Microtextures of quartz and zircon grains from the Bosque and Paseo del Mar beaches in the Gulf of Mexico were examined using a Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), to infer their provenance and palaeoenvironment. A total of 16 microtextures from 200 grains were identified and were grouped into mechanical, chemical, and mechanical/chemical origin. Microtextures of mechanical origin represent parallel striations (ps), cracks due to collision (ck), conchoidal fractures (cf), v-shaped marks (vs), abrasion fatigue (af), meandering ridges (mr), chattermarks (ch), curved (cg) and straight grooves (sg), which are attributed to a high-energy fluvial and sub-aqueous marine environment. Solution pits (sp), crystal overgrowth (cro), and silica globules (sgl) of chemical origin indicated precipitation and dissolution in a silica saturated marine environment. Adhered particles (ap), elongated depressions (dp), and relief are grouped as mechanical/chemical origin, suggested a sub-aqueous nearshore marine environment. Although zircon is considered as a resistant mineral, the frequency of microtextures observed was higher in zircon than in quartz. The results of this study revealed that the Los Tuxtlas volcanic field, Chiapas Massif and Oaxacan Complexes in the SW Gulf of Mexico are the potential source areas, which supplied sediments to the Paseo del Mar and Bosque beach areas.
$\bullet$ Microtextures of quartz and zircon grains in the Bosque and Paseo del Mar beaches in the SW Gulf of Mexico were analyzed.
$\bullet$ Frequency of microtextures are higher in zircon than in quartz grains revealed that microtextures are independent of grain hardness.
$\bullet$ The dominance of microtextures of chemical origin in the Paseo del Mar beach suggested a low-energy environment with carbonate rich sediments.
$\bullet$ Chiapas Massif and Oaxacan Complexes are identified as the potential source areas, which supplied sediments to the beach areas.
Volume 129, 2020
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