Composition and provenance of Gröden sandstone from the Velebit Mts.
Six samples of Gröden sandstones (Middle Permian) were analysed: Five of them were from Pikovac Creek valley (in the vicinity of Brušane village at Velebit Mts., Croatia) and one was from the locus typicus Gröden/Val Gardena (Italy). Based on the micropetrographical characteristics of sandstones, as well as on the modal composition and heavy mineral association, origin of material, weathering index of source rocks, climate and relief in the period of deposition have been supposed. Four samples from Pikovac Creek were petrographicaly determined as lithic greywackes, one as densely packed lithic arenite, while a specimen from Gröden locus typicus represents feldspar greywacke. Lithic greywackes/arenites imply very low maturity and suggest a close proximity of source rocks as well as the active tectonics in the hinterland of the depositional basin. Heavy mineral association in the samples from Pikovac Creek valley, with a large amount of fairly rounded stable grains (zircon, tourmaline and rutile), indicate that clastic material was derived from recycled orogen, and probably from reworked sedimentary rocks. The presence of kyanite and chlorite in the heavy mineral assemblage suggest their origin is from metamorphic rocks. This data assumes that Gröden sandstones from Pikovac Creek were possibly deposited in the fan delta or braided delta depositional environment as a part of a rift system (recycled orogen). The composition of the sample Gröden s. locus typicus (light and heavy mineral fractions) suggests the vicinity of magmatic rocks in the source area. All analysed samples are red coloured and have a large amount of limonitized grains in the heavy mineral assemblage, that point to the arid climate at the time of deposition. A weathering index diagram for Pikovac sandstones implies an arid/semiarid climate and high relief of the source area where metamorphic or sedimentary rocks dominate, while an arid/semiarid climate and high relief with plutonic source rocks were supposed for the provenance of Gröden s. locus typicus.
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