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Triassic 40Ar/39Ar ages from the Sakaigawa unit, Kii Peninsula, Japan: implications for possible merger of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt with large-scale tectonic systems of the East Asian margin

Abstract : The 218.4 ± 0.4, 228.8 ± 0.9 and 231.9 ± 0.7 Ma 40Ar/39Ar laser probe pseudo-plateau ages (2σ; 49–63% 39Ar-release) of very low-grade meta-pelitic whole-rocks from the Sakaigawa unit date high-P/T metamorphism. We argue that this event occurred in a subduction–accretion complex, not along the East Asian continental margin, but on the Pacific side of the proto-Japan superterrane. Proto-Japan was a Permian magmatic arc, presently dispersed in the Japanese islands, which also contained older subduction–accretion complexes. The arc system was fringing but not yet part of the Eurasian continent. The Middle to Late Triassic high-P/T tectono-metamorphic event was partly coeval with proto-Japan's collision with proto-Eurasia along the southward extension of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, causing the main metamorphism in the Hida-Oki terrane. It is possible that this system continued via the Cathaysia block (China) to Indochina. The Late Permian to Middle Triassic Indosinian event might stem from docking of Pacific-derived terranes with Southeast Asia's continental margin. The concept of the proto-Japan superterrane implies that the Qinling-Dabie-Sulu suture zone joined the Central Asian Orogenic Belt to the east of the North China craton and did not continue to Japan, as commonly assumed.
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Koenraad de Jong, Chikao Kurimoto, Gilles Ruffet. Triassic 40Ar/39Ar ages from the Sakaigawa unit, Kii Peninsula, Japan: implications for possible merger of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt with large-scale tectonic systems of the East Asian margin. International Journal of Earth Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2009, 98 (6), pp.1529-1556. ⟨10.1007/s00531-008-0340-1⟩. ⟨insu-00325364⟩

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