Clay Mineralogy of Surface Sediments as a Tool for Deciphering River Contributions to the Cariaco Basin (Venezuela)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
 The mineralogical composition of 95 surface sediment samples from the Cariaco Basin continental shelf and Orinoco delta was investigated in order to constrain the clay-mineral main provenance and distribution within the Cariaco Basin. The spatial variability of the data set was studied using a geo-statistical approach that allows drawing representative clay-mineral distribution maps. These maps are used to identify present-day dominant sources for each clay-mineral species in agreement with the geological characteristics of the main river watersheds emptying into the basin. This approach allows (1) identifying the most distinctive clay-mineral species/ratios that determine particle provenance, (2) evaluating the respective contribution of local rivers, and (3) confirming the minimal present-day influence of the Orinoco plume on the Cariaco Basin sedimentation. The Tuy, Unare, and Neveri Rivers are the main sources of clay particles to the Cariaco Basin sedimentation. At present, the Tuy River is the main contributor of illite to the western part of the southern Cariaco Basin continental shelf. The Unare River plume, carrying smectite and kaolinite, has a wide westward propagation, whereas the Neveri River contribution is less extended, providing kaolinite and illite toward the eastern Cariaco Basin. The Manzanares, Araya, Tortuga, and Margarita areas are secondary sources of local influence. These insights shed light on the origin of present-day terrigenous sediments of the Cariaco Basin and help to propose alternative explanations for the temporal variability of clay mineralogy observed in previously published studies.
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, v. 118, issue 2, p. 750-761
Scholar Commons Citation
Bout-Roumazeilles, V.; Riboulleau, A.; Du Châtelet, E. Armynot; Lorenzoni, Laura; Tribovillard, N.; Murray, R. W.; Muller-Karger, Frank E.; and Astor, Y. M., "Clay Mineralogy of Surface Sediments as a Tool for Deciphering River Contributions to the Cariaco Basin (Venezuela)" (2013). Marine Science Faculty Publications. 1066.