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Keywords:

  • Geochemistry;
  • Japan;
  • Mino terrane;
  • provenance;
  • sandstone petrography

Abstract

Provenance and tectonic history of the Jurassic accretionary complex, Mino terrane, located in the Inner Zone of south-west Japan, were studied using sandstone framework composition and mudrock geochemistry. Modal analysis of sandstones shows that the tectonic setting of the source area for the studied Mino terrane clastic rocks was uplifted basement, largely dominated by high-grade metamorphic terrain composed of quartz and feldspar, especially plagioclase. The textural and mineralogical immaturity, extent of alkali and alkaline earth element leaching, low chemical index of alteration values and depleted rare earth element (REE) contents suggest rapid uplift and erosion within the source terrain and a relatively weak weathering intensity. Factor analysis revealed that grain-size effects governed compositional heterogeneity in the studied sediments. Provenance of the sediments is interpreted as being plagioclase-enriched felsic basement rock, such as granodiorite, within a continental margin and evolved arc tectonic setting rather than active volcanic arc. Lack of a contribution from active volcanic arcs may have resulted from the cessation of volcanism during the reorganization of the subducting plate system and/or erosion of arc volcanics and exposure of basement. Considering the previous studies on palaeogeography and palaeocurrent reconstruction, the north-eastern part of the Yeongnam massif in the Korean Peninsula is interpreted as the most probable source area for the studied turbidites. The results of mixing calculation for Mino terrane sediments suggest that Precambrian leucocratic granite and the basement rock of the Cretaceous Gyeongsang Basin shed large amounts of sediments to the Mino trench, whilst Precambrian granitic gneiss and the Triassic pluton supplied lesser amounts. The results of this study reveal that, although active subduction–accretion processes were occurring, the Mino trench was bordered by continental basement rocks. This knowledge contributes to enhanced understanding of the Jurassic palaeogeography of the east Asia continental margin.