Zircon fission-track (FT) and U-Pb analyses were performed on zircon extracted from a pseudotachylyte zone and surrounding rocks of the Asuke Shear Zone (ASZ), Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The U-Pb ages of all four samples are ∼ 67-76 Ma, which is interpreted as the formation age of Ryoke granitic rocks along the ASZ. The mean zircon FT age of host rock is 73 ± 7 (2σ) Ma, suggesting a time of initial cooling through the zircon closure temperature. The pseudotachylyte zone however, yielded a zircon FT age of 53 ± 9 (2σ) Ma, statistically different from the age of the host rock. Zircon FTs showed reduced mean lengths and intermediate ages for samples adjacent to the pseudotachylyte zone. Coupled with the new zircon U-Pb ages and previous heat conduction modeling, the present FT data are best interpreted as reflecting paleothermal effects of the frictional heating of the fault. The age for the pseudotachylyte coincides with the change in direction of rotation of the Pacific plate from NW to N which can be considered to initialize the NNE-SSW trending sinistral-extensional ASZ before the Miocene clockwise rotation of SW Japan. The present study demonstrates that a history of fault motions in seismically active regions can be reconstructed by dating pseudotachylytes using zircon FT thermochronology.
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