User's guide to the interpretation of sandstones using whole-rock chemical data, exemplified by sandstones from Triassic to Miocene passive and active margin settings from the Southern Neotethys in Cyprus

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Abstract / Description of output

Sandstone geochemistry provides useful insights into source-rock weathering, erosion, sedimentary transport, deposition, diagenesis and provenance. We identify and discuss useful geochemical methods and plots for the description and interpretation of whole-rock chemical data for a wide range of sandstone compositions, which we present as a user's guide. As a test, we apply this to late Triassic-late Miocene sandstones from two contrasting depositional-tectonic settings in Cyprus that are already extensively documented and interpreted. The chemical approach adds useful information/interpretation and deserves to be used more widely.

Late Triassic-early Cretaceous sandstones in southwest and southern Cyprus (Mamonia Complex and Moni Melange) were ultimately derived from felsic-dominated source rocks (e.g., granodiorite) that became more weathered through time, as conditions became more humid; sorting and recycling effects increased over the same time interval. The sandstones are interpreted as being mainly recycled from Paleozoic siliciclastic shelf deposits in southernmost Turkey (Taurides) during the rift/passive margin development of the Southern Neotethys. For the late Cretaceous-late Miocene sandstones in northern Cyprus (Kyrenia Range), the chemical signals are more complex, related to a more variable provenance. Paleocurrent and other geological evidence support initial supply during the late Eocene-Oligocene from a mostly felsic continental source to the north in southern Turkey, with accumulation in a trench-type setting in north Cyprus, related to northward subduction. Paleocurrent data for during and after the early-middle Miocene indicate sediment westward supply, including mafic/ultramafic material from ophiolite-related rocks, related to suturing of the Southern Neotethys in southeast Turkey. Overall, sandstone composition in Cyprus was strongly influenced by the regional Cadomian basement that was amalgamated during the late Precambrian-Cambrian Pan-African orogeny.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105616
JournalSedimentary Geology
Volume400
Early online date8 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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