Institutt for geovitenskap

Sorting effect in provenance: a case study from the Ebro Basin, Spain

Prosjektbeskrivelse / Project description
The Cenozoic Ebro Basin is one of the main foreland basins that formed during the formation of the Pyrenees. During late Oligocene to early Miocene times, a fluvial fan, known as “The Huesca fluvial fan”, built into the Ebro Basin. The sediments that the Huesca fan consist of, drained from a confined area within the South Pyrenean foreland basin and the External Sierras.

To understand the initial source for sediments, it is possible to investigate zircons (ZrSiO4) within the sediment (known as detrital zircons). They can provide key information, and link the sediment to potential source rock areas, through U-Pb age distribution, grain morphology, and trace element composition (known as a provenance study). However, recent studies suggest that fluvial sorting of detrital zircons within a sedimentary system can affect the U-Pb age and morphology distribution, even though the source rock is the same. This can result in an apparent variation in detrital zircon provenance from the riverbank to the bottom of the river channel.

The aim of this project is therefore to investigate the effect of sorting of zircons in a fluvial fan. This will be done by comparing the sediment composition, zircon age distribution and grain morphology in two transects, both along and across the Huesca fluvial fan.

This project will include ca. 2 weeks of field work in connection to GEOV362 during spring 2020. Laboratory work (mineral separation, U-Pb dating, petrographic and electron microscopy) will be carried out at UiB.

Særskilte krav for opptak til prosjektet / Prerequisites
Participation in GEOV362 in spring 2020 is required.

Foreslåtte emner i spesialiseringen (60 stp) // Proposed course plan during the master's degree (60 ECTS):
Courses will be decided by the supervisor and the candidate, but suggested courses include:

  • GEOV241 (10) – Microscopy
  • GEOV300 (5) – Selected topics in geoscience
  • GEOV302 (10) – Data analysis in earth science
  • GEOV342 (10) – Radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry
  • GEOV347 (5) – Instrumental methods in analytical geochemistry
  • GEOV360 (10) – Advanced clastic sedimentology
  • GEOV361 (10) – Sequence stratigraphy
  • GEOV362 (5) – Integrated tectonics and sedimentology field course