Abstract

Compositional data for modern deep-sea sand and ancient graywacke were used by Crook to postulate that Atlantic, Andean, and western Pacific continental margin types could be distinguished on the basis of unique composition—a progressive decrease in framework quartz, total SiO2, and K2O/Na2O ratio. A consideration of the major source areas generated by plate tectonics mechanisms suggests that the premise is valid and can be expanded to include sandstone varieties other than gray-wacke, but more data on modern sand are needed to refine the concept. The potential usefulness of such contrasts in sandstone mineralogy and chemistry is demonstrated by comparing the composition of several ancient sandstone units (mainly from the Appalachian-Caledonian belt) for which plate tectonics basin models have been proposed.

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