Provenance studies provide unique insights into the source and tectonic history of sedimentary basins. In this study, Doebbert et al. describe the provenance of sand-sized sedimentary particles in the Gualala Basin of northern California, using petrography, detrital zircon analyses, and feldspar Pb isotopes. The results provide novel insights into regional paleogeography, and indicate that the Gualala Basin was in close proximity to the Mojave block until ~50 Ma, but that northward translation of the basin of ~550 km occurred thereafter. In addition to demonstrating the value of combined proxies in sedimentary provenance study, this study highlights the importance of considering the sand-size fraction in conglomeratic settings.
The sandstone-derived provenance record of the Gualala Basin, northern California, U.S.A. by Amalia C. Doebbert, Alan R. Carroll, and Clark Johnson