Lithology and mineralogy of surface sediments in the vicinity of the Kafireas Strait (Aegean Sea)
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The surface sediments of the Kafireas Strait and Petalion Gulf, the area between the islands of Evvoia, Andros, Gyaros and Kea in the Aegean Sea, were examined for grain size, mineralogical composition and geotechnical properties. Contents of sand, silt, clay and carbonates as well as porosity, absolute and relative water contents, grain density and bulk mineralogy were determined in samples collected at 35 localities during two oceanographic cruises in April 1986 and July 1991. In addition, current measurements were carried out at three localities in the periods May–June 1988 and July 1991. Muddy sand and sand (52–96% sand) cover the continental shelf, whereas sandy mud (3–49% sand) predominates in deeper areas. Absolute water content varied between 22 and 42%, whereas the values for relative water content were 28–73%. Porosity showed a moderate range of values (36–62%), whereas grain density varied between 2.52 and 2.77 g/cm3. Carbonate content showed a wide range of values (30–72%). Mica and kaolinite are the dominant minerals (average contents 32 and 16.6%, respectively), and quartz, plagioclase, calcite and aragonite showed lower contents of 12.9, 9.8, 13.5 and 9.6%, respectively. Higher mica, kaolinite, chlorite and plagioclase contents closer to Evvoia Island may be related to local mica-amphibolitic-chloritic schists and cipollin outcrops, whereas higher percentages of mica, calcite and aragonite probably relate to the mica schists and marbles of Andros Island. Strong currents were recorded near the seabed in the vicinity of the Kafireas Strait (24 and 38 cm/s maximum velocity on the continental shelf off Evvoia and Andros islands, respectively). The regional geomorphology and bathymetry, the texture and mineralogical composition of terrigenous material, and the particular meteorological and hydrodynamic conditions in the area are the main factors which control the texture, mineralogy and distribution of seabed sediments in the vicinity of the Kafireas Strait.
KeywordsCalcite Surface Sediment Continental Shelf Relative Water Content Mineralogical Composition
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