The accumulation of heavy minerals along a part of the southeastern Brazilian coast (northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil) provides insight into sedimentary provenance and transport by longshore drift. In particular, recent work has focused on heavy minerals as tracers to determine sedimentary sources and transport pathways, indicating a mineral distribution according to the northward and southward coastal transport cells. There is also evidence of heavy-mineral transport by the Paraíba do Sul River. However, research has not been done in this area on the opaque fraction (iron oxides and oxyhydroxides), which are good tracers for provenance and distribution processes. Here we intend to: 1) characterize the spatial variation of the magnetic properties of heavy-mineral contents throughout a coastal area of the Itabapoana and Paraíba do Sul River mouths (state of Rio de Janeiro), 2) evaluate the contribution of coastal dynamics on the mineral distribution along this coastal area, 3) provide contributions on the provenance of iron-bearing minerals. Results indicate that a bimodal pattern was observed for the magnetic remanence of magnetite and hematite near the Paraíba do Sul River. For the northernmost section, goethite exhibits a gradual increase in concentration towards the central part of the study area. Additionally, higher heavy-mineral content is observed at the northern coastal section, which may be related to coastal morphology, which is exposed to high-energy beach processes. It is possible to verify three sampling groups in accordance with their magnetic properties: 1) the “southernmost” and 2) the “northernmost” groups, suggesting a mineral provenance related to the Paraíba do Sul and Itabapoana rivers, respectively, as possible major sources, and 3) another at the intermediate section of the area, possibly linked to the erosion of the Barreiras Formation bluffs. Results also show a correspondence between the variability of magnetic parameters and the main directions of the coastal transport cells.

You do not currently have access to this article.