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Control in Beach and Dune Sands of the Gulf of Mexico and the Role of Nearby Rivers

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DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2013.48110    3,608 Downloads   6,201 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

A sedimentological, petrographic, and geochemical study of beach, dune, and river sands was carried out along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The main goal of this work is to show how beach and dune sands are controlled texturally, compositionally, and chemically by the nearby rivers for each beach location using a particle size analyser, a polarized microscope, a X-ray fluorescence and ICP mass spectrometer to obtain the following: grain-size values from one river (Carrizal River) are similar in range to their counterpart beach sands but not similar to the dune sands (Barra del Tordo). Rivers (Panuco and Carrizal) are compositionally controlling the quartz and feldspar contents of their counterpart beach and dune sands (i.e., Playa Miramar and Barra del Tordo). Rivers (Soto La Marina River) are directly influencing the composition of the beach sands (La Pesca) based upon the total quartz content, beach and dune sands. The concentration of magnetite grain fractions (Barra del Tordo beach and dune sands) is not under the influence of the nearby river (Carrizal River). In this case the compositional influence of beach and dune sands is related to sediment discharges by other fluvial systems, redistribution of the beach and dune sands along the coast and deflation/winnowing of light minerals. The Eu positive anomaly in the beach and dune sands from the three sites (i.e. Playa Miramar, Barra del Tordo, La Pesca) is linked to an increase in the P(plagioclase)/K(potash feldspar) ratio. The (La/Lu)cn highest ratio for river sands (Carrizal River) suggests quartz enrichment compared to their beach and dune sands counterparts. The (Gd/Yb)cn ratio for one river (i.e., Carrizal River) indicates that it is low in heavy rare earth elements. HREE compared to their beach and dune sands counterparts indicates less concentration of heavy minerals as potential carriers of HREE seawards.

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J. Kasper-Zubillaga, J. Armstrong-Altrin, A. Carranza-Edwards, O. Morton-Bermea and R. Cruz, "Control in Beach and Dune Sands of the Gulf of Mexico and the Role of Nearby Rivers," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 1157-1174. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.48110.

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