12 , 2016 , Department of Geography, Tokyo Metropolitan University
The focus of this paper is to discuss what is currently understood, and what is unresolved, about the Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 of the Japanese archipelago, including future prospects from the field of geomorphology. The first step is to describe, the "Tachikawa Terrace" in the Kanto Plain, because it contains a geomorphological surface corresponding to MIS 3. Subsequently, I review the recently published series, "Regional Geomorphology of the Japanese Islands", which provides the surface topography and paleoenvironment of the MIS 3 geomorphological surfaces in other areas of Japan. Next, I show challenges involving related issues. Consequently, as the MIS 3 has a longer duration than previous and subsequent stages, the environment may vary considerably within it. Therefore it is essential to note what kinds of environmental factors are reflected in the landforms of the period. The topics include the influence of the Sea of Japan in the development of mountain glaciers, conditions affecting the formation of inland river terraces, sea-level change, and coastal landforms. In addition, it is necessary to reconstruct the landforms and hydrological conditions during the MIS 3, to evaluate the location of archaeological sites and human behavior in the archipelago.