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Hyen Cho, Soon-Oh Kim, Kyeong Kwak, Hunsoo Choi and Boo-Keun Khim (2015)

Clay mineral distribution and provenance in the Heuksan mud belt, Yellow Sea

Geo-Marine Letters, 35(6):411-419.

The Heuksan mud belt (HMB), located in the southeastern Yellow Sea, runs parallel to the southwest coast of Korea. In this study, the distribution and relative contribution of four major clay minerals are investigated using 101 surface sediment samples collected in the course of KIOST (2001, 2010, 2011) and KIGAM (2012) cruises, as well as 33 river sediment samples (four from the Huanghe River, three from the Changjiang River, and 26 from Korean rivers) in order to clarify the provenance of fine-grained sediments in the HMB. Based on this currently largest and most robust dataset available for interpretation, the clay mineral assemblages of the fine-grained sediments in the HMB are found to be on average composed of 64.7\% illite, 17.9\% chlorite, 11.4\% kaolinite, and 5.9\% smectite. Overall, the clay mineral assemblages are similar in both the northern and the southern parts of the HMB, although smectite seems to be relatively enriched in the southern part, whereas kaolinite is slightly more dominant in the northern part. This clearly indicates that the clays are mostly derived from Korean rivers and, in the southern part of the HMB, partly also from the Huanghe River in China. The new data thus confirm and strengthen the tentative interpretation of some earlier work based on a more limited dataset.

surface sediments, sediment accumulation, discrimination, east china sea, deposits, continental-shelf, geochemical compositions, changjiang yangtze-river, x-ray-diffraction, transport


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