Abstract

Deep-marine muds were collected from two boreholes (Crati II and Neto VI) along the Ionian Calabrian Basin. The samples from the Crati II and the Neto VI boreholes show a similar mineralogical distribution; the marine muds contain mostly phyllosilicates, quartz, calcite, feldspars and dolomite. Traces of gypsum are present in a few samples. The Neto muds show higher concentrations of carbonates than the Crati muds; these contents are mainly related to recycling of the Neogene–Quaternary carbonate-rich marine deposits of the Crotone Basin, which mostly influences the composition of the Neto muds. The geochemical signatures of the muds mainly reflect a provenance characterized by felsic rocks with a minor, but not negligible, mafic supply. In particular, the hinterland composition of the Crati drainage area is on average more mafic in composition than the Neto drainage area. The higher mafic concentration of the Crati sample muds is probably related to the ophiolitiferous units that are exposed in the Crati drainage basin. The degree of source area weathering was most probably of low–moderate intensity because the Chemical Index of Alteration values for the studied muds range from 67 to 69. Furthermore, the low and constant Al/K and Rb/K ratios suggest low–moderate weathering without important fluctuations in weathering intensity. The Al2O3–TiO2–Zr ternary diagram and the values of the Index of Compositional Variability indicate that both the Neto and Crati muds are first-cycle, compositionally immature sediments, related to a tectonically active (collision) setting such as the Calabria–Peloritani Arc, where chemical weathering plays a minor role.

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