Origin and geochemistry of surface sediments in the mud deposit area offshore the Shandong Peninsula, China

Abstract

The waters offshore the Shandong Peninsula separate the North Yellow Sea from the South Yellow Sea, and receive a large amount of terrestrial material from Chinese and Korean rivers, making it an ideal area for studying land-sea interactions. However, little attention has been given to measuring sediment transportation in most previous studies. Based on an analysis in composition of major and trace elements and particle size characteristics from 62 surface sediment samples from the northeastern region off Shandong Peninsula, the type, element composition, and controlling factors of the surface sediments were investigated. In addition, the transportation of sediments from source to sink was described from measured thermohaline data. The results show two types of surface sediments: sandy silt and silt. The sediments were mainly terrestrial; and marine carbonate had little effect on sediment composition. Shown on a binary diagram of Rb/Sc to Co/Sc, the Huanghe (Yellow) and Changjiang (Yangtze) Rivers are the main sources of surface sediments in the study area. The component mixing model showed that the relative contribution of sediment from the Huanghe River was up to 92%, followed by the Changjiang River (8%). The Yellow Sea Warm Current and the North Shandong Peninsula Coastal Current met at ∼37.7°N in the study area, and were the main forces carrying sediment from the two main river sources. However, there was a deficit of transported material into the study area in summer. The secondary distribution of sediment from the two river sources was controlled by tidal currents and waves.

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Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank MA Li, QI Luyang, XIE Hang, and LIU Tao from the Ocean University of China for assistance with laboratory analyses.

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Correspondence to Longhai Zhu.

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6 Data Availability Statement

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41776059)

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Zhu, Y., Feng, X., Zhu, L. et al. Origin and geochemistry of surface sediments in the mud deposit area offshore the Shandong Peninsula, China. J. Ocean. Limnol. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-020-9300-9

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Keyword

  • sediment provenance
  • Shandong Peninsula
  • major and trace elements
  • quantitative analysis
  • seasonal circulation