Deposystem architectures and lithofacies of a submarine fan-dominated deep sea succession in an orogen: A case study from the Upper Triassic Langjiexue Group of southern Tibet

Chaokai Zhang, Xianghui Li, Frank Mattern, Guozheng Mao, Qinggao Zeng, Wenli Xu

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Over thirty stratigraphic sections of the Himalaya orogen Upper Triassic Langjiexue Group in southern Tibet, China, were studied to interpret the environments and lithofacies. The facies associations channel (A), lobe (B), levee-interchannel (C), and basin plain (D) with nine facies (A1-3, B1-3, and C1-3) were distinguished. They form six architectural elements: Channel-interchannel, overbank-levee, crevasse-splay, outer fan-lobe, fan-fringe, and basin plain. Taking into account the facies analysis, (sub-) deposystem correlation, paleocurrent dispersal pattern, and restoration of primary stratal width, the Langjiexue Group displays the architecture of a coalescing submarine fan-dominated deep sea deposystem, measuring about 400-500km×600-700km in size or even more, one of the largest pre-Cenozoic submarine fans ever reported. Subdivisionally, four fans, lacking inner fans, could have coalesced laterally within the submarine fan deposystem, and at least six submarine fan developments were vertically succeeded by mid- to outer-fan deposits with progradational to retrogradational successions. According to the range of 30-70% of sandstone content, the fan deposystem is mud- and sand-rich, suggesting a medium-far (over 400-600km) transport of sediment from the source area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-243
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jan 16 2015



  • Deposystem
  • Facies analysis
  • Langjiexue Group
  • Southern Tibet
  • Submarine fan
  • Upper Triassic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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