Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

Provenance of Fine-grained Sediments in the Inner Shelf of the Korea Strait (South Sea), Korea

  • In kwon Um
  • Man Sik Choi
  • Sung Ho Bae
  • Yunho Song
  • Gee Soo Kong


Major metals (Al, Fe, Mg, and Ti), trace metals (Li, Cs, Sc, and Rb), and rare earth elements (REEs) in the fine-grained sediments (< 15 μm) of the central South Sea mud (CSSM) were analyzed to determine the sediment provenance. The spatial distribution of the analyzed elements showed a clear separation between the western (W-CSSM) and eastern (E-CSSM) regions of the CSSM. Concentrations of Fe, Ti, Mg, Sc, and REEs were higher in the WCSSM, whereas concentrations of Al, Cs, Li, and Rb were higher in the E-CSSM. Unlike the ratios of trace metals ((Cs+Sc)/Li and Rb/Li), REEs could not be used to track the provenance of fine-grained sediments because of a grain size effect. The mixing relationships of the provenance indicators showed that the fine-grained sediments of the CSSM comprise a mixture of the sediments discharged from the Seomjin River (SRS) and sediments eroded and transported from the Heuksan mud belt (HMBS) area by the Korean Coastal Current. Sediments originating from the HMB were deposited mostly in the W-CSSM, whereas those from the Seomjin River were deposited mostly in the E-CSSM. This study indicated that sediments from Chinese rivers as well as the Geum River are important even in the inner shelf of the South Sea of Korea.


South Sea fine-grained sediment provenance conservative metals REEs 


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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • In kwon Um
    • 1
  • Man Sik Choi
    • 2
  • Sung Ho Bae
    • 1
  • Yunho Song
    • 3
  • Gee Soo Kong
    • 1
  1. 1.Petroleum and Marine Research DivisionKorea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral ResourcesDaejeonKorea
  2. 2.Department of Ocean Environmental SciencesChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea
  3. 3.Advanced Geo-materials R&D Department, Pohang BranchKorea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral ResourcesPohangKorea

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