Volume 42 Issue 11
Nov.  2023
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Xiaoyan Xu, Yong Zhang, Yanguang Dou, Jingyi Cong, Beibei Mi, Xiaohui Chen, Xia Li, Chengfen Xu, Yongyu Ye. Clay minerals and elemental composition of sediments on different sedimentary units in the northern East China Sea shelf: provenance tracing and genetic mechanism analysis[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2023, 42(11): 19-34. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2168-8
Citation: Xiaoyan Xu, Yong Zhang, Yanguang Dou, Jingyi Cong, Beibei Mi, Xiaohui Chen, Xia Li, Chengfen Xu, Yongyu Ye. Clay minerals and elemental composition of sediments on different sedimentary units in the northern East China Sea shelf: provenance tracing and genetic mechanism analysis[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2023, 42(11): 19-34. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2168-8

Clay minerals and elemental composition of sediments on different sedimentary units in the northern East China Sea shelf: provenance tracing and genetic mechanism analysis

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2168-8
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 42276084 and 42176078; the Special survey items of the China Geological Survey under contract Nos DD20190205 and DD20221710.
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  • Corresponding author: douyangaung@gmail.com
  • Received Date: 2022-11-01
  • Accepted Date: 2023-01-05
  • Available Online: 2024-01-03
  • Publish Date: 2023-11-01
  • The composition, provenance, and genetic mechanism of sediment on different sedimentary units of the East China Sea (ECS) shelf are essential for understanding the depositional dynamics environment in the ECS. The sediments in the northern ECS shelf are distributed in a ring-shaped distribution centered on the southwestern Cheju Island Mud. From the inside to the outside, the grain size goes from fine to coarse. Aside from the “grain size effect”, hydrodynamic sorting and mineral composition are important restrictions on the content of rare earth elements (REEs). Based on the grain size, REEs, and clay mineral composition of 300 surface sediments, as well as the sedimentary genesis, the northern ECS shelf is divided into three geochemical zones: southwestern Cheju Island Mud Area (Zone Ⅰ), Changjiang Shoal Sand Ridges (Zone Ⅱ-1), Sand Ridges of the East China Sea shelf (Zone Ⅱ-2). The northern ECS shelf is mostly impacted by Chinese mainland rivers (the Changjiang River and Huanghe River), and the provenance and transport mechanism of sediments of different grain sizes is diverse. The bulk sediments come primarily from the Changjiang River, with some material from the Huanghe River carried by the Yellow Sea Coastal Current and the North Jiangsu Coastal Current, and less from Korean rivers. Among them, surface sediments in the southwestern Cheju Island Mud Area (Zone Ⅰ) come mostly from the Changjiang River and partly from the Huanghe River. It was formed by the counterclockwise rotating cold eddies in the northern ECS shelf, which caused the sedimentation and accumulation of the fine-grained sediments of the Changjiang River and the Huanghe River. The Changjiang Shoal Sand Ridges (Zone Ⅱ-1) were developed during the early-middle Holocene sea-level highstand. It is the modern tidal sand ridge sediment formed by intense hydrodynamic action under the influence of the Yellow Sea Coastal Current, North Jiangsu Coastal Current, and Changjiang Diluted Water. The surface sediments mainly originate from the Changjiang River and Huanghe River, with the Changjiang River dominating, and the Korean River (Hanjiang River) influencing just a few stations. Sand Ridges of the East China Sea shelf (Zone Ⅱ-2) are the relict sediments of the paleo-Changjiang River created by sea invasion at the end of the Last Deglaciation in the Epipleistocene. The clay mineral composition of the surface sediments in the study area is just dominated by the Changjiang River, with the North Jiangsu Coastal Current and the Changjiang Diluted Water as the main transporting currents.
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