Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Walter L. Manger

Committee Member

Xiangyang Xie

Second Committee Member

Doy Zachry

Abstract

U-Pb geochronology of detrital zircons collected from the Chesterian Wedington Sandstone allows interpretation of sediment provenance and dispersal patterns in the southern midcontinent during the Late Mississippian. Detrital zircons analyzed from six samples of Wedington Sandstone yielded a final result of 565 concordant analyses used for interpretation. Results are plotted as Probability-Density Plots to interpret the spectrum of ages. Significant peaks occurred at 350-500 Ma, 950-1250 Ma, 1300-1500 Ma, 1600-1800 Ma, 1800-2300 Ma, and >2500 Ma. These peaks are interpreted as sourced by crystalline rocks within the Laurentian craton from Taconic-Acadian, Grenville, Midcontinent Granite-Rhyolite, Yavapai-Mazatzal, Paleoproterozoic, and Superior Provinces. The high percentage of grains derived from Acadian, Taconic, and Grenville Provinces indicate the Appalachian Mountains were the primary source of sediment during the Chesterian. The Midcontinent Granite-Rhyolite and Yavapai-Mazatzal Provinces were the second most prevalent source terranes, indicating the Nemaha Ridge was uplifted and supplying a significant amount of sediment by the Late Mississippian. Sediments were likely transported from both eastern and western sources into a drainage basin moving sediments south into northwest Arkansas, where they were deposited on the Arkoma shelf as a small constructive delta complex.

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