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Sedimentation in a Continental High-Frequency Oscillatory Lake in an Arid Climatic Background: A Case Study of the Lower Eocene in the Dongying Depression, China

Jie Liu, Jian Wang, Yingchang Cao, Guoqi Song
Research Center of Geological Resources and Geological Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China),Qingdao 266580, China

The sedimentary environment, formation conditions, sedimentary characteristics and the basin evolution model of high-frequency oscillatory lake in arid climatic background of the Lower Eocene in the Dongying depression were studied through the analysis of drilling cores, sporepollen, geochemistry and geophysics data. During the sedimentary period of the Eocene Ek<sup>1</sup>–Es<sup>4x</sup> formations, because of the frequent alternation between dry and wet climates in the arid climatic background and the gentle paleogeomorphology, the lake level and salinity of the Early Eocene Dongying depression frequently and rapidly increased and decreased, which is referred to as a high-frequency oscillatory lake. The sedimentation and distribution of sediments in this high-frequency oscillatory lake basin were controlled by the frequently alternating dry-wet climates. During periods with relatively wet climate, the seasonal floods and unstable rivers led to the formation of over-flooding lake deltas in the gentle slope belt, and fine-grained clastic sediments, with minor thin layers of gypsum-salt rocks in the sag belt. During the relatively arid climatic periods, sedimentation occurred mainly in the limited area of the sag belt with thick gypsum-salt rocks. Because of the impact of the salinity stratification of the lake water, these gypsum-salt rocks exhibit annular structural features. A sedimentary cycle of the oscillatory lake began with isochronous flood channels and ended with relatively thick gypsum rocks and salt rocks. The thickness of one oscillatory cycle is generally 4–20 m. The superposition of multiple sedimentary cycles of the oscillatory lake constitutes the overall vertical filling sequence of the high-frequency oscillatory lake basin.

Keywords:oscillatory lake, clastic sedimentation, chemical sedimentation, paleoclimate, Dongying depression, Lower Eocene

DOI:
10.1007/s12583-016-0635-2
CLC number:
U469.72
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