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After sediments are weathered and eroded from mountain belts, they can be carried by stream and deposited along rivers as river sands.
Detritus can also be transported and deposited in foreland basins and at offshore fans.
Then the detritus can be eroded and transported again when flooding or other kinds of eroding events occur. And this process could be problematic to provenance studies.
For example, U-Pb zircon ages are generally considered to reflect the time of zircon crystallization at about 750° Celsius and zircon is resistant to physical abrasion and chemical weathering.
In geology (specifically, in sedimentary petrology), the term provenance deals with the question where sediments originate from.
The purpose of sedimentary provenance studies is to reconstruct and to interpret the history of sediment from parent rocks at a source area to detritus at a burial place.
The following table has examples of where provenance study samples are collected.
Generally, provenance methods can be sorted into two categories, which are petrological methods and geochemical methods.
The development of provenance methods are heavily dependent on the development of these mainstream geological disciplines.
With the accumulation of sediments, sediments are buried to a deeper level and go through diagenesis, which turns separate sediments into sedimentary rocks (i.e.
conglomerate, sandstone, mudrocks, limestone etc.) and some metamorphic rocks (such as quartzite) which were derived from sedimentary rocks.
Provenance in geology, is the reconstruction of the origin of sediments.
The Earth is a dynamic planet, and all rocks are subject to transition between the three main rock types: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks (the rock cycle).