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The NW corner of the Pacific Ocean is a place of unique Tertiary tectonism, which provides one of the clearest examples of arc-arc collision. Voluminous Cretaceous rhyolitic-granitic magmatism along the continental margin continues into the Paleogene. In contrast, Miocene island arc volcanism follows Eocene boninitic magmatism in the Izu-Mariana Arc, in association with the opening of backarc basins, including those in the Philippine and Japan Seas. The triple junction between the Eurasian, Philippine Sea, and Pacific plates arrived in the area south of Tokyo during the Miocene, just as the Japan Sea was opening. After the beginning of Philippine Sea plate subduction to the north, the Izu Island Arc began to collide obliquely with the Honshu Arc. As a result, this unique tectonic setting in the NW Pacific has produced a miniature Alpine-type orogenic belt (Tanzawa) in the collisional center, whereas in the eastern part of the Izu Arc sediment has been actively accreting in that forearc. Such settings have resulted in systematic accretionary prism formation from the early Miocene in the Boso-Miura peninsular area to the present in the Sagami Trough area. We modeled the tectonics by a simple sandbox experiment. Systematic fault and fracture patterns of the oblique subduction type are predicted to occur during arc-arc collision.

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