- Japan Association for Quaternary Research
- 第四紀研究 (ISSN:04182642)
- vol.29, no.2, pp.105-120, 1990
Five distinctive tephra beds (A<sub>1</sub>Pm-A<sub>5</sub>Pm), carrying abundant biotite and quartz crystals, are widely distributed in central Japan. They are here collectively called Omachi APms or APms in short, and are petrographically identified by high refractive indices of hornblende (n<sub>2</sub>=1.685-1.696) and orthopyroxene (γ=1.728-1.737). One bed of the APms is found as far as 239km from the presumed source, Momisawadake in the Hida Mountains, where it is 4cm thick and composed mainly of silt-sized glass. No proximal deposit made up of coarse pumice fragments is found owing to unfavorable preservation of the mountainous landscapes; however, the eruption style is supposed to be of plinian type based on analyses of grain size along the dispersal axis.<br>Assuming that the accumulation rate of loess soil has been constant at each locality, the age of APms is estimated 0.24-0.33 Ma by the overlying soil thickness. Moreover, in the south Kanto district, one of the APms is intercalated between two well-established marker-tephra: GoP (0.25-0.30Ma) and TE-5 (0.35-0.40Ma). It is very likely that the age of APms is 0.30-0.35Ma. The time interval between A<sub>1</sub>Pm and A<sub>5</sub>Pm eruptions is estimated to be less than 0.05Ma, because the thickness of the soil layer intercalatcd between APms does not exceed 106cm at any locality.<br>The Omachi APms are found on the flanks and slopes of many volcanoes in central Japan, such as Azumaya, Yatsugatake, Kusatsu Shirane, and Takahara. They are also found among deposits forming fluvial terraces in north Kanto. The significance of APms as Middle Pleistocene time-markers will be established hereafter.