The Bansong Group (Daedong Supergroup) in the Korean peninsula has long been considered to be an important time marker for two well-known orogenies, in that it was deposited after the Songnim orogeny (Permian-Triassic collision of the North and South China blocks) but was deformed during the Early to Middle Jurassic Daebo tectonic event. Here we present a new interpretation on the origin of the Bansong Group and associated faults on the basis of structural and geochronological data. SHRIMP (Sensitive High-Resolution Ion MicroProbe) U-Pb zircon age determination of two felsic pyroclastic rocks from the Bansong Group formed in the foreland basin of the Gongsuweon thrust in the Taebaeksan Basin yielded ages of 186.3 ± 1.5 and 187.2 ± 1.5 Ma, respectively, indicating the deposition of the Bansong Group during the late Early Jurassic. Inherited zircon component indicates ca. 1.9 Ga source material for the volcanic rocks, agreeing with known basement ages. The Bansong Group represents syntectonic sedimentation during the late Early Jurassic in a compressional regime. During the Daebo tectonic event, the northeast-trending regional folds and thrusts including the Deokpori (Gakdong) and Gongsuweon thrusts with a southeast vergence developed in the Taebaeksan Basin. This is ascribed to deformation in a continental-arc setting due to the northwesterly orthogonal convergence of the Izanagi plate on the Asiatic margin, which occurred immediately after the juxtaposition of the Taebaeksan Basin against the Okcheon Basin in the late stage of the Songnim orogeny. Thus, the Deokpori thrust is not a continental transform fault between the North and South China blocks, but an "intracontinental" thrust that developed after their juxtaposition.
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We appreciate discussions with D.K. Choi, S.K. Chough and Y. Park. The critical comments by S.K. Chough on an earlier version of the manuscript are highly acknowledged. We also acknowledge the constructive reviews by A. Nuthan, N. Rayner, K. Sajeev and an anonymous reviewer, which significantly improved the manuscript. This work was supported by KOSEF grants R02-2003-000-10039-0 to JHR and R14-2003-017-01003-0 to STK.
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