Abstract

Apatite and zircon grains separated from a sandstone layer of earliest Late Devonian age, Catskill Mountains, have been subjected to fission-track analysis. A 125-m.y. age, obtained on the apatite grains, requires a temperature for the sediment of less than 120 °C during the past 125 m.y. At some time prior to 125 m.y. ago, temperatures were above 120 °C long enough to cause complete fading of tracks. Analysis of zircon grains resulted in a fission-track age of 320 m.y. Zircon data indicate that the temperature of the sediment layer enclosing the grains did not exceed 175 to 200 °C over a 235-rn.y. period (time between sedimentation and 125 m.y. ago). If one assumes a typical geothermal gradient of 25 °C/km, a burial depth of between 4 and 7 km is indicated for the lowermost Upper Devonian, atskill Mountains.

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