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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 63 (1979)

Issue: 12. (December)

First Page: 2164

Last Page: 2182

Title: Plate Tectonics and Sandstone Compositions

Author(s): William R. Dickinson (2), Christopher A. Suczek (3)


Detrital framework modes of sandstone suites from different kinds of basins are a function of provenance types governed by plate tectonics. Quartzose sands from continental cratons are widespread within interior basins, platform successions, miogeoclinal wedges, and opening ocean basins. Arkosic sands from uplifted basement blocks are present locally in rift troughs and in wrench basins related to transform ruptures. Volcaniclastic lithic sands and more complex volcano-plutonic sands derived from magmatic arcs are present in trenches, forearc basins, and marginal seas. Recycled orogenic sands, rich in quartz or chert plus other lithic fragments and derived from subduction complexes, collision orogens, and foreland uplifts, are present in closing ocean basins, diverse succ ssor basins, and foreland basins. Triangular diagrams showing framework proportions of quartz, the two feldspars, polycrystalline quartzose lithics, and unstable lithics of volcanic and sedimentary parentage successfully distinguish the key provenance types. Relations between provenance and basin are important for hydrocarbon exploration because sand frameworks of contrasting detrital compositions respond differently to diagenesis, and thus display different trends of porosity reduction with depth of burial.

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