The role of tectonic flow of crustal material in the formation of the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk
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Based on the concept of tectonic delamination of the lithosphere, we revealed that the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk were formed as a result of the tectonic flow of crustal material. The intermittent southward movement of southwestern Japan (Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic) along the eastern Japanese leftlateral strike-slip fault zone resulted in the formation of paired structures: back-arc extensional (Central Japan rift) and frontal compressional (South Japan imbricate–thrust belt) structures. The Sea of Okhotsk was formed in a similar tectonic setting: South Okhotsk rift (back-arc extensional structure) and Kamuikotan–Susunai compressional belt (frontal imbricate-thrust structure). Synchronous extension, compression, and strike-slip movements suggest that the tectonic flow of crustal material played a critical role in the formation of the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk.
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