Merge $k$-sorted arrays – without heaps/AVL tree in $O(n\log(k))$?



Given $ k$ -sorted arrays in ascending order, is it possible to merge all $ k$ arrays to a single sorted array in $ O(n\log(k))$ time where $ n$ denotes all the elements combined.

The question is definitely aiming towards a Min-heap/AVL tree solution, which can in fact achieve $ O(n\log(k))$ time complexity.

However i’m wondering if there exists a different approach, like a merge variant which can achieve the same result.

The closest I’ve seen is to merge all the arrays into one array which disregards their given ascending order, than doing comparison-based sort which takes $ O(n\log(n))$ but not quite $ O(n\log(m))$ .

Is there an algorithm variant which can achieve this result? Or a different data-structure?