Synopsis

Sediment provenance in the River Eden catchment, Scotland, has been studied using chemical characterization of Fe–Ti oxide minerals and magnetic measurements. Results show that magnetic parameters lead to a better characterization and differentiation of rock sources and sediments than the chemical compositions of Fe–Ti oxide grains, thereby establishing a basis for provenance modelling. However, the chemical characterization of titanomagnetite grains allows a more accurate interpretation of the magnetic measurements. Discriminant function analysis of magnetic parameters yields an environmentally sensible, qualitative provenance model; but the intra-source magnetic variability and the similarity of the sources in terms of magnetic concentration, composition and grain size prevent successful quantitative provenance modelling. Tributary inputs are recognized downstream along the main channel of the River Eden, despite the tendency for the sediment characteristics to be homogenized during transport. This study highlights the potential for using a combination of Fe–Ti oxides chemical compositions together with magnetic parameters in sedimentary provenance studies.

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