Distribution of clay minerals in surface sediments of the Aegean Sea: a compilation

  • Werner Ehrmann
  • Gerhard Schmiedl
  • Yvonne Hamann
  • Tanja Kuhnt
Original Paper


Extensive published data sets and some new data on the clay mineral composition of surface sediments in the Aegean Sea, northeastern Mediterranean Sea, have been compiled in order to map the distribution patterns of clay mineral assemblages and to decipher source areas and transport paths. We distinguished six provinces, a Northwest Aegean Province, a Marmara-Dardanelles Province, a West Turkey Province, a Southeast Aegean Province, a Kithira Province and a Central Aegean Province. The clay mineral assemblages in the coastal and shelf areas carry the signature of the riverine sediment discharge from southeast Europe and Turkey, respectively. The southern Aegean Sea is probably influenced by the River Nile discharge and transport of clay minerals by surface currents. The clay minerals in the central Aegean Sea form a mixed assemblage comprising components of the other assemblages. A dispersion and dilution of clay minerals by surface currents is obvious.


Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea Marmara Sea Clay minerals Provenance 



The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) financially supported this study. The work of G.S. was supported by the Heisenberg programme of the DFG. We thank C. Hemleben for providing surface sediment samples. For comments on an earlier version of the paper we thank D. Leuschner. The paper benefited from the reviews by B. Diekmann and C. Robert.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Ehrmann
    • 1
  • Gerhard Schmiedl
    • 1
  • Yvonne Hamann
    • 1
  • Tanja Kuhnt
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Geophysik und GeologieUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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