The Higo metamorphic complex in Kyushu, Japan as the fragment of Permo - Triassic metamorphic complexes in East Asia

Y. Osanai, M. Owada, A. Kamei, T. Hamamoto, H. Kagami, T. Toyoshima, N. Nakano, T. N. Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The Higo terrane in west-central Kyushu Island, southwest Japan consists from north to south of the Manotani, Higo and Ryuhozan metamorphic complexes, which are intruded by the Higo plutonic complex (Miyanohara tonalite and Shiraishino granodiorite). The Higo and Manotani metamorphic complexes indicate an imbricate crustal section in which a sequence of metamorphic rocks with increasing metamorphic grade from high (northern part) to low (southern part) structural levels is exposed. The metamorphic rocks in these complexes can be divided into five metamorphic zones (zone A to zone E) from top to base (i.e., from north to south) on the basis of mineral parageneses of pelitic rocks. Greenschist-facies mineral assemblages in zone A (the Manotani metamorphic complex) give way to amphibolite-facies assemblages in zones B, C and D, which in turn are replaced by granulite-facies assemblages in zone E of the Higo metamorphic complex. The highest-grade part of the complex (zone E) indicates peak P - T conditions of ca. 720 MPa and ca. 870 °C. In addition highly aluminous Spr-bearing granulites and related high-temperature metamorphic rocks occur as blocks in peridotite intrusions and show UHT-metamorphic conditions of ca. 900 MPa and ca. 950 °C. The prograde and retrograde P-T evolution paths of the Higo and Manotani metamorphic complexes are estimated using reaction textures, mineral inclusion analyses and mineral chemistries, especially in zones A and D, which show a clockwise P-T path from Lws-including Pmp-Act field to Act-Chl-Epi field in zone A and St-Ky field to And field through Sil field in zone D. The Higo metamorphic complex has been traditionally considered to be the western-end of the Ryoke metamorphic belt in the Japanese Islands or part of the Kurosegawa-Paleo Ryoke terrane in south-west Japan. However, recent detailed studies including Permo-Triassic age (ca. 250 Ma) determinations from this complex indicate a close relationship with the high-grade metamorphic terranes in eastern-most Asia (e.g., north Dabie terrane) with similar metamorphic and igneous characteristics, protolith assembly, and metamorphic and igneous ages. The north Dabie high-grade terrane as a collisional metamorphic zone between the North China and the South China cratons could be extended to the N-NE along the transcurrent fault (Tan-Lu Fault) as the Sulu belt in Shandong Peninsula and the Imjingang belt in Korean Peninsula. The Higo and Manotani metamorphic complexes as well as the Hida-Oki terrane in Japan would also have belonged to this type of collisional terrane and then experienced a top-to-the-south displacement with forming a regional nappe structure before the intrusion of younger Shiraishino granodiorite (ca. 120 Ma).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-166
Number of pages15
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Higo metamorphic complex in Kyushu, Japan as the fragment of Permo - Triassic metamorphic complexes in East Asia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this