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Provenance and Diagenesis of Clay Minerals in Sediments from the Anclote River and Anchorage, West Central Florida
Wen-An Chiou (1), Larry J. Doyle (2), William R. Bryant (1)
Surface and subsurface sediments from a small river basin and lagoon (the Anclote River system in the west central Florida) were examined by x-ray diffraction methods to reveal the factors controlling clay minerals distribution in paludal (swamp), fluviatile, estuarine, and nearshore marine environments.
In the swamp environment, smectite is the predominant clay mineral in surface sediments. Relative concentration and crystallinity of smectite increases with a corresponding decrease in kaolin minerals (including kaolinite, halloysite, and kaolinite-montmorillonite mixed-layer) from the surface down the cores indicating kaolinization is prevalent in the upper swampy sediments. In the fluviatile environment, clay minerals in surface sediments are transported from upper stream swamps and mixed with the residual clays of the bed rock. Subsurface clay minerals in the Tampa Limestone are mainly illite with minor amounts of smectite. In down stream estuarine surface sediments, smectite decreases while chlorite, chlorite-vermiculite mixed layer, and illite increase. This change results from the combined effects of tidal inflow and transport by the river as indicated by the study of suspended sediments in this area. The relatively high concentration of smectite in the subsurface sediments of the lower Anclote River, an estuarine environment, suggests that the distribution pattern of clay minerals in this area may have been affected by the lower stand of sea level during the last glacial period.
Clay-mineral assemblages in the Anclote Anchorage are a combination of residual sedimentary clays mixed with river borne and marine clays. The uniformly distributed clays indicated a mixed and reworked environment (by current and wave) rather than one formed by a uniform, single source.
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