The deep sea process could be the breakthrough point of today’s ocean science and Earth system science frontiers. “South China Sea Deep”, the first major marine science research program in China funded by NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China)with 190 million Chinese Yuan has been launched at 2010 and will last 8 years to study the deep sea process and geological evolution of the South China Sea, the largest marginal sea in the western Pacific. Chinese academician, Professor Pinxian Wang of Tongji University assume the leader of Experts Panel, and many research teams including almost 400scientists and students from morethan 40 universities/institutes has participate in the research work. By dissecting this particular case, the program aims to reveal the evolution patterns of marginal seas and their effects on submarine resource and macro-environment development.
The overall scientific objectives are to explore the deep sea basin of the South China Sea by utilizing a series of new techniques, to reveal the deep sea process and evolution, and to reconstruct its “life history”. Thereby a systematic research model for studies of the evolution of marginal seas can be established. Specific objectives include:
(1) Rediscover the seafloor spreading history of the South China Sea and its pre- and post-spreading evolution by re-measuring magnetic anomaly lineations at higher resolutions and dating, seismic imaging, and studying volcanic seamount chains.
(2) Reveal the patterns of bottom circulation and the deep sea response to sea level change in the evolution history of the South China Sea by observing the modern deep sea process and analyzing deep sea sediments.
(3) Discover the deep biogeochemical process and evolution in the South China Sea by deploying submarine hydrological observation and analysis.
(4) Investigate resource and environment effects of the deep sea process evolution of the South China Sea based on integrated research approaches.
The special session of “South China Sea Deep” held at 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in the U.S.