Advances in Earth Science ›› 2008, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (11): 1130-1140. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2008.11.1130

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Geological Applications of Detrital Thermochronology

Zhang Pei,Zhou Zuyi   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
  • Received:2008-08-26 Revised:2008-10-21 Online:2008-11-10 Published:2008-11-10

Zhang Pei,Zhou Zuyi. Geological Applications of Detrital Thermochronology[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2008, 23(11): 1130-1140.

Single-grain age dating of detrital sediments can provide imprortant record on provenance and thermal/tectonic history of the source area. A popular approach to extracting such information is the U/Pb dating of detrital zircon. However, the refractory nature of U/Pb zircon system means that it is less useful for understanding the thermal and exhumation history of the hinterland than other systems. Low temperature thermochronometers(40Ar/39Ar,fission track, and (U-Th)/He) are particularly sensitive to the movement of rocks through the upper crust due to their relative low effective closure temperatures. In recent years, detrital thermochronology has been extensively used to identify the provenance of sediments from source regions with distinct thermal history, to determine the history and rate of exhumation of the source region, to reconstruct the palaeorelief, and to provide an upper limit of the sediment age. Here we review the principles of detrital thermochronology and illustrate the recent advances of this method in the following fields: a) using synorogenic sediments to constraint the exhumation history of orogen, b) A combination of low temperature thermochronometers with U/Pb system and other provenance analysis techniques, c) estimating the long-term averaged erosion rate of modern catchment.

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