Miocene to Pleistocene sand and sandstone were recovered at Ocean Drilling Program Site 974 in the Tyrrhenian Basin and Sites 976 and 977 in the Alboran Basin. Sand detrital modes were determined for 45 samples from these sites, as well as 10 samples of Spanish beach sand. At Site 974, the Pleistocene section includes a number of volcaniclastic (vitric ash) and terrigenous sand layers; the latter are heterogeneous and contain sedimentary and metamorphic lithic fragments. Submarine canyon and onshore drainage patterns suggest that the most likely source of this sediment is the Tiber River drainage basin in central Italy, where a Pleistocene volcanic field is superimposed on Apennine orogenic rocks. In contrast, the Miocene sand in Unit III at Site 974 may have been derived from local basement highs. The quartzolithic composition and preponderance of metamorphic and sedimentary lithic debris in sand samples from Unit II at Site 976, Unit I at Sites 977 and 978, and Unit I at Site 979 are consistent with derivation from metamorphic rocks and sedimentary cover sequences that crop out in the Betic Cordillera of southern Spain (976-978) and in the Rif of Northern Africa (979). The sedimentary to metamorphic lithic fragment ratios in these samples reflect the relative proportion of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks exposed in onshore source terranes. In contrast, the source of the few quartzose Pleistocene sands at Site 976 was likely the Flysch Trough Units that crop out near Gibraltar. The significant volcanic component in certain intervals at Sites 976 (upper Miocene) and 977 (lower Pliocene to Miocene) is consistent with widespread volcanic activity during basin inception and development. Mean sand detrital modes for sand subgroups from both the Alboran and Tyrrhenian Basin sites plot in the Recycled Orogenic and Magmatic Arc compositional fields of Dickinson et al. (1983, doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1983)942.0.CO;2), reflecting the hybrid tectonic histories of these basins.
Sediment depth of ODP samples is given in mbsf.
Supplement to: Marsaglia, Kathleen M; Latter, Kelly K; Cline, Veronica (1999): Sand provenance in the Alboran and Tyrrhenian Basins. In: Zahn, R; Comas, MC; Klaus, A (eds.) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 161, 1-20