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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2014, Article ID 841747, 11 pages
Research Article

Grain-Size Control on the Rare Earth Elements Distribution in the Late Diagenesis of Cretaceous Shales from the Southern Apennines (Italy)

1Istituto di Metodologie per l’Analisi Ambientale (CNR), Tito Scalo, 85050 Potenza, Italy
2Dipartimento Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, Università di Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70125 Bari, Italy

Received 3 May 2013; Revised 23 October 2013; Accepted 22 November 2013; Published 3 February 2014

Academic Editor: Marc Visseaux

Copyright © 2014 Francesco Cavalcante et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Different grain-size fractions of samples collected from shales were investigated to determine the role of late diagenetic grade and mineralogy on the rare earth elements (REE) distribution. The samples were collected from Upper Cretaceous varicoloured shales of the Sicilide Unit near the Corleto Perticara villages, Southern Apennines (Italy). The mineralogical and chemical composition of the sample’s five fractions (>63, 32–63, 2–32, 0.1–2, and <0.1 µm) was studied. The data indicate that certain accessory minerals are more important than clay minerals in controlling the REE distribution. In particular, zircon controls the distribution of earth elements in the 0.1–2 µm fraction and is an efficient mechanism in determining the concentration and distribution of REEs in the studied shales.