The sandstone composition of foreland basin has a wide range of provenance signatures, reflecting the interplay between flexed underplate region and abrupt growth of the accreted upper plate region. The combination of contrasting detrital signatures reflects these dual plate interactions; indeed, several cases figure out that the earliest history of older foreland basin infilling is marked by quartz-rich sandstones, with cratonal or continental-block provenance of the flexed underplate flanks. As upper plate margin grows over the underplate, the nascent fold-and-thrust belt starts to be the main producer of grain particles, reflecting the space/time dependent progressive unroofing of the subjacent orogenic source terranes. The latter geodynamic processes are mainly reflected in the nature of sandstone compositions that become more lithic fragment-rich and feldspar-rich as the fold-thrust belt involves the progressive deepest portions of upper plate crustal terranes. In this context sandstone signatures reflect quartzolithic to quartzofeldspathic compositions.
Part of the book: Sedimentary Petrology