Sea of Japan

ID: 4-25

Ocean: Marginal basin
Spreading centre type: Uncertain, however some evidence to suggest as a back-arc basin (Stern and Dickinson, 2010)

Observations and comments:

An early analysis of magnetic anomalies across the region led to the proposal of three possible spreading centres in the Sea of Japan and Yamato Basins, of indeterminate age (Isezaki, 1975). Subsequent studies have investigated the structural trends of the basin (for example, Xu et al., 2014 and Jolivet et al., 1994), yet the precise location of the former spreading ridge remains uncertainy and there are poor contraints on the timing of opening of the basin (Xu et al., 2014; Jolivet et al., 1994; Kimura et al., 2005). One recent study inferred that oceanic spreading occurred from 25 Ma until 12 Ma (Kimura et al., 2005).

Despite the improved resolution of updated bathymetry and gravity datasets it remains difficult to identify the surface trace of the former spreading centres and therefore this region is not included in our statistical analysis. The axial segment locations that we display are based on the locations suggested by Isezaki (1975) and Jolivet et al. (1994).


Isezaki, N. (1974). Possible spreading centres in the Japan Sea. Marine Geophysical Researches, 2, pp. 265-277.

Jolivet, L., Tamaki, K. and Fournier, M., 1994. Japan Sea, opening history and mechanism: A synthesis. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 99(B11), pp.22237-22259.

Kimura, J.I., Stern, R.J. and Yoshida, T., 2005. Reinitiation of subduction and magmatic responses in SW Japan during Neogene time. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 117(7-8), pp.969-986.

Stern, R. J. and Dickinson, W. R., 2010. The Gulf of Mexico is a Jurassic backarc basin. Geosphere, 6(6), pp. 739-754.

Xu, J., Ben-Avraham, Z., Kelty, T. and Yu, H.-S., 2014. Origin of marginal basins of the NW Pacific and their plate tectonic reconstructions. Earth-Science Reviews, 130, pp. 154-196.

Profiles across the axes of extinct ridge segments

Depth profiles across the axes of extinct ridge segments

Gravity profiles across the axes of extinct ridge segments