Characteristics of Submarine Topography off Northern Taiwan

Abstract

Based on bathymetric data collected in recent years, the topographic features and their structural implications on the northern offshore area of Taiwan are described. The Chilung Shelf is representative of the submarine physiographic units in this region. It occupies the shallow water area eastward to the City of Chilung between the Chilung Valley and the Mien-Hua Canyon. To its north and west, the East China Sea Shelf reveals a gentle ocean bottom such that water depths on its edge (the shelf break) are found to be at least 150 meters shallower than those on the Chilung Shelf. Taiwan is a product of orogency which resulted in compressive imprints throughout the island. On the Chilung Shelf, a series of topographical lineaments extending form onland Taiwna and oriented in the SW-NE direction are present; however, seismic profiles indicate that these lineaments are a factor of normal faulting mechanics. It is suggested that the offshore area of northern Taiwna has been under a different tectonic stress from that represented on the island.

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