Abstract:Rutile has a wide range of applications in earth sciences. In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to the investigation of rutile. Detrital rutile is one of the chemically and physically most stable heavy minerals in sedimentary cycle, and the trace elements in rutile, such as Cr, Nb, Zr, are widely used as monitors of formation conditions and processes of parent-rocks. Therefore, detrital rutile could be used as a reliable provenance indicator and may serve as a key heavy mineral in sediment provenance analysis, especially for the highly diagenetic sandstones. This paper aims to provide an overview of the applications of rutile in provenance analysis. After giving a summary of basic features of rutile and various rutilebearing rocks, four aspects of the applications have been discussed: ① Heavy mineral ratios concerned rutile. For instance, ZTR (the ratio of zircon, tourmaline and rutile in the total nonopaque heavy minerals) and RuZi (the ratio of rutile and zircon) Index. ZTR Index could be used to evaluate the maturity of sandstones, while RuZi Index indicates the source lithology. ② Modified Nb-Cr discrimination diagram for distinguishing detrital rutile from metamafic rocks or metapelitic rocks. The details are described as follows: The lower limit of Nb in metapelitic rutiles should be set at 600×10－6, and detrital rutiles with Cr<Nb + 660×10－6accompanied by Nb > 600×10－6 are interpreted to be derived from metapelitic rocks. ③ Zrinrutile thermometer for calculating the formation temperature of detrital rutiles. Based on the comparison of various published Zr-in-rutile thermometers and provenance analysis case study, we propose the preference of the thermometer of Watson et al. ④ U-Pb dating and (U-Th)/He thermochronology of rutile for understanding the cooling history of the parentrocks. Rutile from highgrade metamorphic rocks can contain sufficient uranium to allow U-Pb geochronology, and the U-Pb age of each detrital rutile represents the time when the rutile reached the closure temperature during the cooling of parent-rock. ⑤ Lu-Hf isotopes of rutile for tracing the history and evolution of the parentrock in the crustmantle system. In summary, the use of detrital rutile in provenance analysis is still in its preliminary stage, hence there are also some unresolved problems which could be the directions and goals of rutile provenance study in the future.