Continental Drainage in North America During the Phanerozoic from Nd Isotopes

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Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 671-673
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.671

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Neodymium (Nd) isotopic data show consistent patterns in the sources of sedimentary rocks in North America at a continental scale. Between 600 and 450 million years ago (Ma), ancient continental shield sources dominated. Around 450 Ma, detritus from the Caledonian-Appalachian mountains overwhelmed sediment from all older sources, and is documented over large areas of the southern, western, and northern margins of North America. This material continued to dominate the sediment supply until about 150 Ma, probably due to cannibalistic recycling of sedimentary rocks formed earlier. Around 150 Ma, the rising western Cordillera delivered new and different detritus to the sedimentary system.

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