As numerous JSR papers have illustrated, sediment provenance can provide key insights for interpreting climatic controls on stratigraphy, estimating paleoaltimetry, and reconstructing the timing and mechanisms of tectonic processes; after all, there are various causes for unroofing. Here, Foreman and Rasmussen examine the provenance of sediment the Wasatch Formation exposed in the Piceance Basin of Colorado to explore the unroofing history of surrounding uplifts. Integrating new and compiled paleocurrent measurements, sandstone petrographic compositions, and U-Pb detrital-zircon ages, the results refine unroofing history and revised age constraint for the Sawatch (Laramide) Range. The data provide new perspectives on mechanisms behind the shift from Sevier to Laramide tectonism, and at a finer scale, implicate major shifts in deposition within the Wasatch Formation related to fluctuations in tectonics and climate.
Provenance signals in the Piceance Creek basin: unroofing of the Sawatch Range and extent of the early Paleogene California River system (Colorado, U.S.A.) by Brady Z. Foreman and Dirk M. Rasmussen