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Kibi Plateau: A stable-coherent tectonic unit in the active Japanese Islands

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Abstract

The Kibi Plateau in the active Japanese Islands consists of mainly Permian to Cretaceous rocks that have been deeply weathered into a red soil, comprising a peneplain with U-shaped valley. Systematic geological analyses of the Eocene fluvial deposits revealed the paleo-rivers that existed in the eastern Asian continent and streamed out to the paleo-Pacific Ocean. Each paleo-river is traced in a flow line shape without any significant vertical and horizontal displacement. The Eocene shallow marine sediments in a possible coastal region have no relevant inclination. These geological data strongly suggest that the Kibi Plateau has been a stable-coherent tectonic unit since the Eocene through the opening of the Japan Sea and the associated quick rotation of SW Japan in the Middle Miocene. The Kibi Plateau region with a thick crust over 30 km existed as a stable eastern segment of the Asian continent in the Eocene. The Kibi Plateau tectonic unit drifted to the south without any destruction due to the peripheral successive tectonic events such as the Philippine Sea plate subduction and the reactivation of Median Tectonic Line. No subduction related arc volcanism since the Eocene has also influenced to preserve the stable tectonic unit.

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Sonehara, T., Yagi, K., Takeshita, H., Aoki, K., Aoki, S., Otofuji, Y. ichiro, & Itaya, T. (2020). Kibi Plateau: A stable-coherent tectonic unit in the active Japanese Islands. Scientific Reports, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60448-x

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