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Applying detrital zircon geochronology to identify variations in sedimentary provenance of the Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation, Southern Utah Tyler.

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Presentation on theme: "Applying detrital zircon geochronology to identify variations in sedimentary provenance of the Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation, Southern Utah Tyler."— Presentation transcript:

1 Applying detrital zircon geochronology to identify variations in sedimentary provenance of the Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation, Southern Utah Tyler Szwarc Advisor: Cari Johnson

2 COUT NMAZ Late Cretaceous (~85 Ma)

3 Previous Research Sedimentary provenance changes across sequence boundaries Lawton et al., 2003

4 Project Overview Infer sedimentary provenance of John Henry Member, Straight Cliffs Formation Use detrital zircon ages from ~20 sandstone samples as “tracers” Look for changes in provenance through time and space

5 What is a Detrital Zircon? Silicate mineral that forms in felsic igneous melts Incorporates radioactive uranium into the crystal U/Pb ratio provides crystallization age “detrital” implies the zircon has been transported from origin

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8 COUT NMAZ Late Cretaceous (~80 Ma) Sevier Fold/Thrust Belt Mogollon Highlands UT CO Dickinson and Gehrels, 2008

9 Importance Provenance studies help determine spatial extent of sandstones Better understand the nature of sequence boundaries in fluvial strata Obtain a better understanding of foreland basin evolution

10 References Blakey, Ron, 2011, Paleogeography of the Colorado Plateau and Vicinity, Dickinson, W., and Gehrels, G., Sediment delivery to the Cordilleran Foreland Basin: Insights from U-Pb ages of detrital zircons in upper Jurassic and Cretaceous strata of the Colorado Plateau. American Journal of Science, vol. 308, December 2008, P – Lawton, T., Polluck, S., and Robinson, R., Integrating sandstone petrology and nonmarine sequence stratigraphy: Application to the Late Cretaceous fluvial systems of southwestern Utah, U.S.A., Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol. 73, No. 3, May 2003, P. 389 – 406.


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