Abstract

Modes in the frequency of distribution of fission track ages obtained from detrital zircon grains may prove characteristic of individual sandstone bodies, supporting the identification of the sources from which a particular flow of sedimentary detritus was derived. A computer program has been written and used to identify modes in the zircon fission track age distribution within two Lower Cretaceous sandstone samples from the Weald of southern England. Pronounced modes appear in one rock around 119 Ma, 160 243 Ma and 309 Ma and in the other around 141 Ma, 175 Ma, 257 to 277 Ma and 394 to 453 Ma. It is concluded that they indicate the provenance of the first sample, from the Top Ashdown Sandstone member at Dallington in East Sussex, was almost entirely southerly, while that of the second, from the Netherside Sand member at Northchapel in West Sussex predominantly westerly and northerly.--Modified journal abstract.

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