Influence of Climate and Relief on Compositions of Sands Released at Source Areas

  • Abhijit Basu
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 148)


Mass balance requires that any study of the relation between provenance and detrital sediments must take into account all the processes, such as climatic and biochemical, that contribute to any modification of the parent material at the beginning of a sedimentary cycle. In addition, exceptions to the relationship between tectonic setting and sandstone composition may be traced to climatic processes. Despite an enormous amount of research on atomic level dissolution phenomenon, little work has been done to characterize the sandy residue of weathering. Available modal data, albeit meagre, show that the mineralogic composition of the sand size fraction of soils is similar to that of first order stream sands. This indicates that pedogenic processes largely control the composition of first cycle sands derived from similar bedrocks. Further, the data also suggest that modal compositions of first cycle sands are broadly indicative of both parent rock type and climate. Recalculation of data from o n l y o n e available study indicates that steep hill slopes exceeding the angle of repose can obscure climatic effects on first cycle sand composition. One may infer that slope angle, which controls the duration of pedogenic processes, not relief, has more significance in overcoming climatic effects. Evaluation of the relative importance of dissolution and disintegration of minerals, especially polycrystalline quartz, is difficult because lattice dislocation increases solubility as well as brittle strength. Given the extreme paucity of data from controlled studies on the effects of climate and relief and the seemingly significant compositional diversity brought about by pedogenic processes, we must conclude that this is a potential area of much fruitful research.


Source Rock Hill Slope Modal Composition Pedogenic Process Detrital Sediment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Basu, A., 1976, Petrology of Holocene fluvial sand derived from plutonic source rocks: implications to paleoclimatic interpretation: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 46, p. 694–709.Google Scholar
  2. Basu, A., 1981, Weathering before the advent of land plants: evidence from unaltered detrital K-feldspars in Cambrian-Ordovician arenites: Geology, v. 9, p. 132–133.Google Scholar
  3. Berner, R. A., and Holdren, G. R., Jr., 1979Google Scholar
  4. Mechanism of feldspar weathering-II. observations of feldspars from soils: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 43, p. 1173–1186.Google Scholar
  5. Blatt, H., 1967, Original characteristics of clastic quartz grains: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 37, p. 401–424.Google Scholar
  6. Darnell, N., 1974, A comparison of surficial, in situ sediments overlying plutonic rocks of Boulder Batholith and gneissic rocks of the southern Tobacco Root Mountains in Montana: Unpub. AM Thesis, Dept. Geol, Indiana University, 126 p.Google Scholar
  7. Dickinson, W. R., 1972, Evidence for plate-tectonic regimes in the rock record: Am. Jour. Science, v. 272, p. 551–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dickinson, W. R., 1980, Plate tectonics and key petrologic associations, in Strangway, D. W., ed., The Continental Crust and Its Mineral Deposits, Geol. Soc. Canada, Special Paper No. 20, p. 341–360.Google Scholar
  9. Dickinson, W. R., and Suczek, C. A., 1979, Plate tectonics and sandstone compositions: Bull. Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists, v. 63, p. 2164–2182.Google Scholar
  10. Knepp, R. A., Lindberg, F. A., and Ryberg, P. T., 1983, Provenance of North American Phanerozoic sandstones in relation to tectonic setting: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 94, p. 222–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Franzinelli, E., and Potter, P. E., 1983, Petrology, chemistry, and texture of modern river sands, Amazon river system: Jour. Geology, v. 91, p. 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Garner, H. F., 1959, Stratigraphic-sedimentary significance of contemporary climate and relief in four regions of the Andes Mountains: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 70, p. 1327–1368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Garrels, R. M., and McKenzie, F. T., 1971, Evolution of Sedimentary Rocks: Norton, N.Y., 397 p.Google Scholar
  14. Graustein, W. C., and Vel bel, M. A., 1981, Comment on Weathering before the advent of land plants: evidence from detrital K-feldspars in Cambrian-Ordovician arenites: Geology, v. 9, p. 505.Google Scholar
  15. Holdren, G. R., Jr., and Berner, R. A., 1979, Mechanism of feldspar weathering-I. Experimental studies: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 43, p. 1161–1171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ingersoll, R. V., and Suczek, C. A., 1979, Petrology and provenance of Neogene sand from Nicobar and Bengal fans, DSDP sites 211 and 218: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 49, p. 1217–1228.Google Scholar
  17. Ingersoll, R. V., Bul lard, T. F., Ford, R. L., Grimm, J. P., Pickle, J. D., and Sares, S. W., 1984, The effect of grain size on detrital modes: a test of the Gazzi-Dickinson pointcounting method: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 54, p. 103116.Google Scholar
  18. Leeder, M. R., 1982, Sedimentology: Allen and Unwin, London, 344 p.Google Scholar
  19. Mack, G. H., 1978, The survivability of labile light mineral grains in fluvial, aeolian, and littoralGoogle Scholar
  20. marine environments: the Permian Cutler and Cedar Mesa Formation, Moab, Utah: Sedimen-to 1 ogy, v. 25, p. 587–604.Google Scholar
  21. between plate tectonics and sandstone composition: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 54, p. 212–220.Google Scholar
  22. Maynard, J. B., Val loni, R., and Yu, H.-S., 1982, Composition of modern deep-sea sands from arcrelated basins, in Legget, J. K., ed., Trench and Forearc Sedimentation, Geol. Soc. London, p. 551–561.Google Scholar
  23. Nesbitt, H. W., and Young, G. M., 1984, Prediction of some weathering trends of plutonic and volcanic rocks based on thermodynamic and kinetic considerations: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 48, p. 1523–1534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Paton, T. R., 1978, The Formation of Soil Material: Al len and Unwin, London, 143 p.Google Scholar
  25. Pettijohn, F. P., Potter, P. E., and Siever, R., 1972, Sand and Sandstones: Springer-Verlag, N.Y., 618 p.Google Scholar
  26. Potter, P. E., 1978, Petrology and chemistry of modern big river sands: Jour. Geology, v. 86, p. 423–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ruxton, B. P., 1970, Labile quartz-poor sediments from young mountain ranges in northeast Papua: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 40, p. 1262–1270.Google Scholar
  28. Schott, J., and Berner, R. A., 1983, X-ray photoelectron studies of the mechanism of iron sil icate dissolution during weathering: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 47, p. 2233–2240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Siever, R., and Woodford, N., 1979, Dissolution kinetics and the weathering of mafic minerals: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 43, p. 717–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Suttner, L. J., 1974, Sedimentary petrographic provinces: an evaluation: Soc. Econ. Paleontologists Mineralogists, Spec. Pub. No. 21, p. 75–84.Google Scholar
  31. Suttner, L. J., Basu, A., and Mack, G. H., 1981, Climate and the origin of quartz arenties: Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 51, p. 1235–1246.Google Scholar
  32. from some European and African crystalline massifs: Chem. Geol., v. 7, p. 253–271.Google Scholar
  33. Todd, T. W., 1968, Paleoclimatology and the relative stability of feldspar minerals under atmospheric conditions: Jour. Sed. Petrolgoy, v. 38, p. 832–844.Google Scholar
  34. Val loni, R., and Mezzadri, G., 1984, Compositional suites of terrigenous deep-sea sands of the present continental margins: Sedimentology, v. 31, p. 353–364.Google Scholar
  35. Wintsch, R. P., and Dunning, J., 1985, The effect of dislocation density on the aqueous solubility of quartz and some geologic implications: a theoretical model: JGR, in press.Google Scholar
  36. Wollast, R., 1967, Kinetics of the alteration of K-spar in buffered solution at low-temperature: Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 31, p. 635–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yerino, L. N., and Maynard, J. B., 1984, Petrography of modern marine sands from the Peru-Chile Trench and adjacent areas: Sedimentology, v. 31, p. 83–89.Google Scholar
  38. Young, S. W., 1975, Petrography of Holocene fluvial sand derived from regionally metamorphosed source rocks: Unpub. Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Geol., Indiana University, 144 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abhijit Basu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations