Possible detrital, diagenetic and hydrothermal sources for Holocene sediments of the Andaman backarc basin
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Three sediment cores near the spreading axis in the Andaman backarc basin (ABB) were studied for bulk and clay mineralogy, major, trace and rare earth element (REE) geochemistry in bulk and three selective leaches, to identify sediment sources to this region and to decipher probable hydrothermal contribution. REE and other geochemical data suggest a strong influence of the Irrawaddy River as a major continental source to the ABB sediments. Low carbonate content in the sediments is due to dilution by higher detrital input as well as reduced foraminiferal carbonate contribution because of low sea surface salinity. The contribution from local volcanic sources was identified from the presence of volcanic glass in the sand-sized sediment fraction; higher smectite content in the clay fraction and the trace element data. Mn concentrations in the upper 12 cm are well above those found in pelagic carbonate-free sediments. Mn distribution pattern and oxide nature suggest a hydrothermal source. Other discriminants such as Eu anomaly and Y/Ho ratio also suggest the role of hydrothermal activity. In addition, the association of Mo with Pb, Zn and Cu in the HCl-insoluble residue suggests the presence of sulfidic material probably of hydrothermal origin.
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