Cui, Z.; Schulz-Bull, D.E.; Hou, Y.; Xia, Z., and Waniek, J.J., 2016. Geochemical characteristics and provenance of Holocene sediments (core STAT22) in the Beibu Gulf, South China Sea.
Geochemical investigations of the core sediments STAT22 from the Beibu Gulf, South China Sea, were carried out to understand the provenance of the Holocene sediments. Geochemical indices of La/Co, La/Sc, and Zr/Ti ratios, combined with distribution patterns of rare earth elements, suggest that the western Hainan Island was the main provenance of the core sediments. The eastern Qiongzhou Strait was also an important source of the sediments at the core location, but its contributions varied spatially and temporally with strait formation and evolution. With the opening of the Qiongzhou Strait, the provenance and hydrodynamic conditions of the Beibu Gulf underwent a significant change. Around 4500 YBP, the materials from the eastern area of the Qiongzhou Strait were transported into the study area and hence became one of the important sources for the core sediments. In contrast, Red River contributed little to the core sediments during the entire Holocene. Thus, with sea-level fluctuation, the depositional environment in the Beibu Gulf significantly changed during the Holocene.