Paleogeographic maps of the Japanese Islands: Plate tectonic synthesis from 750 Ma to the present

Shigenori Maruyama, Yukio Isozaki, Gaku Kimura, Masaru Terabayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1036 Citations (Scopus)


A series of paleogeographic maps of the Japanese Islands, from their birth at ca 750-700 Ma to the present, is newly compiled from the viewpoint of plate tectonics. This series consists of 20 maps that cover all of the major events in the geotectonic evolution of Japan. These include the birth of Japan at the rifted continental margin of the Yangtze craton (ca 750-700 Ma), the tectonic inversion of the continental margin from passive to active (ca 500 Ma), the Paleozoic accretionary growth incorporating fragments from seamounts and oceanic plateaux (ca 480-250 Ma), the collision between Sino-Korea and Yangtze (250-210 Ma), the Mesozoic to Cenozoic accretionary growth (210 Ma-present) including the formation of the Cretaceous paired metamorphic belts (90 Ma), and the Miocene back-arc opening of the Japan Sea that separated Japan as an island arc (25-15 Ma).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-142
Number of pages22
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Back arc
  • Collision
  • Japan
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Paleogeography
  • Rifted margin
  • Subduction
  • Supercontinent
  • Superplume
  • Yangtze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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