Provenance of sedimentary rocks

Geoffrey Pritchard, Paul Moloney, Ken Russell, Bill Whiten

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

31 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding the origins, or provenance, of a sedimentary deposit is an important aspect of geology. Sedimentary rocks are derived from the erosion of other rocks and thus provide important records of the geological environment at the time they were deposited. Some minerals found in sedimentary rocks, such as zircon particles, can be dated using uranium-lead techniques to trace the age of their parent rock thus providing useful information about the geological environment. Statistical and mathematical analyses that can assist in the analysis of the distribution of ages of the zircon crystals are examined. Methods of defining a difference between the distributions of ages found in rock samples are proposed, and demonstrated in the division of multiple rock samples into clusters of similar types. A test for the existence of a cluster is developed, and statistics for comparing different rock samples examined. Estimating an accurate age for the sedimentary deposit itself proves to be difficult unless prior distributions providing significant extra information are available.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMISG2009
Subtitle of host publicationMathematics and Statistics in Industry Study Group 2009
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAustralian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) Annual Meeting - University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Duration: 27 Jan 200931 Jan 2009


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) Annual Meeting

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