Comparison of detrital zircon u-pb and muscovite40ar/39ar ages in the yangtze sediment: Implications for provenance studies

Xilin Sun*, Klaudia F. Kuiper, Yuntao Tian, Chang’An Li, Zengjie Zhang, Jan R. Wijbrans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Detrital zircon U-Pb and muscovite 40Ar/39Ar dating are useful tools for investigating sediment provenance and regional tectonic histories. However, the two types of data from same sample do not necessarily give consistent results. Here, we compare published detrital muscovite 40Ar/39Ar and zircon U-Pb ages of modern sands from the Yangtze River to reveal potential factors controlling differences in their provenance age signals. Detrital muscovite 40Ar/39Ar ages of the major tributaries and main trunk suggest that the Dadu River is a dominant sediment contributor to the lower Yangtze. However, detrital zircon data suggest that the Yalong, Dadu, and Min rivers are the most important sediment suppliers. This difference could be caused by combined effects of lower reaches dilution, laser spot location on zircons and difference in closure temperature and durability between muscovite and zircon. The bias caused by sediment laser spot targeting a core or rim of zircon and zircon reworking should be considered in provenance studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number643
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number7
Early online date20 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • MuscoviteAr/Ar ages
  • Sediment provenance
  • Yangtze River
  • Zircon U-Pb ages


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