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Spatial variations of Sr and Nd isotope ratios of Cretaceous-Paleogene granitoid rocks, Southwest Japan Arc

Abstract

Cretaceous-Paleogene granitoid rocks and contemporaneous volcanic rocks are widely distributed in the Inner Zone of Southwest Japan. This intense intermediate to felsic magmatism is considered to have taken place on the eastern margin of the Eurasian Continent, before the Southwest Japan Arc drifted away from the continent in the middle Miocene, resulting in the opening of the Japan Sea. The granitoid rocks show regional variations in terms of their radiometric age, petrography, Sr, Nd and O isotope ratios. Based on Sr and Nd isotope ratios, granitoid rocks can be divided into three zones (South, Transitional and North) between the Median Tectonic Line and the Japan Sea. Granitoid rocks and associated gabbros of the North Zone have low initial Sr isotope ratios (0.7048 to 0.7068) and high initial εNd values (+3 to-2.2), whereas granitoid rocks and gabbros from the South Zone have high initial Sr isotope ratios (0.7070 to 0.7088) and low initial εNd values (-3.0to-8.0). Most granitoid rocks from the Transitional Zone have Sr and Nd isotope ratios that lie between those of the North and South Zones, although there is some overlap. Contamination of magmas by upper crust cannot explain this geographical variation in Sr and Nd isotopes. Instead, the regional variation is attributed to compositionally different, magma sources (probably upper mantle and lower crust), beneath the North and South Zones. This is supported by the Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of upper mantle and lower crustal xenoliths included in Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the North and South Zones. These ratios are similar to those of the granitoid rocks in the respective zones. It is suggested that a micro-continent or island arc consisting of continental crust was underthrust beneath the South Zone before or during the Cretaceous, resulting in compositionally distinct sources for granitoid rocks of the North and South Zones. The large variation observed in Sr and Nd isotope ratios for Transitional Zone granitoid rocks is explained by variable proportions of the two different crustal and upper mantle components.

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Kagami, H., Iizumi, S., Tainosho, Y. et al. Spatial variations of Sr and Nd isotope ratios of Cretaceous-Paleogene granitoid rocks, Southwest Japan Arc. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 112, 165–177 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00310452

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00310452

Keywords

  • Volcanic Rock
  • Continental Crust
  • Transitional Zone
  • Middle Miocene
  • Granitoid Rock