A pilot study has demonstrated that heavy mineral analysis is a useful guide to the provenance of Silurian turbidites in the Southern Welsh Basin. The results confirm the sedimentological evidence for two distinct source areas of coarse clastic detritus, one lying to the south and the other to the east. They also provide mineralogical criteria by which the two source areas may be distinguished. The southern area provided material with relatively low mineral diversity, and is characteristic in having low rutile/zircon ratios, whereas the eastern source provided more diverse assemblages, generally with high rutile/zircon ratios. The southern source shows variations in terms of apatite/tourmaline ratio, with the older Aberystwyth Grits Group tending to contain relatively low apatite compared with the younger Cwmystwyth Grits Group (Rhuddnant and Pysgotwr Grits formations). There is evidence for polycyclic material and volcanic detritus in both southerly and easterly derived samples; however, easterly-sourced sandstones apparently tapped a more lithologically-diverse terrain.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 1992|