Reconstruction of the deformation history of an active fault: implications from the Atera Fault, Central Japan

Horst Zwingmann, Masakazu Niwa, Andrew Todd, Martin Saunders

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Atera Fault clay gouges were collected for age dating near Kawaue, Nakatsugawa City, Central Japan, and the results integrated within its complex geological history. The results form an internally consistent data set constrained by extensive geochronological data (AFTA, ZFTA, CHIME) and support the application of gouge dating in constraining timing of brittle deformation in Central Japan. The Atera illite age data complete recently obtained limited illite fault gouge age data from underground exposure in the Toki Granite; the new illite age data are identical within error. The age of the heterogenous welded tuff breccia zone (Atera 1) ranges from 40.6 ± 1.0 Ma to 60.0 ± 1.4 Ma, whereas ages of the fault core gouge sample (Atera 2) range from 41.8 ± 1.0 Ma to 52.7 ± 1.2 Ma. The finest < 0.1 µm fraction of the fault breccia and fault core gouge yield ages around 41 Ma, identical within error. The new illite age data indicate brittle faulting and a following geothermal event occurring in the Paleogene–Eocene, similar to the nearby Toki Granite area and confirm they were both synchronous with a post-intrusive pluton exhumation. The Atera Fault illite age data provide additional insights into an integrated, regional-scale record of the tectonic displacement of Central Japan and might be influenced by large-scale tectonic processes such as the Emperor sea mount kink around 55 to 46 Ma with fault initiation around 50 Ma and brittle fault cessation or reactivation around 40 Ma in the Eocene. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.)

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number27
    Number of pages16
    JournalEarth, Planets and Space
    Issue number1
    Early online date7 Feb 2024
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2024


    Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstruction of the deformation history of an active fault: implications from the Atera Fault, Central Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this