The use of particle density in sedimentary provenance studies

the superficial sediment of Po Plain (Italy) case study

Dario Di Giuseppe*, Umberto Tessari, Barbara Faccini, Massimo Coltorti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, several approaches for the identification of the provenance of the sediments have been developed. In particular, geochemical, petrographic and mineralogical analyses were applied to the sediments of the Po Plain in order to discriminate the alluvial sediments of the Po River from those coming from Apennine rivers. In this work, we propose an innovative technique based on the measurement of density for the study of the Po Plain alluvial sediments. This study is based on the determination of major and trace elements, particle density and mineralogical composition of 53 superficial sediments. All the data were processed using multivariate statistics. The comparison between density, geochemistry, and granulometry of the Po River and Reno River (the most important Apennine river) samples shows how the densities strictly depend on the chemical-mineralogical composition and grain size of the sediments and, consequently, on the type of hydrographic basin of their respective river. On this basis it can be discriminated the provenance of two different types of alluvial sediments with sufficient precision, determining the density of the unconsolidated alluvial material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-458
Number of pages10
JournalGeosciences Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • particle density
  • PCA
  • Po Plain
  • sediment provenance
  • XRF analyses

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