Provenance of Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin system of the Sierra Madre Oriental, northeastern Mexico, and its bearing on fluvial dispersal systems of the Mexican Laramide Province

Timothy F. Lawton, Ira A. Bradford, Francisco J. Vega, George E Gehrels, Jeffrey M. Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sandstone petrography and detrital zircon U-Pb analysis of Upper Cretaceous - Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico indicate long-distance sediment transport from arc, basement, and thrust-belt sources lying to the west, northwest, and south. The basin fill, termed the Difunta Group, consists of sublitharenites, litharenites, feldspathic litharenites, and lithic arkoses derived from mixed sources that included sedimentary rocks, magmatic arc rocks, and subordinate basement rocks. Six age populations comprise the detrital zircon content of the sandstones: Proterozoic (1900-900 Ma), early Paleozoic (500-400 Ma), late Paleozoic-Early Triassic (288-235 Ma), Jurassic (180-151 Ma), Early Cretaceous (150-111 Ma), and Late Cretaceous-Paleogene (110-54 Ma). These grains were derived from several arc terranes, ranging in age from Permian to Paleogene, in western Mexico and the southwestern United States, from sedimentary rocks and possibly interbedded tuffs of the Sierra Madre Oriental orogen and from basement sources or their derivative sandstones of the southwestern United States. The petrographic and geochronologic provenance data corroborate existing models for derivation of much foreland detritus from arc sources to the west, identify the Sierra Madre orogen itself as an important source for sediment, and these data modify the Late Cretaceous - Paleogene paleogeography of Mexico to include a long, orogen-parallel fluvial system with headwaters in the southwestern United States. The difference in average ages of the youngest grains in the sandstones and their inferred depositional ages is 10.5 m.y., indicating that the initial coarse fill of the foreland basin was derived from early Laramide uplift and eastward arc migration in northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-836
Number of pages17
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Volume121
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

foreland basin
Paleogene
provenance
sandstone
Cretaceous
sedimentary rock
zircon
Paleozoic
basin fill
paleogeography
basement rock
petrography
headwater
detritus
sediment transport
terrane
Proterozoic
Permian
Triassic
fill

Keywords

  • Cretaceous
  • Detrital zircons
  • Difunta Group
  • Foreland basin
  • Laramide
  • Mexico
  • Paleogene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

@article{60aa1954cdf34347833af13c80645e30,
title = "Provenance of Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin system of the Sierra Madre Oriental, northeastern Mexico, and its bearing on fluvial dispersal systems of the Mexican Laramide Province",
abstract = "Sandstone petrography and detrital zircon U-Pb analysis of Upper Cretaceous - Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico indicate long-distance sediment transport from arc, basement, and thrust-belt sources lying to the west, northwest, and south. The basin fill, termed the Difunta Group, consists of sublitharenites, litharenites, feldspathic litharenites, and lithic arkoses derived from mixed sources that included sedimentary rocks, magmatic arc rocks, and subordinate basement rocks. Six age populations comprise the detrital zircon content of the sandstones: Proterozoic (1900-900 Ma), early Paleozoic (500-400 Ma), late Paleozoic-Early Triassic (288-235 Ma), Jurassic (180-151 Ma), Early Cretaceous (150-111 Ma), and Late Cretaceous-Paleogene (110-54 Ma). These grains were derived from several arc terranes, ranging in age from Permian to Paleogene, in western Mexico and the southwestern United States, from sedimentary rocks and possibly interbedded tuffs of the Sierra Madre Oriental orogen and from basement sources or their derivative sandstones of the southwestern United States. The petrographic and geochronologic provenance data corroborate existing models for derivation of much foreland detritus from arc sources to the west, identify the Sierra Madre orogen itself as an important source for sediment, and these data modify the Late Cretaceous - Paleogene paleogeography of Mexico to include a long, orogen-parallel fluvial system with headwaters in the southwestern United States. The difference in average ages of the youngest grains in the sandstones and their inferred depositional ages is 10.5 m.y., indicating that the initial coarse fill of the foreland basin was derived from early Laramide uplift and eastward arc migration in northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States.",
keywords = "Cretaceous, Detrital zircons, Difunta Group, Foreland basin, Laramide, Mexico, Paleogene",
author = "Lawton, {Timothy F.} and Bradford, {Ira A.} and Vega, {Francisco J.} and Gehrels, {George E} and Amato, {Jeffrey M.}",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1130/B26450.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "121",
pages = "820--836",
journal = "Geological Society of America Bulletin",
issn = "0016-7606",
publisher = "Geological Society of America",
number = "5-6",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Provenance of Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin system of the Sierra Madre Oriental, northeastern Mexico, and its bearing on fluvial dispersal systems of the Mexican Laramide Province

AU - Lawton, Timothy F.

AU - Bradford, Ira A.

AU - Vega, Francisco J.

AU - Gehrels, George E

AU - Amato, Jeffrey M.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Sandstone petrography and detrital zircon U-Pb analysis of Upper Cretaceous - Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico indicate long-distance sediment transport from arc, basement, and thrust-belt sources lying to the west, northwest, and south. The basin fill, termed the Difunta Group, consists of sublitharenites, litharenites, feldspathic litharenites, and lithic arkoses derived from mixed sources that included sedimentary rocks, magmatic arc rocks, and subordinate basement rocks. Six age populations comprise the detrital zircon content of the sandstones: Proterozoic (1900-900 Ma), early Paleozoic (500-400 Ma), late Paleozoic-Early Triassic (288-235 Ma), Jurassic (180-151 Ma), Early Cretaceous (150-111 Ma), and Late Cretaceous-Paleogene (110-54 Ma). These grains were derived from several arc terranes, ranging in age from Permian to Paleogene, in western Mexico and the southwestern United States, from sedimentary rocks and possibly interbedded tuffs of the Sierra Madre Oriental orogen and from basement sources or their derivative sandstones of the southwestern United States. The petrographic and geochronologic provenance data corroborate existing models for derivation of much foreland detritus from arc sources to the west, identify the Sierra Madre orogen itself as an important source for sediment, and these data modify the Late Cretaceous - Paleogene paleogeography of Mexico to include a long, orogen-parallel fluvial system with headwaters in the southwestern United States. The difference in average ages of the youngest grains in the sandstones and their inferred depositional ages is 10.5 m.y., indicating that the initial coarse fill of the foreland basin was derived from early Laramide uplift and eastward arc migration in northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

AB - Sandstone petrography and detrital zircon U-Pb analysis of Upper Cretaceous - Paleogene sandstones in the foreland basin of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico indicate long-distance sediment transport from arc, basement, and thrust-belt sources lying to the west, northwest, and south. The basin fill, termed the Difunta Group, consists of sublitharenites, litharenites, feldspathic litharenites, and lithic arkoses derived from mixed sources that included sedimentary rocks, magmatic arc rocks, and subordinate basement rocks. Six age populations comprise the detrital zircon content of the sandstones: Proterozoic (1900-900 Ma), early Paleozoic (500-400 Ma), late Paleozoic-Early Triassic (288-235 Ma), Jurassic (180-151 Ma), Early Cretaceous (150-111 Ma), and Late Cretaceous-Paleogene (110-54 Ma). These grains were derived from several arc terranes, ranging in age from Permian to Paleogene, in western Mexico and the southwestern United States, from sedimentary rocks and possibly interbedded tuffs of the Sierra Madre Oriental orogen and from basement sources or their derivative sandstones of the southwestern United States. The petrographic and geochronologic provenance data corroborate existing models for derivation of much foreland detritus from arc sources to the west, identify the Sierra Madre orogen itself as an important source for sediment, and these data modify the Late Cretaceous - Paleogene paleogeography of Mexico to include a long, orogen-parallel fluvial system with headwaters in the southwestern United States. The difference in average ages of the youngest grains in the sandstones and their inferred depositional ages is 10.5 m.y., indicating that the initial coarse fill of the foreland basin was derived from early Laramide uplift and eastward arc migration in northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

KW - Cretaceous

KW - Detrital zircons

KW - Difunta Group

KW - Foreland basin

KW - Laramide

KW - Mexico

KW - Paleogene

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