Elemental distribution in core sediments of Podampata coast, eastern Odisha, India: potentiality of rare earth elements and Th exploration

Abstract

The present study is based on the subsurface distribution of trace elements, rare earth elements, and radioactive elements collected from three core samples in the Podampata region near the Rusikulya river mouth on the eastern coast of Odisha, India. This is the first study of the depth dependence of trace elements within sediments along the eastern coast of India. Elemental abundance and mobility in beach regions depend on the source rock and geomorphic agents. The abundance of trace elements, REEs, and radioactive elements was analyzed using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). The mean concentrations of Al, K, Ti, Mn, Cr, Fe, Zn, La, Ce, Dy, Hf, Ta, and Th exposed in each core are higher when compared to those in the upper continental crust, whereas the values for Co, Rb, Sb, and Ba are lower than the upper continental crustal values. The Th/U ratio is around nine times higher in each core sample and has a positive correlation with the total rare earth elements in the study area. A depth of 2–2.5 m in the core is an economically viable zone for the exploration of REEs and other metals as it is observed to be enriched in heavy minerals. The core samples that are at a greater distance from the river are more compacted, and as a result, the zone of accumulation of the elements progresses to deeper levels with distant from the river mouth.

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Acknowledgments

We are thankful to the technical personnel associated with this study, especially to the persons involved in the TRIGA Mark II research reactor operation at the Center for Research Reactor, AERE, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Bangladesh and B. Karmaker and S.R. Gazi of Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, and K. Naher and M.A. Islam of INST are gratefully acknowledged for their kind assistance during the experiment. We are grateful to Department of Science and Technology, India, for their support through the research work.

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Correspondence to Debashish Sengupta.

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Responsible Editor: Domenico M. Doronzo

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Khan, R., Mohanty, S. & Sengupta, D. Elemental distribution in core sediments of Podampata coast, eastern Odisha, India: potentiality of rare earth elements and Th exploration. Arab J Geosci 14, 81 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-020-06371-x

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Keywords

  • Placers deposits
  • Eastern coast of Odisha, India
  • Neutron activation analysis
  • Elemental distribution
  • Rare earth elements