Tectonic setting and provenance of the Neoproterozoic Uinta Mountain and Big Cottonwood groups, Northern Utah

constraints from geochemistry, Nd isotopes, and detrital modes

Kent C. Condie*, Dennis Lee, G. Lang Farmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Neoproterozoic Uinta Mountain Group was deposited in an east-trending intracratonic rift bounded on the north by an active fault system and opening into a shallow sea on the west where the Big Cottonwood Group was deposited in an estuary. Although this rift may have been associated with the early stages in the breakup of Rodinia, it was not an aulacogen. Geochemical, Nd isotope, and detrital mode studies indicate that Uinta Mountain Group sediments were derived from mixed Archean and Paleoproterozoic sources with the former dominating. Big Cottonwood Group sediments appear to have been derived predominantly from Paleoproterozoic sources. The Archean sediment source is the Wyoming craton, and source rocks comprised dominantly granites enriched in Th, U, Y, Zr, Hf, and REE. The relative abundance of enriched granite implied by sedimentary rocks of the Uinta Mountain Group indicates that the Wyoming craton is anomalous compared to other Archean cratons. CIA values and A-CN-K relationships in shales of the Uinta Mountain and Big Cottonwood groups indicate high degrees of weathering of sources, probably in subtropical to tropical climates supporting a near-equatorial location for southwestern Laurentia at about 800 Ma. Differences in the Nd isotopic composition between the Big Cottonwood Group and Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks in western Utah and northeast Nevada suggest a northwest-striking uplift in northwest Utah, possibly ancestral to the Paleozoic Toole-Uinta arch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-464
Number of pages22
JournalSedimentary Geology
Volume141-142
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Nd isotopes
  • Neoproterozoic
  • Rift basins
  • Sediment provenance

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