Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 13, pp 13560–13579 | Cite as

Monte Carlo fingerprinting of the terrestrial sources of different particle size fractions of coastal sediment deposits using geochemical tracers: some lessons for the user community

  • Hamid GholamiEmail author
  • Ebrahim Jafari TakhtiNajad
  • Adrian L. CollinsEmail author
  • Aboalhasan Fathabadi
Research Article


A sediment source fingerprinting method, including a Monte Carlo simulation framework, was used to quantify the contributions of terrestrial sources of fine- (< 63 μm) and coarse-grained (63–500 μm) sediments sampled from three categories of coastal sediment deposits in the Jagin catchment, south-east of Jask, Hormozgan province, southern Iran: coastal dunes (CD), terrestrial sand dunes or onshore sediments (TSD), and marine or offshore sediments (MD). Forty-nine geochemical properties were measured in the two size fractions and a three-stage statistical process consisting of a conservation test, the Kruskal–Wallis H test, and stepwise discriminant function analysis (DFA) was applied to select final composite fingerprints for terrestrial source discrimination. Based on the statistical tests, four final fingerprints comprising Be, Ni, K and Cu and seven final fingerprints consisting Cu, Th, Be, Al, La, Mg and Fe were selected for discriminating terrestrial sources of the coastal fine- and coarse-grained sediments, respectively. Two geological spatial sources, including Quaternary (clay flat, high and low level fans and valley terraces) and Palaeocene age deposits, were identified as the main terrestrial sources of the fine-grained sediment sampled from the coastal deposits. A geological spatial source consisting of sandstone with siltstone, mudstone and minor conglomerate (Palaeocene age deposits) was identified as the main terrestrial source for coarse-grained sediment sampled from the coastal deposits.


Coastal sediment fingerprinting Monte Carlo simulation framework Uncertainty Iran 



The authors would like to thank the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Hormozgan, Iran for supporting this joint research project.

Funding information

Rothamsted Research receives strategic funding from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the input to this work by ALC was funded by grant BBS/E/C/000I0330.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources EngineeringUniversity of HormozganBandar-AbbasIran
  2. 2.Sustainable Agriculture Sciences DepartmentRothamsted ResearchOkehamptonUK
  3. 3.Department of Range and Watershed ManagementUniversity of Gonbad-e-KavoosGonbad-e-KavoosIran

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