2010 Volume 119 Issue 6 Pages 1173-1196
The Japanese Islands have long been considered to be the most evolved of all the island arcs in the oceans. A simple scenario has been implicitly accepted for the growth of the Japanese Islands: since subduction started sometime around 520 Ma, the TTG crust has increased over time in association with the steady-state growth of the accretionary prism in front. Here, we show very different dynamic growths of TTG crusts over time than previously thought, i.e., four times more TTG crusts than at present must have gone into the deep mantle due to tectonic erosion, which occurred six times since subduction was initiated at 520 Ma. Tectonic erosion is a major process that has controlled the development history of the Japanese islands. It can be traced as a serpentinite mélange belt, which indicates the upper boundary of past extensive tectonic erosion.