Use of mineral magnetic concentration data as a particle size proxy: a case study using marine, estuarine and fluvial sediments in the Carmarthen Bay area, South Wales, U.K.
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AbstractCompositional (non-magnetic) data can correlate strongly with particle size, which deems it appropriate as a particle size proxy and, therefore, a reliable means of normalising analytical data for particle size effects. Previous studies suggest magnetic concentration parameters represent an alternative means of normalising for these effects and, given the speed, low-cost and sensitivity of the measurements may, therefore, offer some advantages over other compositional signals. In this work, contemporary sediments from a range of depositional environments have been analysed with regard to their mineral magnetic concentration and textural characteristics, to observe if the strength and nature of the relationship identified in previous studies is universal. Our data shows magnetic parameters (chi(LF), chi(ARM) and SIRM) possess contrasting relationships with standard textural parameters for sediment samples collected from marine (Carmarthen Bay), estuarine (Gwendraeth Estuary) and fluvial (Rivers Gwendraeth Fach and Gwendraeth Fawr) settings. Magnetic concentrations of sediments from both the marine and estuarine environments are highly influenced by the magnetic contribution of finer particle sizes; Gwendraeth Fawr River sediments are influenced by the magnetic contribution of coarser particle sizes, while sediments from the Gwendraeth Fach River are not influenced significantly by any variations in textural properties. These results indicate mineral magnetic measurements have considerable potential as a particle size proxy for particular sedimentary environments, which in certain instances could be useful for geochemical, sediment transport, and sediment provenance studies. However, the data also highlight the importance of fully determining the nature of the relationship between sediment particle size and magnetic properties before applying mineral magnetic data as a particle size proxy.
CitationScience of the Total Environment, 347(1-3: 241-253
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