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Find Your Science at GSA
31 May 2012
GSA Release No. 12-43
Kea Giles
Managing Editor,
GSA Communications
Special Paper 487
Figure 1, chapter 3, SPE487
SPE487: Fig. 1 in chapter 3, Benjamin Clements et al.

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New GSA Special Paper

With Rocks, It's All about Provenance

Mineralogical and Geochemical Approaches to Provenance

Boulder, CO, USA – Major technical advances in the analysis of individual minerals and whole rocks allow greater insight into the source of sediments and sedimentary rocks, thus unroofing the histories of the landscapes from which they came. This new book from The Geological Society of America combines work in North America, Southeast Asia, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the western Alps, Chile, and the North Sea into a comprehensive volume covering the latest techniques for determining sedimentary provenance.

Editors E. Troy Rasbury of Stony Brook University, Sidney R. Hemming of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and Nancy R. Riggs of Northern Arizona University have organized the book's eleven chapters into three general categories, while noting that many of the chapters combine these approaches to address provenance questions: (1) isotope and fission-track dating of minerals and additional insights from geochemistry and radiogenic isotopes; (2) uses of heavy minerals, relative abundance, isotope fingerprinting, and compositions of the minerals; and (3) automated point counting.

One chapter focuses on Byrd Glacier, which has a drainage basin that covers more than a million square kilometers of East Antarctica, transporting ice and debris to the Ross Sea. The authors study till samples collected adjacent to the Lonewolf Nunataks there in order to help determine what lies beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Another chapter examines the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, West Java, and western Borneo (see figure). The authors note that while only two percent of all global land area is located in Southeast Asia, the area is estimated to yield 20 to 25 percent of the sediment supplied to the world's oceans. They find that this tropical, tectonically active region, with its deep basins (up to 15 km deep in the Malay Basin) and high sediment yield, is an ideal natural laboratory for interpreting detrital sedimentary processes and provenance.

This Special Paper is on sale now in The Geological Society of America's online store. Copies may also be purchased through the GSA Sales and Service Department, View this book's table of contents.

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo, .

Mineralogical and Geochemical Approaches to Provenance
E. Troy Rasbury, Sidney R. Hemming, and Nancy R. Riggs (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 487
SPE487, 194 p., $75.00; member price $55.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2487-4