DOI: 10.5593/sgem2012/s01.v1006


Wednesday 1 August 2012 by Libadmin2012

References: 12th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference, www.sgem.org, SGEM2012 Conference Proceedings/ ISSN 1314-2704, June 17-23, 2012, Vol. 1, 39 - 46 pp


Quantitative provenance provides a valuable, site-specific perspective for environmental
modelling and assessment, complementing “end-of-pipe” observations that tend to treat
basins as a whole. Detailed mineralogical and grain-size distributions also allow
interpretations of transport pathways, site dynamics, and source-to-deposit relations.
Three case studies from the Baltic Sea are summarized. 1) The Ventspils harbor (Latvia)
is a straightforward mixing of two, well defined sources within an estuary-harbor
setting. Sand transport modes and directional interpretations are derived from textural
trends. 2) Three main sediment sources are recognized in the silt and clay fraction of
sandy deposits along the coast of Lithuania. The sources are interpreted from literature
information, but further specified by back-calculation of characteristic minerals in the
resulting deposits. 3) During the Holocene, the Landsort Deep has received varying
amounts of fine-grained sediments from glacial meltwaters, land runoff (mainly soil
erosion) and sea-floor erosion. These are partitioned over time using trends in the
mineralogy connected to a conceptual model of source compositions. The objectives of
environmental assessment should ideally include the source identification, mass-flux
budgets and process modeling from provenance studies whenever possible. Therefore,
simple and common sediment parameters (mineralogy and grain size) have a lot to give
beyond their traditional applications in geology.

Keywords: provenance, sediment mineralogy, Baltic Sea, environmental assessment

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