EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

High-relief exhumation history in the Japanese Alps within the past 1 Ma inferred from trapped charge thermochronometry

Melanie Bartz1, Georgina E. King1, Frédéric Herman1, Leif S. Anderson1,2, Shigeru Sueoka3, Sumiko Tsukamoto4, and Takahiro Tagami5
Melanie Bartz et al.
  • 1Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland (
  • 2Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, USA
  • 3Tono Geoscience Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Japan
  • 4Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, Hanover, Germany
  • 5Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Japan

The interactions between Earth surface processes, climate and tectonics determine the landscape in mountain regions. The Japanese Alps uplifted throughout the Quaternary and now reach elevations of up to 3,000 m. However, quantifying relief changes in response to tectonic activity, magmatism and Late Quaternary glaciation is challenging due to the young age of the Japanese Alps and the difficulty of measuring surface processes at the timescale of glacial-interglacial cycles. Here, we use ultra-low temperature thermochronometers based on the luminescence of feldspar minerals and the electron spin resonance (ESR) of quartz minerals, in combination with inverse modelling to derive rock cooling rates and exhumation rates histories at 104-106 years timescales. We focus on the Tateyama region in the Hida range of the Japanese Alps, which was glaciated during the late Quaternary period. In total, 19 new samples were analyzed by luminescence and ESR thermochronometry. While most luminescence signals have already reached their upper dating limit, ESR signals (Al and Ti centres) yielded ESR ages of between 0.5-0.9 Ma. In general, thermal stability is lower for the Al centre compared to that of the Ti centre, but both centres constrain similar exhumation rates. Inversions reveal rock cooling rates on the order of 30-80 °C/Ma, which can be inverted to erosion rates of <1 mm/a within the past 1 Ma. In the next step, we will relate these rates to the climate and tectonic history of the Tateyama region.

How to cite: Bartz, M., King, G. E., Herman, F., Anderson, L. S., Sueoka, S., Tsukamoto, S., and Tagami, T.: High-relief exhumation history in the Japanese Alps within the past 1 Ma inferred from trapped charge thermochronometry, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11600,, 2023.