Texture and composition of the Rosa Marina beach sands (Adriatic coast, southern Italy): a sedimentological/ecological approach

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Abstract

Beach sands from the Rosa Marina locality (Adriatic coast, southern Italy) were analysed mainly microscopically in order to trace the source areas of their lithoclastic and bioclastic components. The main cropping out sedimentary units were also studied with the objective to identify the potential source areas of lithoclasts. This allowed to establish how the various rock units contribute to the formation of beach sands. The analysis of the bioclastic components allows to estimate the actual role of organisms regarding the supply of this material to the beach. Identification of taxa that are present in the beach sands as shell fragments or other remains was carried out at the genus or family level. Ecological investigation of the same beach and the recognition of sub-environments (mainly distinguished on the basis of the nature of the substrate and of the water depth) was the key topic that allowed to establish the actual source areas of bioclasts in the Rosa Marina beach sands. The sedimentological analysis (including a physical study of the beach and the calculation of some statistical parameters concerning the grain-size curves) shows that the Rosa Marina beach is nowadays subject to erosion.

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