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Geochemical approaches to sedimentation, provenance, and tectonics

S. M. McLennan, S. Hemming, D. K. McDaniel and G. N. Hanson
Geochemical approaches to sedimentation, provenance, and tectonics (in Processes controlling the composition of clastic sediments, Mark J. Johnsson (editor) and Abhijit Basu (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (1993) 284: 21-40


Geochemical and isotopic approaches to constraining provenance of sedimentary rocks complement the information inferred from petrography. Geochemical approaches have several advantages, including applicability to both matrix-rich sandstones and shales and ability to constrain provenance age and geochemical history. Five provenance components, or terrane types, have been defined on the basis of whole-rock chemical and Nd-isotopic composition, including Old Upper Continental Crust, Recycled Sedimentary Rocks, Young Undifferentiated Arc, Young Differentiated Arc, and various Exotic Components, such as ophiolites. Among the most important geochemical characteristics that define these provenance types are Nd isotopic composition (reflecting average provenance age), europium anomalies (reflecting intracrustal igneous differentiation processes), large-ion lithophile element enrichments (provenance composition), alkali and alkaline earth depletions (weathering and alteration), Zr and Hf enrichments (heavy mineral enrichments), and high Cr abundances (ultramafic sources). Pb isotopic compositions of whole rocks and framework (quartz, feldspar) and accessory (e.g., zircon, monazite) grains constrain the age and crustal history of sediment sources. The U-Pb system may be used to date the time of crystallization of small populations and, for favorable circumstances, individual sand-sized grains of detrital quartz. The Early Proterozoic Pokegama Quartzite contains detrital quartz populations that give a Pb-Pb age of 2647 + or - 16 Ma, consistent with detrital zircon ages and with the age of the Archean Superior Province, from which this formation is mainly derived. The initial Pb isotopic composition may be approximated by the Pb isotopic composition of leached feldspars, due to their low U/Pb and Th/Pb ratios. Pb isotopic compositions of detrital feldspars may also provide information about sedimentary provenance. K-feldspars from the Pokegama Quartzite and Early Proterozoic Chelmsford Formation fall within the field of Archean Superior Province igneous K-feldspars. They are distinct from K-feldspars found in other potential provenance terranes, including the Penokean Orogen or, in the case of the Pokegama, the Minnesota River Valley gneisses.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 284
Title: Geochemical approaches to sedimentation, provenance, and tectonics
Title: Processes controlling the composition of clastic sediments
Author(s): McLennan, S. M.Hemming, S.McDaniel, D. K.Hanson, G. N.
Author(s): Johnsson, Mark J.editor
Author(s): Basu, Abhijiteditor
Affiliation: State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Stony Brook, NY, United States
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, United States
Pages: 21-40
Published: 1993
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 95
Accession Number: 1994-013888
Categories: Geochemistry of rocks, soils, and sedimentsSedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
Secondary Affiliation: Indiana University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 199406
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