AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science

Stratigraphy, environments of deposition, and mineralogical characterization of heavy minerals from selected cretaceous formations of the eastern Mississippi Embayment

by David Luke Thompson

Institution: Mississippi State University
Department: Geosciences
Degree: MS
Year: 2015
Keywords: zircon; titanium; Mississippi Embayment; heavy minerals
Record ID: 2061303
Full text PDF: http://sun.library.msstate.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-11202014-103019/


This thesis examines the mineral suite of undeveloped heavy-mineral deposits in the Cretaceous of the Northern Mississippi Embayment and compares them to the developed deposits of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The hypothesis presented here is that Cretaceous heavy-mineral deposits of the eastern Mississippi Embayment had the same provenance, the Appalachian Piedmont, as did the younger sediments of the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Kyanite/sillimanite and staurolite were recognized in all samples, and represent strong evidence for an Appalachian Provenance. Alternatively, the overall lack of epidote in the HM suite points away from a Mississippi River related provenance. The dominant heavy minerals found in the Mississippi Embayment samples are ilmenite, leucoxene, zircon, rutile, kyanite/sillimanite, staurolite, and monazite. This suite of heavy minerals compares favorably to those represented along the Atlantic Coastal Plane, and supports an Appalachian Provenance. Southwest trending Paleozoic paleovalleys were likely sedimentation pathways from the Appalachian region.