Thursday, October 17, 2013

Highlights—Permian Dust in the Wind

Studies of Permian strata of west Texas–New Mexico have illuminated many classic stratigraphic concepts, including the notion of lowstand siliciclastic bypass. Although a final, lowstand origin for the basinal siliciclastics in this area is evident, the provenance of the voluminous deposits has been widely debated, with most studies suggesting the Ancestral Rocky Mountains. Soreghan and Soreghan refute this interpretation. Results, including provenance spectra, are most consistent with sources in the Ouachita system and terranes south of the Ouachita system, with contributions from as far away as the Appalachian region.  These complex transport pathways are interpreted to have involved fluvial transport, ultimate eolian delivery, and atmospheric circulation that exhibited both zonal and monsoonal components. This paper represents the first contribution of detrital zircon approaches to this world-class system, and contributes to paleotectonic and paleoclimatic interpretations for western equatorial Pangaea. 

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