precession—can leave discernible marks on the geologic record. Astrochronology leverages these markers to establish a direct connection between chronological measurements and different facets of climate change as recorded [...] Read more.
Variations in solar insolation caused by changes in the Earth’s orbit—specifically its eccentricity, obliquity, and precession—can leave discernible marks on the geologic record. Astrochronology leverages these markers to establish a direct connection between chronological measurements and different facets of climate change as recorded in marine sediments. This approach offers a unique window into the Earth’s climate system and the construction of high-resolution, continuous time scales. Our study involves comprehensive bulk carbonate analyses of 390 discrete samples from core SCS1, which was retrieved from the deep-sea floor of the northern South China Sea. By utilizing carbonate stratigraphic data, we have developed a carbonate stratigraphic age model. This was achieved by aligning the carbonate sequence from core SCS1 with the established carbonate standard stratigraphic time scale of the South China Sea. Subsequently, we construct an astronomically tuned time scale based on this age model. Our findings indicate that sediment records in this core have been predominantly influenced by a 20,000-year cycle (precession cycle) throughout the Late Pleistocene. We have developed an astronomical time scale extending back approximately 110,000 years from the present, with a resolution of 280 years, by tuning the carbonate record to the precession curve. Time-domain spectral analysis of the tuned carbonate time series, alongside the consistent comparability of the early Holocene low-carbonate event (11–8 kyr), underscores the reliability of our astronomical time scale. Our age model exposes intricate variations in carbonate deposition, epitomizing a typical “Pacific-type” carbonate cycle. Previous research has illustrated that precession forcing predominantly influences productivity changes in the South China Sea. The pronounced precession-related cycle observed in our record suggests that changes in productivity significantly impact carbonate content in the area under study. Furthermore, the clear precession period identified in the carbonate record of core SCS1 reflects the response of low-latitude processes to orbital parameters, implying that carbonate deposition and preservation in core SCS1 are chiefly influenced by the interplay between the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the monsoon system within the precession band. Our astronomical time scale is poised to enhance paleoceanographic, paleoclimatic, and correlation studies further. Additionally, the independent evidence we provide for using proxy records for astronomical age calibration of marine sediments lends additional support to similar methods of astronomical tuning. Full article
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13 pages, 3497 KiB  
Communication
Review of Asymmetric Seafloor Spreading and Oceanic Ridge Jumps in the South China Sea
by Jiangong Wei, Shuangling Dai, Huai Cheng, Houjin Wang, Pengcheng Wang, Fuyuan Li, Zhiyuan Xie and Rongwei Zhu
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12030408 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Seafloor spreading is an important cornerstone of the theory of plate tectonics. Asymmetric seafloor spreading and oceanic ridge jumps are common phenomena in this process and play important roles in controlling oceanic crust accretion, regional tectonics and geological geometric boundaries. As the largest [...] Read more.
Seafloor spreading is an important cornerstone of the theory of plate tectonics. Asymmetric seafloor spreading and oceanic ridge jumps are common phenomena in this process and play important roles in controlling oceanic crust accretion, regional tectonics and geological geometric boundaries. As the largest marginal sea in the western Pacific, the South China Sea is an ideal laboratory for dissecting the Wilson cycle of small marginal sea-type ocean basins restricted by surrounding blocks and exploring the deep dynamic processes of confined small ocean basins. In recent years, a lot of research has been conducted on the spreading history of the South China Sea and has achieved fruitful results. However, the detailed dynamic mechanisms of asymmetric seafloor spreading and ridge jumps are still unclear. Therefore, this paper summarizes the basic understanding about the dynamic mechanisms of global asymmetric seafloor spreading and ridge jumps and reviews the related research results of asymmetric seafloor spreading and ridge jumps in the South China Sea. Previous studies have basically confirmed that seafloor spreading in the South China Sea started between ~32 and 34 Ma in the east sub-basin and ended at ~15 Ma in the northwest sub-basin, with at least once oceanic ridge jump in the east sub-basin. The current research mainly focuses on the age of the seafloor spreading in the South China Sea and the location, time and stage of the ridge jumps, but there are relatively few studies on high-resolution lithospheric structure across these ridges and the dynamic mechanism of oceanic ridge jumps. Based on the current research progress, we propose that further studies should focus on the lithosphere–asthenosphere scale in the future, suggesting that marine magnetotelluric and Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) surveys should be conducted across the residual oceanic ridges to perform a detailed analysis of the tectonics magmatism in the east sub-basin to gain insights into the dynamic mechanisms of oceanic ridge jumps and asymmetric seafloor spreading, which can promote understanding of the tectonic evolution of the South China Sea and improve the classical plate tectonics theory that was constructed based on the open ocean basins. Full article
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22 pages, 8334 KiB  
Article
The Numerical Investigation of Solid–Liquid Two-Phase Flow Characteristics Inside and Outside a Newly Designed 3D Sediment Trap
by Zhihao Xu, Zihang Fei, Yusen Zhu, Cheng Wang, Xiuqing Yang, Lei Guo, Gang Xue and Yanjun Liu
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12010016 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Sediment transport serves as a link for material exchange between land and sea. Using sediment traps, we can observe the capture and transport processes of sediments. Based on the sediment particle size distribution characteristics in Jiaozhou Bay, this paper analyzes the influence of [...] Read more.
Sediment transport serves as a link for material exchange between land and sea. Using sediment traps, we can observe the capture and transport processes of sediments. Based on the sediment particle size distribution characteristics in Jiaozhou Bay, this paper analyzes the influence of a newly designed 3D sediment trap on the water–sand two-phase flow process inside and outside a trap device during its operation. Meanwhile, under a certain concentration condition, a numerical formula model is researched and proposed to evaluate the impact of the device’s structure, the environmental flow speed, and the particle size on particle capture efficiency. This model is based on the CFD-DPM coupling in Fluent 2021R1 software, and the particle filtration process is solved using a combination of porous media and UDF functions. Finally, by analyzing the distribution of sediment movement in the fluid domain, two concepts, namely the percentage of particles entering the tube and the effective capture rate, are proposed. Suggestions for optimizing the structure of the trap are put forward to achieve optimal capture effects. Full article
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22 pages, 12106 KiB  
Article
Paleoenvironmental Evolution and Organic Matter Accumulation in a Hydrocarbon-Bearing Depression in the East China Sea
by Junming Zhan, Entao Liu, Si Chen, Qiyang Zhang, Yuyue Chen, Jialin Zhong, Yongkun Zhou, Peifeng Yang and Yangshuo Jiao
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(12), 2341; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11122341 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Investigating the paleoenvironment and characteristics of source rocks in sedimentary basins is crucial for understanding organic matter accumulation and guiding hydrocarbon exploration. The Lishui Sag, a significant hydrocarbon-bearing depression in the East China Sea, has experienced extensive marine transgression and increasing salinity in [...] Read more.
Investigating the paleoenvironment and characteristics of source rocks in sedimentary basins is crucial for understanding organic matter accumulation and guiding hydrocarbon exploration. The Lishui Sag, a significant hydrocarbon-bearing depression in the East China Sea, has experienced extensive marine transgression and increasing salinity in the Paleocene, but the changes in accumulation factors of organic matter during this evolution process remain unclear. Through a comprehensive analysis of total organic carbon (TOC), major and trace elements, and biomarker data, this study investigates the characteristics of source rocks from two lithostratigraphic units, namely the Paleocene Yueguifeng and Lingfeng formations, to gain deep insight into the effects of paleoenvironment on organic matter accumulation and hydrocarbon distribution. Our results indicate that the Lishui Sag transitioned from a closed lake to an open-marine environment in the Paleocene, with a shift from warm-humid to arid climate conditions. The biomarker distribution suggests a change in the origin of organic matter, with a higher input of terrestrial organic matter in the Lingfeng Formation. During the early stage, the lacustrine source rocks in the lower Yueguifeng Formation were formed in a relatively humid and anoxic environment within brackish water, resulting in a substantial influx of terrestrial and lacustrine algae organic matter. In contrast, in the late stage, the marine source rocks in the overlying Lingfeng Formation were developed in an arid and oxidizing environment. The lacustrine source rocks in the Yueguifeng Formation were notably more favorable to developing good-quality source rocks. Compared with the other regions, the western and northeastern parts of the study area have greater hydrocarbon generation potential due to the wider distribution of high maturity and organic-rich source rocks, with higher terrestrial and algal organic matter input. Moreover, considering the practical circumstances in the exploration, the northeastern part of the Lishui Sag is recommended as the next exploration target zone. Full article
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