Provenance and fate of trace and rare earth elements in the sediment-aquifers systems of Majuli River Island, India.

Affiliation

Discipline of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Palaj, Gujarat, 382355, India. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

In this work we present a completely new dataset of Rare Earth Element (REE) distribution and fractionation in the groundwater and sediments of the world's largest populated river island-Majuli, located in the Brahmaputra River, India. Groundwater (n = 9) and borehole sediments (n = 23) of different depths were collected randomly and analyzed for REEs using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Multivariate statistical techniques were applied to determine interrelationships among different REEs. Both water and sediments exhibit a higher content of light rare earth elements (LREEs) than heavy rare earth elements (HREEs), implying that source rock composition primarily controls the REE signatures of these river sediments, largely owing to variations in levels of chlorite and monazite, which are more abundant in bottom river sediments of the Brahmaputra. However, lower LREE/HREE ratios in groundwater samples (8.42-14.48) compared to sediments (8.9-52.6) suggest less dissolved phase mobilization of LREE during weathering and transport. Hierarchical cluster analysis showed more consistent clustering in sediment compared to water and clear demarcations of MREE, HREE and LREE were observed in the sediments. The primitive mantle-normalized REE patterns of borehole sediments were similar to the upper continental crust (UCC) and the compositions of average Himalayan rocks. LREE enrichment compared to HREE suggest dominance of a felsic source. However, a La/V versus Th/Yb plot suggests a small contribution from the mafic source component. The sediments show high Th/Sc (>1 of UCC) and high Zr/Sc. A Eu/Eu* verses GdN/YbN plot suggests that the dominant source with Upper crustal composition has undergone multiple recycling.

Keywords

Brahmaputra,Cluster analyses,Majuli island,PAAS,Rare earth elements,Trace element,

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