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The upper part (0–20 m) of a long piston core from the SE Balearic Abyssal Plain — spanning the past 50 ka — has been studied using the ITRAX micro-XRF core scanner to obtain downcore elemental profiles. The Ca/Fe ratio was found to be an effective parameter to distinguish between turbidites and pelagites, because turbidites generally have higher Fe contents and lower Ca contents compared with pelagic intervals. Beds that were obscure when visually logged could be identified as turbidites or pelagites on their geochemical characteristics, allowing more complete subdivision of the sequence into genetic units. The ITRAX XRF...

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