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Surface textures of detrital pyroxenes in coastal dune sands (western Gulf of Mexico, Mexico): implications for their preservation and geoenvironmental processes

Kasper‐Zubillaga, Juan J., Martínez‐Serrano, Raymundo Gerardo, Buchs, David M. ORCID:, Mendieta‐Lora, Mauricio, Arellano‐Torres, Elsa and Álvarez‐Sánchez, León Felipe 2023. Surface textures of detrital pyroxenes in coastal dune sands (western Gulf of Mexico, Mexico): implications for their preservation and geoenvironmental processes. Depositional Record 9 (4) , pp. 789-809. 10.1002/dep2.228

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This work investigates how the surface textures and morphology of pyroxene grains evolve during their source‐to‐sink history. This study applies to detrital clinopyroxenes concentrated in coastal dune sands of the Gulf of Mexico which were sourced in the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt then transported and deposited in environments subject to limited chemical weathering. The composition and morphology of the pyroxenes was characterised using single‐grain geochemical analysis and surface texture imagery with a novel approach based on the compactness property to assess the shape of minerals. This reveals heterogenous diopside‐augite populations, displaying mineral morphologies dominantly controlled by impact breakage along cleavages, little physical abrasion along their edges and with limited evidence for chemical weathering. Mechanical surface textures dominate over mechanical/chemical and chemical surface textures. These mechanical surface textures are preserved primarily as flat cleavage surfaces and rounded edges inherited from fluvial‐intertidal and aeolian transport, respectively. Mechanically/chemically induced surface textures are preserved as elongated depressions. Chemical surface textures are sparse and mostly represented by mammillated textures that suggest local dissolution under subaqueous conditions. The scarcity of chemical surface textures is attributed to frequent fragmentation of the clinopyroxenes along cleavages and limited chemical weathering during transport of the observed populations. Clinopyroxene grains in the coastal dune sands primarily retain surface characteristics from fluvial transport. Although the breakage of minerals along cleavages can obscure their original morphology under a weathering‐limited erosion regime, this study shows how surface textures and morphology of pyroxene grains is used to determine episodes of transport and deposition close to volcanic environments. The use of the compactness property as a shape descriptor measurement of particles provides an alternative approach to observe how clinopyroxene remains unaltered despite the high energy conditions of the coastal area.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
ISSN: 2055-4877
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 May 2023
Date of Acceptance: 23 March 2023
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2023 14:35

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