Provenance controls on volcaniclastic beach sand: example from the Aeolian Archipelago, Mediterranean Sea

Posted on 08.09.2021 - 10:53
Sand and sandstone composition of volcanic origin may be clues to the provenance of the sediments and sedimentary rocks. Volcaniclastic provenance studies contribute significantly to unravel the sediment generation and provenance under investigation that in the Aeolian archipelago comprise preserved units of outcrops dominated by lava flows intercalated with air fall tephras as source rocks. The aim of this paper is the study of the petrographic composition and the textures of beach sands that may be used as a guide for the interpretation of provenance and origin of beach sand(stone)s rich in volcanic debris transported into deeper water. The composition of Aeolian beach deposits defines a single immature petrofacies with a high amount of unweathered glass and mafic minerals. Panarea island is dominated by dacites and new grain categories have been proposed to discriminate this provenance. Surface processes such as mechanical erosion (mass wasting and surface runoff) produce an overestimation of mafic components, with respect to the felsic ones in the beach sand fraction.

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Morrone, Consuele; Le Pera, Emilia; Marsaglia, Kathleen M.; De Rosa, Rosanna (2021): Provenance controls on volcaniclastic beach sand: example from the Aeolian Archipelago, Mediterranean Sea. Geological Society of London. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5608950.v1
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