Clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks provide important records of the erosional history of active and ancient orogenic systems. For example, foreland basin deposits are especially rich sources of information about the character of orogenic hinterlands that have long-since eroded away. A popular approach to extracting such information is the U-Pb dating of detrital zircon (e.g., Ross and Bowring 1990; Gehrels 2000); by matching detrital zircon age populations with age patterns in exposed bedrock regions, it is possible to constrain the source regions for basin fill—provided, of course, that what is left of the hinterland is at least representative...

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