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Provenance-related characteristics of beach sediments around the island of Menorca, Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean)

AutorGómez-Pujol, Lluís; Roig-Munar, Francesc Xavier; Fornós, Joan J.; Balaguer, Pau ; Mateu, Jaume
Fecha de publicación30-nov-2012
CitaciónGeo-Marine Letters 33(2-3): 195-208 (2013)
ResumenThe island of Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands (Spain) located in the western Mediterranean, is characterised by a contrasting geology and landscape with two major geographic domains: (1) a southern region called Migjorn, comprised of Late Miocene calcarenites and limestones, and (2) a northern region known as Tramuntana, which is composed of folded and faulted Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary (Oligocene) siliceous and calcareous rocks. Both domains are lined by numerous pocket beaches exhibiting a high variety of surficial sediment assemblages. Grain-size and compositional analyses revealed that cliff erosion and nearshore Posidonia oceanica meadows are the main sources of sediments consisting mostly of medium- to coarse-grained carbonate sands of marine biogenic origin, with variable amounts of terrigenous rock fragments and quartz. Based on distinctly different contributions of bioclastic material, biogenic carbonates and quartz, 320 sediment samples from 64 beaches were grouped into different facies associations dominated by either (1) biogenic sands, (2) biogenic sands with terrigenous contributions or (3) terrigenous sands with quartz. Nevertheless, there is a marked regional variability in sediment texture and composition. Thus, variable mixtures of carbonate and siliciclastic sediments characterise the beaches of the northern region, whereas the beaches of the southern region are composed mostly of carbonate sands of marine biogenic origin. An exception is the central sector of the south coast, which is enriched in quartz sand (~10 %); this can be related to outcrops of quartz-rich basement rock and also to rocks exposed in some northern drainage basins captured by southern streams since the Plio-Quaternary. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00367-012-0314-y
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s00367-012-0314-y
issn: 0276-0460
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