Geochemistry and REE content of beach sands along the Atticocycladic coastal zone, Greece

  • Argyrios Papadopoulos


Twenty-eight beach sand samples from the shorelines of Aegean islands adjacent to the plutonic rocks of the Atticocycladic zone were analyzed for major and rare earth element (REE) contents. Results are compared with the adjacent plutonic rocks, in order to determine relative enrichments or depletions and assess the potential for REE exploitation. Among the samples, several are significantly enriched in REE, being deposits of heavy minerals and their concentrations are controlled by the sea waves and local winds. These samples contain Th, U and REE rich minerals such as zircon, xenotime and allanite. The available geochemical characteristics were also used to confirm the parent rocks of the beach sands. The heavy fractions (total, total magnetic and total non-magnetic) of the beach sands are very well correlated with the Heavy REE (HREE) concentrations. Among the minerals of the heavy magnetic fraction, allanite seems to control the REE content in the heavy mineral-enriched samples, while from the heavy non-magnetic fraction, zircon controls mainly the HREE fraction. One site from Mykonos and 3 from Naxos could have potential for REE exploitation as they present the highest ΣREE and ΗREE contents than other beach sand placers measured in Greece (Kavala, Sithonia, Maronia, Samothraki, NE Chalkidiki).


beach sands heavy minerals REE provenance Atticocycladic zone 


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© The Association of Korean Geoscience Societies and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mineralogy, Petrology, Economic GeologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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