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Title1.8 billion years of detrital zircon recycling calibrates a refractory part of Earth's sedimentary cycle
AuthorHadlari, TORCID logo; Swindles, G T; Galloway, J MORCID logo; Bell, K M; Sulphur, K C; Heaman, L M; Beranek, L P; Fellas, K M
SourcePLOS One vol. 10, issue 12, 2015 p. 1-10, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150357
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Yukon
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AreaCordillera of North America
Lat/Long WENS-142.0000 -115.0000 67.5000 58.0000
Subjectsgeochronology; general geology; sedimentology; zircon; detrital minerals; sedimentary basins; erosion; bedrock geology; seismic surveys; uranium lead dating; cyclic sedimentation; Cretaceous; Proterozoic; Phanerozoic; Carboniferous
Illustrationslocation maps; graphs; photomicrographs; crustal cross-sections
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Mackenzie Corridor, Shield to Selwyn
Released2015 12 14
AbstractDetrital zircon studies are providing new insights on the evolution of sedimentary basins but the role of sedimentary recycling remains largely undefined. In a broad region of northwestern North America, this contribution traces the pathway of detrital zircon sand grains from Proterozoic sandstones through Phanerozoic strata and argues for multi-stage sedimentary recycling over more than a billion years. As a test of our hypothesis, integrated palynology and detrital zircon provenance provides clear evidence for erosion of Carboniferous strata in the northern Cordillera as a sediment source for Upper Cretaceous strata. Our results help to calibrate Earth's sedimentary cycle by showing that recycling dominates sedimentary provenance for the refractory mineral zircon.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This contribution combines a tectonic synthesis of the northern Cordillera from 1800 Ma until about 60 Ma with a detrital zircon record spanning 1.8 billion years. We find that the various datasets are mutually consistent and that we can trace the pathway of zircon mineral grains of sand through deposition and erosion of sedimentary rocks over billion year time scales. We claim to characterize a chemically and physically resistant part of the Earth's sedimentary cycle as dominated by sedimentary recycling.

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