It is generally accepted that recycling of sandstone generates relatively more mature sand than its parent sandstone. Such maturity is accomplished mainly through chemical weathering as the chemically unstable minerals are eliminated. Because chemical weathering is ubiquitous on the Earth's surface, maturity due to recycling is expected in most geological settings. However, contrary to one's expectation, second-cycle Holocene sand, exclusively derived from sandy facies of the first-cycle Pennsylvanian-Permian Cutler Formation, is actually less mature than its first-cycle parent near Gateway, Colorado. Both the Cutler sandstone and Holocene sand were the products of similar geological processes that controlled their respective composition. In spite of such similarities, a significant difference in composition is observed. We propose that the unexpected immaturity in second-cycle Holocene sand may be due to mechanical disintegration of coarse-grained feldspar and feldspar-rich rock fragments into relatively smaller fractions. Results presented in this paper are the first quantitative estimation of recycling of parent sandstone into daughter sand, and the first observed reverse maturity trend in second-cycle sand. These unexpected results suggest the need for further research to quantitatively understand the recycling process. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Unexpected trend in the compositional maturity of second-cycle sand