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Natural gas hydrates (NGH) is one of key future clean energy resources. Its industrialized development will help remit the huge demand of global natural gas, relieve the increasing pressure of the environment, and play a vital role in the green sustainable growth of human societies. Based on nearly two decades’ studying on the reservoir characteristics in the South China Sea (SCS) and the knowledge of reservoir system, the China Geological Survey (CGS) conducted the first production test on an optimal target selected in Shenhu area SCS in 2017. Guided by the "three-phase control"exploitation theory which focused on formation stabilization, technologies such as formation fluid extraction, well drilling and completing, reservoir stimulating, sand controlling, environmental monitoring, monitoring and preventing of secondary formation of hydrates were applied. The test lasted for 60 days from May 10th when starting to pump, drop pressure and ignite to well killing on July 9th, with gas production of 3.09×105 m3 in total, which is a world record with the longest continuous duration of gas production and maximal gas yield. This successful test brings a significant breakthrough on safety control of NGH production.
On the basis of proposing the existence of a karst carbon cycle and carbon sink at a watershed scale, this paper provides four pieces of evidence for the integration of geology and ecology during the carbon cycle processes in the karst dynamic system, and estimated the karst carbon sink effect using the methods of comparative monitoring of paired watersheds and the carbon stable isotope tracer technique. The results of the soil carbon cycle in Maocun, Guilin, showed that the soil carbon cycle in the karst area, the weathering and dissolution of carbonate rocks under the soil, resulted in a lower soil respiration of 25% in the karst area than in a non-karst area (sandstone and shale), and the carbon isotope results indicated that 13.46% of the heavy carbon of the limestone is involved in the soil carbon cycle. The comparative monitoring results in paired watersheds, suggesting that the HCO3- concentration in a karst spring is 10 times that of a rivulet in a non-karst area, while the concentration of inorganic carbon flux is 23.8 times. With both chemical stoichiometry and carbon stable isotopes, the proportion of carbon in karst springs derived from carbonate rocks was found to be 58.52% and 37.65% respectively. The comparison on carbon exchange and isotopes at the water-gas interface between the granite and carbonate rock basins in the Li River showed that the CO2 emission of the karst water is 10.92 times that of the allogenic water from the non-karst area, while the carbon isotope of HCO3- in karst water is lighter by 8.62‰. However, this does not mean that the karst water body has a larger carbon source effect. On the contrary, it means the karst water body has a greater karst carbon sink effect. When the karst subterranean stream in Zhaidi, Guilin, is exposed at the surface, carbon-rich karst water stimulated the growth of aquatic plants. The values of carbon stable isotopes in the same species of submerged plants gradually becomes heavier and heavier, and the 512 m flow process has a maximum range of 15.46‰. The calculation results showed that 12.52% of inorganic carbon is converted into organic carbon. According to the data that has been published, the global karst carbon sink flux was estimated to be 0.53-0.58 PgC/a, equivalent to 31.18%-34.41% of the global forest carbon sink flux. In the meanwhile, the karst carbon sink flux in China was calculated to be 0.051 PgC/a, accounting for 68% of its forest carbon sink flux.
An alvarezsaurid dinosaur skeleton was discovered from the Late Cretaceous Qiupa Formation of Luanchuan, Henan Province of centtral China. It represents a new alvarezsaurid dinosaur Qiupanykus zhangi gen. et sp. nov. A phylogenetic analysis recovers Qiupanykus nested within the unresolved clade, which includes Asian and north American taxa. The skeleton of the new specimen is preserved in association with eggshells. The eggshell morphologies show that these eggs belong to oviraptorid eggs, skeletal remains of which were discovered from the same area. The alvarezsaurid skeleton associated with eggshell fragments may indicate that these eggs were broken by the strong thumb-claws of the former and that alvarezsaurid dinosaurs may be egg-eaters.
The Truong Son Fold Belt, located at the northeastern margin of the Indochina Block, is considered to be tectonically linked to the subduction of the Paleotethys Ocean and subsequent collision. Sepon is one of the most important super large deposits of the Truong Son Fold Belt. Our LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating results show that granodiorite porphyry samples from the Sepon deposit have ages of 302.1±2.9 Ma, which is a crucial phase for magmatic-tectonical activities from the Late Carboniferous to Early Permian and has avital influence on the mineralization of copper and gold. Zircon from granodiorite porphyry yields εHf (t) values of 4.32 to 9.64, and TDM2 has an average age of 914 Ma, suggesting that the source of the granodiorite porphyry in the region were mainly mantle components but underwent mixing and contamination of crust materials. The Ce4+/Ce3+ value of zircon in the granodiorite porphyry varys greatly from 2.4 to 1438.29, which shows magma mixing might occur. Considering the characteristics of trace elements in the zircon and the whole rock geochemical characteristics of intrusion rocks as well as the characteristics of regional volcanic-sedimentary association, it is indicated that the tectonic setting may be the continental arc environment. The Sepon Au-Cu deposit is derived from emplacement of calc-alkaline intermediate-acid magma with coming from deep sources in the subduction process of the Paleotethys Ocean, forming porphyry Mo-Cu, skarn Cu-Au mineralization and a hydrothermal sedimentary-hosted Au mineralization in the wall rocks.
The Xisha Block is a minor one in the South China Sea and an important tectonic unit in the northwestern part of the region. Zircon SHRIMP U-Pb ages for three volcanic intrusive core samples from Xike-1, an exploratory well penetrating the bioherms of the Xisha Islands. The core samples are from the Miocene reef carbonate bedrock and are recognized as dark-gray biotite-hornblende gabbro, gray fine-grained biotite diorite, and gray fine-grained granite, respectively. Zircon cathodoluminescence (CL) images and trace Th, U and Pb compositions of the zircons show that these rocks are of volcanic intrusive origin. Zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating yielded six groups of ages, ranging from 2451-1857 Ma to early Cretaceous, which indicate that the formation and evolution of the Xisha Block was affected by the evolution and closure of Neotethys Ocean, probably within its eastern extension into South China Sea. Both old, deep-sourced material, including fragments from Rodina supercontinent, and recent mantle-derived magma products contributed to the emergence and formation of the Xisha block. The SHRIMP U-Pb results also proved that this process differed from that of the Kontum massif, the Hainan Block, and the South China Block, but is similar to that of the Nansha and Zhongsha blocks. The process was associated with the effects of Yanshanian magmatism induced by subduction mechanisms of the Paleo-Pacific Plate or the reworking of the multiple magmatisms since the Early to mid-Yanshanian, possibly jointly experienced by the Xisha-Zhongsha-Nansha Block.
This paper provides an overview of the developments in analytical and testing methods and experimental simulations on gas hydrate in China. In the laboratory, the analyses and experiments of gas hydrate can provide useful parameters for hydrate exploration and exploitation. In recent years, modern analytical instruments and techniques, including Laser Raman spectroscopy (Raman), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray computed tomography (X-CT), scanning electron microscope (SEM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and high pressure differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), were applied in the study of structure, formation mechanisms, phase equilibrium, thermal physical properties and so forth of gas hydrates . The detection technology and time-domain reflectometry (TDR) technique are integrated to the experimental devices to study the physical parameters of gas hydrates, such as the acoustics, resistivity, thermal and mechanical properties. It is believed that the various analytical techniques together with the experimental simulations from large-scale to micro-scale on gas hydrate will play a significant role and provide a powerful support for future gas hydrate researches.
With the technological development of exploitation and separation, the primary source of lithium has gradually changed from ore to brine, which has become the main raw material, accounting for more than 80% of the total production. Resources of lithium-bearing brine are abundant in China. This paper has summarized the spatial and temporal distribution, characteristics, and formation mechanism of the lithium-rich brine in China, aiming to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for future lithium exploitation from brines. Lithium brines usually exist in modern saline lakes and deep underground sedimentary rocks as subsurface brines. The metallogenic epoch of China's lithium-rich brine spans from the Triassic to the Quaternary, and these brines exhibit obvious regional distribution characteristics. Modern lithium-rich saline lakes are predominately located in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In comparison, the subsurface lithium-rich brines are mainly distributed in the sedimentary basins of Sichuan, Hubei, Jiangxi, and the western part of the Qaidam Basin. Lithium-rich saline lakes are chloride-enriched, sulfate-enriched, and carbonate-enriched, while the deep lithium-rich brines are mainly chloride-enriched. On the whole, the value of Mg/Li in deep brine is generally lower than that of brine in saline lakes. The genesis of lithium-rich brines in China is not uniform, generally there are two processes, which are respectively suitable for salt lakes and deep brine.
There are large volumes of the Phanerozoic granitoid rocks in China and neighboring areas. In recent years, numerous new and precise U-Pb zircon ages have been published for these granitoids, and define many important magmatic events, such as ca. 500 Ma granitoid events in the West Junggar, Altai orogens in the NW China, and Qinling orogen in the central China. These ages accurately constrain the time of important early Paleozoic, late Paleozoic, early Mesozoic and late Mesozoic magmatic events of the northern, central, western, southern and eastern orogenic Mountains in China. There occur various types of granitoids in China, such as calc-alkaline granite, alkali granite, highly-fractionated granite, leucogranite, adakite, and rapakivi granite. Rapakivi granites are not only typical Proterozoic as in the North China Craton, but were also emplaced during Paleozoic and Mesozoic in the Kunlun-Qinling orogen, a part of the China Central Orogenic Belt (CCOB). Nd-Hf isotopic tracing and mapping show that granitoids inthe southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) in China (or the Northern China Orogenic Belt) are characterized predominantly by juvenile sources.The juvenile crust in this orogenic domain accounts for over 50% by area, distinguishing it from other orogenic belts in the world, and those in central (e.g., Qinling), southwestern and eastern China. Based on a large amount of new age data, a preliminary granitoid and granitoid-tectonic maps of China have been preliminarily compiled, and an evolutionary framework of Phanerozoic granitoids in China and neighboring areas has been established from the view of assembly and breakup of continental blocks. Research ideas on granitoid tectonics has also been proposed and discussed.
The mainland of China is composed of the North China Craton, the South China Craton, the Tarim Craton and other young orogenic belts. Amongst the three cratons, the North China Craton has been studied most and noted for its widely-distributed Archean basement rocks. In this paper, we assess and compare the geology, rock types, formation age and geochemical composition features of the Archean basements of the three cratons. They have some common characteristics, including the fact that the crustal rocks prior to the Paleoarchean and the supracrustal rocks of the Neoarchean were preserved, and Tonalite-Trondhjemtite-Granodiorite (TTG) magmatism and tectono-magmatism occurred at about 2.7 Ga and about 2.5 Ga respectively. The Tarim Craton and the North China Craton show more similarities in their early Precambrian crustal evolution. Significant findings on the Archean basement of the North China Craton are concluded to be: (1) the tectonic regime in the early stage (>3.1 Ga) is distinct from modern plate tectonics; (2) the continental crust accretion occurred mostly from the late Mesoarchean to the early Neoarchean period; (3) a huge linear tectonic belt already existed in the late Neoarchean period, suggesting the beginning of plate tectonics; and (4) the preliminary cratonization had already been completed by about 2.5 Ga. Hadean detrital zircons were found at a total of nine locations within China. Most of them show clear oscillatory zoning, sharing similar textures with magmatic zircons from intermediate-felsic magmatic rocks. This indicates that a fair quantity of continental material had already developed on Earth at that time.
The development of metamorphic petrology to metamorphic geology in China has a long history. Ancient basement metamorphic rocks are distributed primarily in the North China Craton, the Yangtze Block and Tarim Craton. They are mainly made up of plutonic gneiss and metamorphosed supercrust rock, transformed to granulite facies through Archean Paleoproterozoic. Many of the Paleoproterozoic metamorphic rocks have undergone high-pressure granulite facies metamorphism with a clockwise metamorphic evolution path. The ultrahigh temperature (UHT) granulites from the Late Paleoproterozoic are found in North China Craton. Many high-precision chronological data have allowed preliminary construction of the formation and evolutionary framework of different metamorphic basements. Primarily there are low-temperature and high-pressure blue schist, high-temperature and high-pressure granulite and ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) eclogite facies metamorphic rocks in the Phanerozoic orogenic belt. The discovery of eclogite in the Sulu orogen and a large quantity of coesite in its country rocks show that there was a deep subduction of voluminous continental materials during the collision process between the Yangtze block and the North China Craton in the Early Mesozoic phase. From the studies of, for instance, organic matter vitrinite reflectance, illite crystallinity, illite (muscovite) polytype and illite (muscovite) b dimension, the Late Paleozoic strata in the eastern region of Inner Mongolia and the north-central region of NE China have only experienced diagenesis to an extremely low-grade metamorphism. The discovery of impact-metamorphosed rocks in Xiuyan area of Liaoning province has enriched the type and category of metamorphic rocks in China. The phase equilibrium method has been widely used in the study of metamorphism of middle and high-grade metamorphic rocks. On the basis of existing geologic surveys and monographic study results, different scholars have respectively compiled 1:1500000 Metamorphic Geological Map and Specifications of Qinghai Tibet Plateau and its Adjacent Areas, 1:2500000 Metamorphic Tectonic Map of China, and the 1:5000000 Metamorphic Geological Map and Specifications of China, among others repectively, which have systematically summarized the research results of metamorphic petrology and metamorphic geology in China.