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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sequence stratigraphy, geodynamics, and detrital geothermochronology of Cretaceous foreland basin deposits, western interior U.S.A.
by Painter, Clayton S., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2013, 214; 3600290
Abstract (Summary)

Three studies on Cordilleran foreland basin deposits in the western U.S.A. constitute this dissertation. These studies differ in scale, time and discipline. The first two studies include basin analysis, flexural modeling and detailed stratigraphic analysis of Upper Cretaceous depocenters and strata in the western U.S.A. The third study consists of detrital zircon U-Pb analysis (DZ U-Pb) and thermochronology, both zircon (U-Th)/He and apatite fission track (AFT), of Upper Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous foreland-basin conglomerates and sandstones. Five electronic supplementary files are a part of this dissertation and are available online; these include 3 raw data files (Appendix_A_raw_isopach_data.txt, Appendix_C_DZ_Data.xls, Appendix_C_U-Pb_apatite.xls), 1 oversized stratigraphic cross section (Appendix_B_figure_5.pdf), and 1 figure containing apatite U-Pb concordia plots (Appendix_C_Concordia.pdf).

Appendix A is a combination of detailed isopach maps of the Upper Cretaceous Western Interior, flexural modeling and a comparison to dynamic subsidence models as applied to the region. Using these new isopach maps and modeling, I place the previously recognized but poorly constrained shift from flexural to non-flexural subsidence at 81 Ma.

Appendix B is a detailed stratigraphic study of the Upper Cretaceous, (Campanian, ~76 Ma) Sego Sandstone Member of the Mesaverde Group in northwestern Colorado, an area where little research has been done on this formation.

Appendix C is a geo-thermochronologic study to measure the lag time of Upper Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous conglomerates and sandstones in the Cordilleran foreland basin. The maximum depositional ages using DZ U-Pb match existing biostratigraphic age controls. AFT is an effective thermochronometer for Lower to Upper Cretaceous foreland stratigraphy and indicates that source material was exhumed from >4–5 km depth in the Cordilleran orogenic belt between 118 and 66 Ma, and zircon (U-Th)/He suggests that it was exhumed from <8–9 km depth. Apatite U-Pb analyses indicate that volcanic contamination is a significant issue, without which, one cannot exclude the possibility that the youngest detrital AFT population is contaminated with significant amounts of volcanogenic apatite and does not represent source exhumation. AFT lag times are <5 Myr with relatively steady-state to slightly increasing exhumation rates. Lag time measurements indicate exhumation rates of ~0.9->>1 km/Myr.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carrapa, Barbara
Commitee: Cohen, Andrew S., DeCelles, Peter G., Gehrels, George E., Kapp, Paul
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Geosciences
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geology, Plate Tectonics, Sedimentary Geology
Keywords: Apatite fission track, Colorado, Cretaceous interior, Detrital zircon uranium-lead, Flexure, New Mexico, Sequence stratigraphy, United States of America, Utah, Wyoming, Zircon (U-Th)/He
Publication Number: 3600290
ISBN: 978-1-303-50362-7
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