Until recently heavy-mineral studies of marine sediments were largely restricted to sand fractions. New techniques permitting analysis of decalcified silt fractions have been applied to sediments off the southeastern United States. Our data, which confirm predictions from the basic relationship among grain size, specific gravity, and equivalent hydraulic transport behavior, show that concentrations and average diameters of the silt heavy minerals progressively decrease seaward. Heavy minerals always constitute a substantially greater weight percent of the silt than of the sand fraction. Despite corroded surface textures suggestive of extensive weathering and dissolution, spatial trends in the detrital heavy-mineral populations are predominantly controlled by source and hydraulic factors.
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Silt heavy-mineral distributions off the Southeastern United States