The detrital phases of sedimentary rocks are found to retain their Ar40/K40 ratio during weathering and sedimentation cycles. Therefore, under favorable sedimentary conditions, where the authigenic components are negligible, K-Ar isotopic measurements on bulk sedimentary rocks can be useful in tracing the detrital material to their source rocks.

K-Ar measurements on the Upper Triassic Newark group of red sandstones and shales in New Jersey demonstrate that more than one source contributed to the filling of the Triassic basin.

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