In providing clues of since-leveled landscapes, the stratigraphic record records tectonic evolution. In this study, Uddin et al. integrate petrographic, detrital-geochronologic, and mineral-chemistry analyses of detrital minerals and lithic clasts of the Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation, part of a clastic wedge in the foreland basin in Alabama and Mississippi. This manuscript illustrates that this part of the foreland basins received detritus mostly from the Appalachians, rather than the Oucahitas, and draws an analogy to the modern Himalayan-Bengal system. The mineralogy and dates suggest an initial Blue Ridge Piedmont source, followed by a migrating steep erosional front that buried previously eroded terrains; alternatively, some of the variations may result from along-strike transport of detrital material in the foreland basin.
Detrital history of the Lower Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation in the Cahaba Synclinorium of Alabama, U.S.A. by Ashraf Uddin, Willis E. Hames, Tara Peavy, and Jack C. Pashin