Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 144–154 | Cite as

Detrital Zircon Geochronology of the Radial Sand Ridge System of Jiangsu Coast, East China: Implication for Sediment Provenance

Mineralogy and Petrogeochemistry


The radial sand ridge system (RSRS) located at Jiangsu coast of China attracts much attention on its origin and mechanic of formation for its special structure and potential land resource. Due to complicated hydrodynamic condition, the Jiangsu RSRS is a hot debated on its potential sources, Yangtze River or Yellow River? We collected ten sand samples from surface sediments along the west coast of Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea from the modern Yellow River estuary to Yangtze River estuary in summer, 2013. The samples are analyzed by method of detrital zircon age for source identification of the RSRS sediments. The U-Pb age spectra of detrital zircon grains of the samples show a wide range from Cenozoic to Late Archean with several age peaks. Comparing the age spectra between the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, the detrital zircons have younger age (<100 Ma) group in the Yangtze River. These age distribution of the Jiangsu coastal RSRS sediments are similar to that of the Yangtze River, but different from the Yellow River. The samples located adjacent to the old Yellow River Delta show more wide-range age distribution, implying a compounded origination from the both rivers. Based on these findings it is proposed that, contrary to common opinion, the main sediment source of the Jiangsu RSRS is the Yangtze River, rather than the Yellow River. By implication, there should be evidence of hydrodynamic mechanics of oceanic currents and tidal motion. This aspect awaits confirmation in future research.

Key words

Yellow Sea Jiangsu coast radial sand ridge zircon geochronology sediment provenance 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41202154, 41273015), the National Key Technology Research and Development Program (No. 2012BAB03B01) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2015B16914). We would like to thank Drs. Xiao Wang and Yaodong Pan for field and laboratory helps and also acknowledge the crew of the sampling cruise in 2013 for RSRS sediment samples. Thanks are also extended to the anonymous reviewers and the editors for their constructive comments. The final publication is available at Springer via

Supplementary material

12583_2017_769_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (403 kb)
Table S1: Laser ablation ICP-MS zircon U-Th-Pb analyses for sand samples

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Harbour, Coastal and Offshore EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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