The Nanpu Sag, located in the northern Huanghua Depresssion of the Bohai Bay basin, is a Meso-Cenozoic petroliferous extensional sag. Based on the interpretation of 3D seismic data and the results of balanced cross-section restoration, the structural evolution of the fault arrays during different Cenozoic geological periods was studied systematically and quantitatively, and the results suggest that the distribution of the fault arrays seems complex but rather regular, it was concluded that the fault arrays undergone two important evolutionary periods during the Cenozoic, the pre-existing faults before the second and third members of Shahejie formation(Es2+3)impacted profoundly on the forming and developing of later faults. Two series of comparative sandbox models were conducted depending on the presence of the pre-existing faults or not and reproduced the evolutionary process of the fault arrays in the Nanpu Sag. The study discovered that the faults in the Nanpu Sag have classical syndepositional characteristics during different geological periods in the Cenozoic, Sedimentary period of Es2+3 implied the key tectonic change; the pre-existing faults formed before Es2+3 reacted in later extension as weak structures and impacted on the formation and development of the later faults, especially the variations of fault strike, the strikes and the sizes of the pre-existing faults controlled the distributions of the later faults. So far, the evolution of the fault arrays of sedimentary basin has not been reported, the study gave important evidence and planar sandbox models provided reliable proofs for the research on the faults.


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