Interrogating the provenance of large river systems: multi-proxy in situ analyses in the Millstone Grit, Yorkshire

Penelope J. Lancaster, J. Stephen Daly, Craig D. Storey, Andrew C. Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Downloads (Pure)


Establishing the source(s) of sedimentary material is critical to many geological applications, but is complicated by the ability of some minerals to be recycled. To test the relative utility of current proxies for determining a unique provenance, new samples have been collected from the Namurian Millstone Grit Group of Yorkshire, England. Two K-feldspar 206Pb/204Pb isotope populations between 12.5 and 15.5 and c. 18.4 are consistent with Archaean–Proterozoic basement and Caledonian granites, respectively. Zircon U–Pb age populations at c. 2700, 2000 – 1000 and 430 Ma reflect a mixture of Archaean basement, overlying Proterozoic sediments and intrusive Caledonian granites, and εHf values in zircons of all ages indicate crystallization from reworked crust. Garnet major element compositions are relatively rich in Fe and low in Ca, indicative of derivation from a granulitic or charnockitic source. Rutile Cr/Nb ratios indicate that source rocks were dominantly metapelitic, and Zr-in-rutile thermometry records two populations representing lower (c. 650°C) and higher (c. 800°C) metamorphic grade material. Combining these results with published monazite and muscovite data suggests overall derivation from the Greenland Caledonides, with additional contributions from NE Scotland and western Norway, highlighting the power of multi-proxy provenance work, especially in tectonically and geologically complicated regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Interrogating the provenance of large river systems: multi-proxy in situ analyses in the Millstone Grit, Yorkshire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this