Transpressional tectonics of the Mineoka Ophiolite Belt in a trench–trench–trench-type triple junction, Boso Peninsula, Japan



Abstract  Structures developed in metamorphic and plutonic blocks that occur as knockers in the Mineoka Ophiolite Belt in the Boso Peninsula, central Japan, were analyzed. The aim was to understand the incorporation processes of blocks of metamorphic and plutonic rocks with an arc signature into the serpentinite mélange of the Mineoka Ophiolite Belt in relation to changes in metamorphic conditions during emplacement. Several stages of deformation during retrogressive metamorphism were identified: the first faulting stage had two substage shearing events (mylonitization) under ductile conditions inside the crystalline blocks in relatively deeper levels; and the second stage had brittle faulting and brecciation along the boundaries between the host serpentinite bodies in relatively shallower levels (zeolite facies). The first deformation occurred during uplift before emplacement. The blocks were intensively sheared by the first deformation event, and developed numerous shear planes with spacing of a few centimeters. The displacement and width of each shear plane were a few centimeters and a few millimeters, respectively, at most. In contrast, the fault zone of the second shearing stage reached a few meters in width and developed during emplacement of the Mineoka Ophiolite. Both stages occurred under a right-lateral transpressional regime, in which thrust-faulting was associated with strike-slip faulting. Such displacement on an outcrop scale is consistent with the present tectonics of the Mineoka Belt. This implies that the same tectonic stress has been operating in the Boso trench–trench–trench-type triple junction area in the northwest corner of the Pacific since the emplacement of the Mineoka Ophiolite. The Mineoka Ophiolite Belt must have worked as a forearc sliver fault during the formation of a Neogene accretionary prism further south.