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Geochemistry of bed and suspended sediment in the Mississippi river system: Provenance versus weathering and winnowing

Science of the Total Environment

By:
, , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.05.041

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Abstract

Stream-bed sediment for the size fraction less than 150 ??m, examined in 14,000 samples collected mostly from minor tributaries to the major rivers throughout the Mississippi River drainage system, is composed of 5 mineral fractions identified by factor analysis-Al-silicate minerals, quartz, calcite and dolomite, heavy minerals, and an Fe-Mn fraction. The Al-silicate fraction parallels its distribution in the regolith, emphasizing the local sediment source as a primary control to its distribution. Quartz and the heavy-mineral fraction, and associated trace elements, exhibit a complementary distribution to that of the Al-silicate fraction, with a level of enrichment in the bed sediment that is achieved through winnowing and sorting. The carbonate fraction has a distribution suggesting its dissolution during transport. Trace elements partitioned onto the Fe-Mn, possibly amorphous oxyhydride, fraction are introduced to the streams, in part, through human activity. Except for the heavy-mineral fraction, these fractions are identified in suspended sediment from the Mississippi River itself. Although comparison of the tributary bed sediment with the riverine suspended sediment is problematic, the geochemistry of the suspended sediment seems to corroborate the interpretation of the geochemistry of the bed sediment.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Geochemistry of bed and suspended sediment in the Mississippi river system: Provenance versus weathering and winnowing
Series title:
Science of the Total Environment
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.05.041
Volume
362
Issue:
1-3
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science of the Total Environment
First page:
179
Last page:
204