Geological framework and fission track dating of pseudotachylyte of the atotsugawa fault, magawa area, central Japan

Hideo Takagi*, Kosuke Tsutsui, Hiroyoshi Arai, Hideki Iwano, Tohru Danhara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes newly discovered pseudotachylyte along the Atotsugawa Fault at the Magawa outcrop, where this fault divides Quaternary deposits in the SW from Triassic Hida granitic rocks to the NE. Within several meters of the fault surface, pseudotachylyte veins are found with a thickness of less than 10cm, but are displaced by fault brecciation. Zircon fission track dating of pseudotachylyte samples yields ages of 48.6-50.2 Ma (sample AT-A), 55.1 Ma (AT-A'-1) and 60.9 Ma (AT-D-1); the latter is similar to the fission track ages of 56.1-60.1 Ma for granitic protoliths. The results of fission track length analyses in zircon suggest that pseudotachylytes (AT-A and AT-D-1) and protolith granite are mostly annealed. Consequently, the pseudotachylyte (AT-A) reached the highest temperature during 48.6-50.2 Ma, thereby resetting the fission track system totally in zircon during faulting. Another pseudotachylyte (AT-A'-1) and its wall rock granite contain shortened tracks within zircon grains suggesting partial annealing. The age distribution pattern of the former also contains decomposed age after the normality test (Shapiro-Wilk test) in which the major age yields 52.5 Ma. Accordingly, these pseudotachylytes yield a peak age of about 50 Ma, whereas the peak ages of one pseudotachylyte (AT-D-1) and the protolith Hida granitic rocks are about 60 Ma, representing the thermal effects not caused by frictional heating but by intrusions of Late Cretaceous to Paleogene granitoids that are probably concealed below the exposed Triassic Hida granitic rocks. Such thermal effects did not affect the K-Ar muscovite age (149 Ma) for the protolith granite because of the higher closure temperature of this system. Using the new geochronological data, we can elucidate the cooling history of the Hida granitic rocks, and constrain the timing of the main pulse of pseudotachylyte generation along the Atotsugawa Fault at about 50 Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-337
Number of pages20
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept


  • Atotsugawa Fault
  • Fission track age
  • Pseudotachylyte
  • Zircon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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