Compositional variations, chemical weathering, and provenance of sands from the Cox’s Bazar and Kuakata beach areas, Bangladesh

  • H. M. Zakir HossainEmail author
  • Quazi Hasna Hossain
  • Atsushi Kamei
  • Daisuke Araoka
Original Paper


The modal and chemical composition of sands from Cox’s Bazar beach (CBB) and Kuakata beach (KB) areas of Bangladesh has been investigated to infer their maturity, chemical weathering, and provenance signatures. The CBB and KB sands are typically high quartz, low feldspar, and lithic fragments, representing a recycled orogen source. Major element compositions of CBB sands are characterized by high SiO2 (83.52–89.84 wt%) and low Al2O3 (4.39–6.39 wt%), whereas KB sands contained relatively low SiO2 (63.28–79.14 wt%) and high Al2O3 (9.00–11.33 wt%) contents. The major, trace and rare earth element (REE) compositions of beach sands display comparable distribution patterns with enriched Th and SiO2 for both sands relative to upper continental crust (UCC). Pb, Rb, Y, and Fe for KB sands are little higher than UCC and the rest of the elements are marked depleted for both suites reflecting destruction of plagioclase and K-feldspar during fluvial transportation. The CBB and KB sands are compositionally low mature to immature in nature subsequently classified as subarkose and litharenite, respectively. Chondrite-normalized REE patterns for CBB and KB sands show LREE enrichment and nearly flat HREE (LaN/YbN, 7.64–9.38 and 5.48–8.82, respectively) coupled with prominent Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*, 0.51–0.72 and 0.52–0.76, respectively), suggesting felsic source provenance. The provenance discrimination diagrams, immobile trace element ratios (Th/Sc, Zr/Sc, Ce/Sc, and Ti/Zr), and REE (∑LREE/HREE, Eu/Eu* and GdN/YbN) parameters indicate that CBB and KB sands were largely derived from felsic source rocks, with compositions close to average rhyolite, granodiorite, granite, and UCC.


Geochemistry Modern sands Cox’s Bazar beach Kuakata beach Bangladesh 



The authors would like to thank Mostafa Tarek, Abu Hena Md. Nasimul Jamil, and Md. Mahbubur Rahman (JUST) for their logistic support during fieldwork in CBB and KB areas and for assistance in sample preparation. Thanks also to Barry P. Roser and Yoshikazu Sampei for their partial analytical support in this research work. We would also like to thank Abdullah M. Al-Amri, Editor-in Chief, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

12517_2018_4111_Fig10_ESM.png (304 kb)
Appendix 1.

Selected major element-Al2O3 variation diagrams for the Cox’s Bazar beach and Kuakata beach sands of Bangladesh. Solid and dashed lines are indicative detrital trends in the CBB and KB sand samples (fitted by eye). (PNG 303 kb)

12517_2018_4111_MOESM1_ESM.eps (1.5 mb)
High resolution image) (EPS 1580 kb)
12517_2018_4111_Fig11_ESM.png (300 kb)
Appendix 2.

Selected trace element-Al2O3 variation diagrams for the Cox’s Bazar beach and Kuakata beach sands of Bangladesh. Solid and dashed lines are indicative detrital trends in the CBB and KB samples (fitted by eye). (PNG 299 kb)

12517_2018_4111_MOESM2_ESM.eps (1.5 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 1570 kb)


  1. Ahmed SS, Islam MB (2001) Economic minerals in the beach sands of the southeastern Bangladesh. Handbook of placer mineral deposits. p. 280–294Google Scholar
  2. Anaya-Gregorio A, Armstrong-Altrin JS, Machain-Castillo ML, Montiel-García PC, Ramos-Vázquez MA (2018) Textural and geochemical characteristics of late Pleistocene to Holocene fine-grained deep-sea sediment cores (GM6 and GM7), recovered from southwestern Gulf of Mexico. J Palaeogeogr 7(3):253–271Google Scholar
  3. Armstrong-Altrin JS (2009) Provenance of sands from Cazones, Acapulco, and Bahía Kino beaches, Mexico. Rev Mex Ciencias Geol 26(3):764–782Google Scholar
  4. Armstrong-Altrin JS, Machain-Castillo ML (2016) Mineralogy, geochemistry, and radiocarbon ages of deep sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico. J S Am Earth Sci 71:182–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Armstrong-Altrin JS, Machain-Castillo ML, Rosales-Hoz L, Carranza-Edwards A, Sanchez-Cabeza J-A, Ruíz-Fernández AC (2015) Provenance and depositional history of continental slope sediments in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico unraveled by geochemical analysis. Cont Shelf Res 95:15–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Armstrong-Altrin JS, Lee YI, Kasper-Zubillaga JJ, Trejo-Ramírez E (2017) Mineralogy and geochemistry of sands along the Manzanillo and El Carrizal beach areas, southern Mexico: implications for palaeoweathering, provenance and tectonic setting. Geol J 52(4):559–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barovich KM, Foden J (2000) A Neoproterozoic flood basalt province in southern-Central Australia: geochemical and Nd isotope evidence from basin fill. Precambrian Res 100:213–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhuiyan MAH, Rahman MJJ, Dampare SB, Suzuki S (2011) Provenance, tectonics and source weathering of modern fluvial sediments of the Brahmaputra–Jamuna River, Bangladesh: inference from geochemistry. J Geochem Explor 111:113–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bickle MJ, Chapman HJ, Tipper E, Galy A, De La Rocha CL, Ahmad T (2018) Chemical weathering outputs from the flood plain of the Ganga. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 225:146–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blake JM, Peters SC, Johannesson KH (2017) Application of REE geochemical signatures for Mesozoic sediment provenance to the Gettysburg Basin, Pennsylvania. Sediment Geol 349:103–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Condie KC (1993) Chemical composition and evolution of the upper continental crust: contrasting results from surface samples and shales. Chem Geol 104:1–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cox R, Lowe DR, Cullers RL (1995) The influence of sediment recycling and basement composition on evolution of mudrock chemistry in the southwestern United States. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:2919–2940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cullers RL (2000) The geochemistry of shales, siltstones and sandstones of Pennsylvanian–Permian age, Colorado, U.S.A.: implications for provenance and metamorphic studies. Lithos 51:181–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dickinson WR, Beard LS, Brakenridge GR, Erjavec JL, Ferguson RC, Inman KF, Knepp RA, Lindberg FA, Ryberg PT (1983) Provenance of North American Phanerozoic sandstones in relation to tectonic setting. Geol Soc Am Bull 94:222–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dinelli E, Lucchini F, Mordenti A, Paganelli L (1999) Geochemistry of Oligocene–Miocene sandstones of the northern Apennines (Italy) and evolution of chemical features in relation to provenance changes. Sediment Geol 127:193–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fedo CM, Nesbitt HW, Young GM (1995) Unraveling the effects of potassium metasomatism in sedimentary rocks and paleosols, with implications for paleoweathering conditions and provenance. Geology 23:921–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fedo CM, Eriksson KA, Krogstad EJ (1996) Geochemistry of shales from the Archean (~3.0 Ga) Buhwa Greenstone Belt, Zimbabwe: implications for provenance and source-area weathering. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60:1751–1763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fedo CM, Young GM, Nesbitt HW, Hanchar JM (1997) Potassic and sodic metasomatism in the Southern Province of the Canadian Shield: evidence from the Paleoproterozoic Serpent Formation, Huronian Supergroup, Canada. Precambrian Res 84: 17–36Google Scholar
  19. Floyd PA, Leveridge BE (1987) Tectonic environments of the Devonian Gramscatho basin, south Cornwall: framework mode and geochemical evidence from turbidite sandstones. J Geol Soc Lond 144:531–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Garbán G, Martínez M, Márquez G, Rey O, Escobar M, Esquinas N (2017) Geochemical signatures of bedded cherts of the upper La Luna Formation in Táchira State, western Venezuela: assessing material provenance and paleodepositional setting. Sediment Geol 347:130–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garver JI, Royce PR, Smick TA (1996) Chromium and nickel in shale of the Taconic foreland: a case study for the provenance of fine-grained sediments with an ultramafic source. J Sediment Res 66:100–106Google Scholar
  22. Garzanti E, Andò S, France-Lanord C, Vezzoli G, Censi P, Galy V, Najman Y (2010) Mineralogical and chemical variability of fluvial sediments: 1. Bedload sand (Ganga–Brahmaputra, Bangladesh). Earth Planet Sci Lett 299:368–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garzanti E, Limonta M, Resentini A, Bandopadhyay PC, Najman Y, Andò S, Vezzoli G (2013) Sediment recycling at convergent plate margins (Indo-Burman Ranges and Andaman–Nicobar Ridge). Earth Sci Rev 123:113–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Garzanti E, Wang J-G, Vezzoli G, Limonta M (2016) Tracing provenance and sediment fluxes in the Irrawaddy River basin (Myanmar). Chem Geol 440:73–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harnois L (1988) The CIW index: a new chemical index of weathering. Sediment Geol 55:319–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hayashi K, Fujisawa H, Holland HD, Ohmoto H (1997) Geochemistry of 1.9 Ga sedimentary rocks from northeastern Labrador, Canada. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 61:4115–4137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hernández-Hinojosa V, Montiel-García PC, Armstrong-Altrin JS, Nagarajan R, Kasper-Zubillaga JJ (2018) Textural and geochemical characteristics of beach sands along the western Gulf of Mexico, Mexico. Carpathian J Earth Environ Sci 13(1):161–174Google Scholar
  28. Hossain HMZ, Roser BP, Kimura J-I (2010) Petrography and whole-rock geochemistry of the Tertiary Sylhet succession, northeastern Bengal Basin, Bangladesh: provenance and source area weathering. Sediment Geol 228:171–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hossain HMZ, Tarek M, Armstrong-Altrin JS, Monir MMU, Ahmed MT, Ahmed SI, Hernandez-Coronado CJ (2014) Microtextures of detrital sand grains from the Cox’s Bazar beach, Bangladesh: implications for provenance and depositional environment. Carpathian J Earth Environ Sci 9(3):187–197Google Scholar
  30. Hossain HMZ, Kawahata H, Roser BP, Sampei Y, Manaka T, Otani S (2017) Geochemical characteristics of modern river sediments in Myanmar and Thailand: implications for provenance and weathering. Chem Erde 77:443–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ingersoll RV, Bullard TF, Ford RL, Grimm JP, Pickle JD, Sares SW (1984) The effect of grain size on detrital modes: a test of Gazzi–Dickinson point-counting method. J Sediment Petrol 54:103–116Google Scholar
  32. Khan R, Rouf MA, Das S, Tamim U, Naher K, Podder J, Hossain SM (2017) Spatial and multi-layered assessment of heavy metals in the sand of Cox’s-Bazar beach of Bangladesh. Reg Stud Mar Sci 16:171–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kimura J-I, Yamada Y (1996) Evaluation of major and trace element XRF analyses using a flux to sample ratio of two to one glass beads. J Mineral Petrol Econ Geol 91:62–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kon Y, Hirata T (2015) Determination of 10 major and 34 trace elements in 34 GSJ geochemical reference samples using femtosecond laser ablation ICP-MS. Geochem J 49:351–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McLennan SM (1989) Rare earth elements in sedimentary rocks: influence of provenance and sedimentary processes. Rev Mineral 21:169–200Google Scholar
  36. McLennan SM, Hemming S, McDaniel DK, Hanson GN (1993) Geochemical approaches to sedimentation, provenance, and tectonics. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 284:21–40Google Scholar
  37. Nesbitt HW, Young GM (1982) Early Proterozoic climates and plate motions inferred from major element chemistry of lutites. Nature 299:715–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nesbitt HW, Young GM (1984) Prediction of some weathering trends of plutonic and volcanic rocks based on thermodynamic and kinetic considerations. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:1523–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pettijohn FJ, Potter PE, Siever R (1972) Sand and sandstone. Springer-Verlag, New York, p 618Google Scholar
  40. Purevjav N, Roser BP (2013) Geochemistry of Silurian–Carboniferous sedimentary rocks of the Ulaanbaatarterrane, Hangay–Hentey belt, central Mongolia: provenance, paleoweathering, tectonic setting, and relationship with the neighbouring Tsetserleg terrane. Chem Erde 73:481–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rahman MH, Islam MA, Shine FMM, Ahmed F (1994) Heavy mineral studies of the Silkhali-Teknaf beach, dune and cliff sands, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Indian Minerals 48(3):167–174Google Scholar
  42. Rahman MJJ, Bari Z, Chowdhury KR, Suzuki S (2008) Heavy mineral composition of the Neogene sandstones and beach sands across the Inani-Dakhin Nhila area, Southeast Bangladesh: implications for provenance. Jour Sed Soc Japan 67:3–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roser BP (2000) Whole-rock geochemical studies of clastic sedimentary suites. Mem Geol Soc Jpn 57:73–89Google Scholar
  44. Roser BP, Korsch RJ (1988) Provenance signatures of sandstone–mudstone suites determined using discriminant function analysis of major-element data. Chem Geol 67:119–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Roser BP, Cooper RA, Nathan S, Tulloch AJ (1996) Reconnaissance sandstone geochemistry, provenance and tectonic setting of the lower Paleozoic terranes of the West Coast and Nelson, New Zealand. N Z J Geol Geophys 39:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rudnick RL, Gao S (2014) Composition of the continental crust. pp. 1–51. In: The crust (ed. R.L. Rudnick), Vol. 4, Treatise on geochemistry (eds. H.D. Holland and K.K. Turekian), 2nd edition, Elsevier-Pergamon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  47. Schneider S, Hornung J, Hinderer M, Garzanti E (2016) Petrography and geochemistry of modern river sediments in an equatorial environment (Rwenzori Mountains and Albertine rift, Uganda)—implications for weathering and provenance. Sediment Geol 336:106–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Seddique AA, Masuda H, Hoque A (2016) Radionuclide and heavy metal contamination in the paleobeach groundwater, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: potential impact on environment. Arab J Geosci 9:488. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shaw DM (1968) A review of K–Rb fractionation trends by covariance analysis. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 32:573–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taylor SR, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford 312 pGoogle Scholar
  51. Weltje GJ, von Eynatten H (2004) Quantitative provenance analysis of sediments: review and outlook. Sediment Geol 171:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Whalen JB, Currie KL, Chappell BW (1987) A-type granites: geochemical characteristics, discrimination and petrogenesis. Contrib Mineral Petrol 95:407–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wronkiewicz DJ, Condie KC (1987) Geochemistry of Archean shales from the Witwatersrand Supergroup, South Africa: source-area weathering and provenance. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 51:2401–2416CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. Zakir Hossain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Quazi Hasna Hossain
    • 2
  • Atsushi Kamei
    • 2
  • Daisuke Araoka
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Petroleum and Mining EngineeringJessore University of Science and TechnologyJessoreBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of GeoscienceShimane UniversityMatsueJapan
  3. 3.Geological Survey of JapanNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations