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Provenance analysis using rapid quantification of heavy minerals via EPMA; A Case study in the Horonobe region, Hokkaido, northern Japan

Yonaga, Yusuke; Sano, Naomi*; Amamiya, Hiroki*; Ogita, Yasuhiro ; Niwa, Masakazu  ; Yasue, Kenichi*

Provenance analysis based on quick identification of heavy minerals using an electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) was applied to samples from Pleistocene sediments in Horonobe region, Hokkaido, where major provenance rocks can be sedimentary and mafic igneous rocks. The concentrations of 16 elements were measured in individual grains to identify the mineral species based on their chemical composition. In addition, microscopic observation of thin sections and gravel composition analysis were conducted to confirm the validity of the quick identification of heavy minerals. These analyses clarify that combinations of several heavy mineral species can be a useful index of provenance rocks from the Soya Hill and Teshio Mountains, and suggest that uplift of the Soya Hill after ca. 1.5 Ma constrained supply of sediments from the Teshio Mountains. On the other hand, minerals uncommon both in the Soya Hill and Teshio Mountains, such as hornblende, are included in the Pleistocene sediments. This suggests that a sediment supply from distant area was also significant, like transportation by the Teshio River. The method for quick identification of heavy minerals using EPMA can provide an information about provenance rocks difficult to identify only by gravel composition analysis.

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