Pb isotope compositions of detrital k-feldspar grains in the upper-middle yangtze river system: implications for sediment provenance and drainage evolution
Daly, J. Stephen
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Zhang, Zengjie; Tyrrell, Shane; Li, Chang'an; Daly, J. Stephen; Sun, Xilin; Li, Qiwen (2014). Pb isotope compositions of detrital k-feldspar grains in the upper-middle yangtze river system: implications for sediment provenance and drainage evolution. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15 (7), 2765-2779
The upper-middle Yangtze River drains the Qiangtang Block, the Songpan-Ganzi, the Yangtze Craton, and the Qinling-Dabie orogenic belt. These tectonic units have been shown to have heterogeneous Pb isotopic compositions, which allow this isotope system to be used as a sediment provenance tool. In this study we have employed laser ablation multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS) to measure Pb isotope compositions of sand-sized K-feldspar grains from the upper-middle Yangtze River. Data are presented from four major tributaries: Yalongjiang, Minjiang, Jialingjiang, and Hanjiang, as well as from the main Yangtze River near Yichang. A portion of K-feldspar grains in the Yalongjiang shows an ultraradiogenic character (Pb-206/Pb-204 &gt; 20), which is unique in the upper-middle Yangtze. Moreover, these ultraradiogenic grains were transported as far as Yichang, just downstream from the Three Gorges, suggesting that the Pb-in-K-feldspar method could be applied to the sediments within the Jianghan Basin to date the formation of the Three Gorges. Pb isotopic data from Yichang indicate that erosion in the Longmen Shan and neighboring regions is more important than the Jinshajiang in supplying sediment. The grains in Hanoi Basin have little overlap with the Songpan-Ganzi, but show a good match with the Yangtze Craton in its range of lower 206Pb/204Pb ratios. These observations support the idea that the &quot;Middle Yangtze'' used to be a tributary of the paleo-Red River and that there has been no drainage linking the SongpanGanzi and the Red River since the Eocene.