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Opal content in the Ría de Vigo and Galician continental shelf: Biogenic silica in the muddy fraction as an accurate paleoproductivity proxy

AuthorsBernárdez, Patricia ; Prego, R. ; Francés, G.; González-Álvarez, R.
Grain size
Galician continental shelf
Issue Date2005
CitationContinental Shelf Research 25(10): 1249-1264 (2005)
AbstractBiogenic silica (BSi) content was determined in both superficial marine sediments from the Ría de Vigo and gravity core samples (core CGPL00-1) from the adjacent continental shelf. Samples were processed following the alkaline leaching procedure. The standard deviation for opal-rich samples is very low (±0.2), whereas for opal-poor samples (<1.3 wt.%) the relative standard deviation can reach up to 16%. Opal percentages in superficial dry bulk sediments and gravity core samples range between 0.2–5.1 wt.% and 1.1–2.0 wt.%, respectively. Maximum opal percentages are found in the inner part of the ria around San Simón Inlet. Values of 2–3 wt.% typify the inner-central part of the ria. Throughout the ria longitudinal axis opal content is about 2 wt.%. Smaller values are found in the margins at the mouth of the ria. Opal distribution throughout the core is irregular, but there is a general tendency for higher values in upper muddy level and lower values in sandy sequence. Opal analyses were performed for the total and <63 μm fractions of both ria and core sediment samples. For the core samples, there is no correlation between opal content in the fine and bulk fractions, but opal percentage in the muddy fraction is an useful parameter to standardize results and to apply as a paleoproductivity proxy. For the ria surface sediments there is a good correlation between BSi content in both fractions (R2=0.90). This fact suggests that the information provided by total and fine fraction analysis is similar; as a result, the opal content analysis in the fine fraction does not supply any new information concerning diatom productivity
Description16 páginas, 4 figuras, 3 tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2004.12.009
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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