The term “deep-sea sediments” or the interchangeable term “pelagic sediments” refers to sediments that deposit slowly in the abyssal ocean beyond the continental margins.
What Are Deep-Sea Sediments?
Deep-sea sediments typically have sedimentation rates less than 30 m/106 years, and rates as low 0.1 m/106 years have been reported. The slow sedimentation rates and unusual sediment compositions reflect the low fluxes of aluminosilicates eroded from continents. The terrigenous material that does deposit is often windblown dust. Other solids produced through biological activity, through hydrothermal leaching of basalts, or even by earth’s bombardment by meteorites can make up large fractions of a deep-sea sediment deposit.
Not all sediments in the deep ocean are deep-sea sediments depositing slowly. A significant portion of the deep ocean is filled by turbidites, which are gravity flow deposits that typically originate from the continental margins....
KeywordsContinental Margin Biogenic Silica Early Diagenesis Sediment Movement Biogenic Carbonate
I thank G. Ross Heath for his review of the manuscript. This study was supported in part by NSF grant OCE-0962184.
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