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Statistical approach on mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sediments of the NE Brazilian outer shelf

Abstract

The northeastern Brazilian continental shelf has a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentation system. This study applied statistical analysis on superficial sediments to access the conditions and controls of sedimentary distribution and processes along the outer shelf depositional environment. The total of 123 grabbed sediment samples were analyzed as mean grain size, standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis. The outer shelf presented mean grain size ranging from very coarse sand to very fine sand. Standard deviation ranges from moderately sorted to very poorly sorted. Skewness ranges from strongly fine-skewed to strongly coarse-skewed. Kurtosis intervals range from very platykurtic to very leptokurtic. The bivariant analysis revealed correlations between the statistical parameters and sedimentary facies in three environments: outside the Açu reef (OAR), Açu inter-reef (AIR,) and in the Açu Incised Valley (AIV). The coarse sediments are poorly selected, showed positively skewed essentially, and had the lowest kurtosis values in bioclastic coarse sand of the OAR area related to, whereas medium to fine sands are siliciclastic and bioclastic, moderately sorted, positively skewed, and showed the highest values of kurtosis in the AIR and AIV. The kurtosis and skewness parameters evidenced the distinction between the three zones on the outer shelf. The results revealed the relationship of hydrodynamic regimes and shelf sedimentation with the in situ carbonate production and trapped relict siliciclastics.

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Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to the crew of the ship Comte. Manhães of the Brazilian Navy and the GGEMMA group for their support during the data acquisition, and PPGG/UFRN for the provided infrastructure for this research. We also thank Patricia P. B. Eichler for statistics support and Christofer Barker for the English review.

Funding

Funds for this research were provided by the CAPES for funding the master’s scholarship of the first author and the projects: Ciências do Mar II 23038.004320/2014-11 (CAPES), IODP 88887.123925/2015-00 (CAPES). This is the scientific research of INCTAmbTropic–Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology for Tropical Marine Environments 565054/2010-4, 8936/2011, and 465634/ 2014-1 (CNPq/FAPESB/CAPES).

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Correspondence to Luzia Liniane do Nascimento Silva.

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do Nascimento Silva, L.L., Gomes, M.P. Statistical approach on mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sediments of the NE Brazilian outer shelf. Geo-Mar Lett 40, 1001–1013 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00367-019-00625-8

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