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Geochemical and mineralogical proxies for grain size in mudstones and siltstones from the Pleistocene and Holocene of the Po River alluvial plain, Italy

By
Enrico Dinelli
Enrico Dinelli
Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali, University of Bologna, Via Sant'Alberto 163, I-48100 Ravenna, Italy
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Fabio Tateo
Fabio Tateo
Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, c/o Dipartimento di Geologia Paleontologia e Geofisica, University of Padua, Via Giotto 1, I-35122 Padova, Italy
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Vito Summa
Vito Summa
Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Contrada S. Loja, Tito Scalo I-85050 Tito Scalo (Potenza), Italy
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Recent studies carried out on fine-grained sediments recovered from boreholes in the eastern plain of the Po River demonstrate that significant mineralogical and geochemical changes in the provenance of sediments occurred in coincidence with the Pleistocene-Holo-cene transition. An increase in ultramafic-sourced sediment, related to more important inputs from the Po River, is evident at the beginning of the Holocene. The effects of grain-size distribution and provenance variation were investigated on recent unconsolidated sediments, mainly silts and clays. Sediments were collected from ten boreholes in the area, and the geochemical and mineralogical data were compared to the grain-size data. Among the chemical indexes, Zr/V, Y/Rb, Y/V, SiO2/Al2O3, Fe2O3/SiO2, Na/Al increase from pure clay to fine sand together with some mineralogical ratios, including quartz/interstratified illite-smectite and feldspar/interstratified illite-smectite. Some provenance indexes, both mineralogical and geochemical (Ni/Al, Cr/Al, serpentine/sheet silicates), were found to be independent from grain-size and are therefore valid for a wide textural range of sediments. Several geochemical and mineralogical proxies for grain size were identified. In the present case, all these indexes are independent from provenance influence and can be used as direct proxies for the grain size of the sediment, as confirmed by the multiple regression analysis performed to evaluate median and sorting. The equations included the most significant ratios and work well for median values <30 μm.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Sedimentary Provenance and Petrogenesis: Perspectives from Petrography and Geochemistry

José Arribas
José Arribas
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Mark J. Johnsson
Mark J. Johnsson
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Salvatore Critelli
Salvatore Critelli
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Geological Society of America
Volume
420
ISBN print:
9780813724201
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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