Sedimentology of surface sediments from the continental shelf and slope off West Africa (Table 1), supplement to: Lange, Heinz (1975): Herkunft und Verteilung von Oberflächensedimenten des westafrikanischen Schelfs und Kontinentalhanges. Meteor Forschungsergebnisse, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Reihe C Geologie und Geophysik, Gebrüder Bornträger, Berlin, Stuttgart, C22, 61-84


Samples from sutface sediments of the shell, continental slope, and adjacent deep sea regions off West Africa between 27° N and 15° N were investigated with respect to grain size distribution of the total samples, sand contents of the acid insoluble residues, carbonate content of the total samples, and the separate grain size fractions, specific surfaces, colours and mineralogical composition of the clay fractions.The grain size distributions of the total samples of the sediments of the shelf and the continental slope off Spanish-Sahara are controlled mainly by biogenic components. The supply of terrigeneous material in this area is very low. At deeper parts of the continental slope and in the deep sea areas, the relative amounts of carbonate minerals in the sediments are considerably reduced. The prevailing sand contents of the upper slope changes into clay dominance.On the shelf of Mauritania – represented by profiles extending down to 200 m water depth – the grain size is also controlled mainly by biogenic carbonates. Nevertheless, the admixture of fossil silicate components is important, too.The southern parts of the area is investigated are located in a region influenced by sediments of the Senegal River, which especially control the contents of silt and clay. The silicate sands, predominately of quartz, are fossil and form a mixed sediment with younger deposits.The carbonate contents of the different grain size fractions are formed either by sedimentation of carbonate and silicate particles of the respective grain size or by autochtonous disintegration of coarser sediment particles, as shown by the occurence of Mg-rich calcite and especially aragonite in the clay sized fraction. In the northern parts of the area investigated, which have very minute terrigeneous supply, the latter mechanism is the dominant factor, controlling the carbonate contents of the fine grain sized fractions. In the vicinity of the mouth of the Senegal the carbonate contents are influenced by extremely high dilution with terrigencous silicates.Mg-rich calcite and aragonite are produced preferentially in shallow slope and shelf areas up to 500 m of water depth.The specific surfaces of the carbonate-free clay fractions indicate that the clay fractions of the shelfareas with little terrigenous supply consits of relatively coarser particles. Very fine particles are removed and transported towards the deep sea. Lateral differentiation of this kind was not observed in the area off Senegal. The high surface areas, characterizing the clay fractions of this region, are thought to be due to high montmorillonite contents as was found for deep seas sediments. The mineralogical composition of the clay fraction from the southern parts of the area is characterized by high kaolinite and montmorillonite contents, while in the northern illite is predominating. At least two types of montmorillionites are present: in areas influenced by the Senegal mostly one type was found, which could swell to 17; on the shelves and slopes of the other regions the montmorillonite-group is represented by a montmorillonite-mica-type mixed-layer mineral. A “glauconite”, found in the sand fraction, which had very similar properties to those of the montmorillonite-mica mixed-layer, is believed to be the source of this mixed-layer-type mineral. Palygorskite is present in all samples out of range of the Senegal supply. It may be an indicator of eolian transported material. The occurence of rich palygorskit deposits in the arid hinterlands emphasizes the terrestrial origin.

Metadata Access
Creator Lange, Heinz
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 1975
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1121 data points
Discipline Geosciences; Natural Sciences
Spatial Coverage (-22.625W, 15.265S, -14.667E, 27.078N); East Atlantic
Temporal Coverage Begin 1971-01-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 1971-12-02T00:00:00Z