Episyenite formation in the Toki granite, central Japan

  • Shoji NishimotoEmail author
  • Hidekazu Yoshida
  • Yoshihiro Asahara
  • Tadahiko Tsuruta
  • Masayuki Ishibashi
  • Nagayoshi Katsuta
Original Paper


Episyenite is a quartz-depleted vuggy rock resulting from hydrothermal alteration of granitic rocks. This is the first report of its existence in an island arc, which is identified in a deep drill core of the Toki Cretaceous granite distributed in central Japan. In order to understand the petrographical features of the episyenite, neutron porosity measurement, geochemical analysis, microscopic observation, and X-ray computed tomography scanning were carried out. The results show remarkably high porosity (35.4 %) due to interconnecting vugs and the removal of quartz, plagioclase, and biotite. The Rb–Sr isotopic results and the paragenetic sequence of secondary minerals in the vugs suggest that the hydrothermal alteration process can be divided into an episyenitization stage and a later hydrothermal stage. At the episyenitization stage (70.6 ± 3.1 Ma) ca. 6 million years after the emplacement of the unaltered granite (76.3 ± 1.5 Ma), dissolution of quartz, biotite, and plagioclase occurred and was followed by the precipitation of albite, vermicular chlorite, and platy calcite. The episyenitization is considered as a local alteration of the Toki granite in an isotopically closed system. At the later hydrothermal stage, illite and secondary quartz precipitated from circulating meteoric-derived water in the dissolution vugs. Superimposing alteration at the later hydrothermal stage is limited, which results in the preservation of the episyenite in an almost primitive condition.


Episyenite Granite Hydrothermal alteration Fluid–rock interaction Orogenic belt 



We wish to thank Professors K. Yamamoto and M. Takeuchi of Nagoya University for providing the valuable discussion. Mr. S. Yogo and Ms. M. Nozaki of Nagoya University Museum and Dr. Y. Yamamoto and Mr. T. Matsuzaki of Kochi University are acknowledged for their technical assistance. We are also grateful to Mr. C.O. Villanueva for his assistance during the preparation of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoji Nishimoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hidekazu Yoshida
    • 2
  • Yoshihiro Asahara
    • 2
  • Tadahiko Tsuruta
    • 3
  • Masayuki Ishibashi
    • 3
  • Nagayoshi Katsuta
    • 4
  1. 1.Nagoya City Science MuseumNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Mizunami Underground Research LaboratoryJapan Atomic Energy AgencyMizunamiJapan
  4. 4.Gifu UniversityGifu CityJapan

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