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Upper Oligocene to lower Miocene accreted rocks and slope-basin strata of the Shimanto accretionary prism at Cape Muroto, southwest Japan, recently have been interpreted as recording the subduction of the active Shikoku back-arc basin spreading ridge. The Shimanto paleotrench was suborthogonal to the trend of the active spreading ridge and subduction apparently started at ∼15 Ma. This event resulted in the formation of a deep structural embayment into the prism, accompanied by mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) magmatism in the core of this embayment. Our investigation of the thermal history of these rocks by means of vitrinite reflectance and illite crystallinity...

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