A strontium isoscape of Italy for provenance studies

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Federico Lugli, Anna Cipriani, Luigi Bruno, Francesco Ronchetti, Claudio Cavazzuti, Stefano Benazzi


We present a novel database of environmental and geological 87Sr/86Sr values (n = 1920) from Italy, using literature data and newly analysed samples, for provenance purposes. We collected both bioavailable and non-bioavailable (i.e. rocks and bulk soils) data to attain a broader view of the Sr isotope variability of the Italian peninsula. These data were used to build isotope variability maps, namely isoscapes, through Kriging interpolations. We employed two different Kriging models, namely Ordinary Kriging and Universal Kriging, with a geolithological map of Italy categorized in isotope classes as external predictor. Model performances were evaluated through a 10-fold cross validation, yielding accurate 87Sr/86Sr predictions with root mean squared errors (RMSE) ranging between 0.0020 and 0.0024, dependent on the Kriging model and the sample class. Overall, the produced maps highlight a heterogeneous distribution of the 87Sr/86Sr across Italy, with the highest radiogenic values (>0.71) mainly localized in three areas, namely the Alps (Northern Italy), the Tuscany/Latium (Central Italy) and Calabria/Sicily (Southern Italy) magmatic/metamorphic terrains. The rest of the peninsula is characterized by values ranging between 0.707 and 0.710, mostly linked to sedimentary geological units of mixed nature. Finally, we took advantage of the case study of Fratta Polesine, to underscore the importance of choosing appropriate samples when building the local isoscape and of exploring different end-members when interpreting the local Sr isotope variability in mobility and provenance studies. Our user-friendly maps and database are freely accessible through the Geonode platform and will be updated over time to offer a state-of-the-art reference in mobility and provenance studies across the Italian landscape.






Kriging, 87Sr/86Sr ratio, isotope maps, traceability, spatial modelling


Published: 2021-08-06 11:37

Last Updated: 2021-08-07 17:10

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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