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Abstract

The idea of paired metamorphic belts proposed by Miyashiro (1961, 1973) links the presence of parallel belts of high and low heat flow along convergent margins with paired regions of metamorphism below the surface that form under contrasting P–T conditions. Quantitative modelling of convergent plate margins by Oxburgh & Turcotte (1971) showed that the belt of low heat ?ow can be accounted for by the inflow of cold lithosphere into the mantle along oceanic trenches (Fig. 2c.1), and the belt of high heat ?ow can be accounted for by the rise of hot magma and ?uids in volcanic arcs. The idea of paired metamorphic belts provided a new dynamic way of looking at regional metamorphism, linking the physical movements of plates to the resulting movement of heat. Researchers in the two fields of structural geology and metamorphic petrology now had a common purpose: establishing a link between their observations of regional metamorphic belts and plate-scale tectonic processes. This new insight still provides the framework and motive for many studies of orogenic belts. The Sanbagawa and Ryoke belts are both the type locality of paired metamorphism and the starting point for this new field of endeavour in basement geology. In this chapter we summarize the present state of knowledge of these belts and consider how their geological development re?ects plate movements and the development of the Mesozoic East Asian subduction zone.

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