Paleozoic ophiolites and blueschists in Japan and Russian Primorye in the tectonic framework of East Asia: A synthesis


Ophiolites and high‐pressure (HP) metamorphic rocks are studied to test continuation of Paleozoic and early Mesozoic geological units from Japan to Primorye over the Japan Sea. The early Paleozoic ophiolites are present on both sides, and the late Paleozoic ophiolite of south‐western Japan may also have its counterpart in Primorye. The Shaiginskiy HP schist and the associated Avdakimov gneiss in Primorye, both tectonically underlying the early Paleozoic ophiolitic complex, yield a 250‐Ma phengite and hornblende K–Ar age, which is intermediate between those of the Renge (280–330 Ma) and Suo (170–220 Ma) blueschists in south‐western Japan. This age also coincides with that of the coesite‐bearing eclogites in the Sulu–Dabie suture in China and several medium‐pressure metamorphic rocks in East Asia. On the basis of these results and other geological data, the authors propose the ‘Yaeyama promontory’ model for an eastward extension of the Sulu–Dabie suture. The collision suture warps southward into the Yellow Sea and detours around Korea, turns to the north at Ishigaki Island in the Yaeyama Archipelago of Ryukyu, where it changes into a subduction zone and further continues toward south‐western Japan and Primorye. Most ophiolites from this area represent crust–mantle fragments of an island arc–back‐arc basin system, and the repeated formation of ophiolite–blueschist associations may be due to the repetition of the Mariana‐type non‐accreting subduction and Nankai‐type accreting subduction.

Island Arc, v. 12, no. 2, p. 190-206, doi:10.1046/j.1440-1738.2003.00390.x