Sediments 9-11

Sediments 9-11 - Ocean Sediments Sediment Thickness The...

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Ocean Sediments
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Sediment Thickness
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X The book is not always right!!
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Importance of Sediments Economic Value Oil, fossil fuels Determine shape & structure of Ocean bottom Strongly affect distribution of Benthic Organisms Chronological record of Earth’s history Tectonic history Climate history Evolutionary history
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BP Unveils 'Giant' Oil Discovery in Gulf of Mexico 2009
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Law of Superposition Younger sediments over Old sediments YOUNG ---------------------- OLD
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Box Core Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California
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What controls the distribution of these sediments? 1) Delivery: Without delivery of sediments into the ocean, they will of course never be found there 2) Dilution: Many different types of sediment particles reach the seafloor. If too much of one type reaches a given place, or the rate of dilution is very high, the other types will become unimportant. 3) Destruction: Certain chemical, physical, and biological processes destroy sedimentary particles, removing them from the seafloor sediment.
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Classification of marine sediments can be based upon size or origin. Size classification divides sediment by grain size into gravel, sand, silt and clay . Mud is a mixture of silt and clay. Origin classification divides sediment into five categories: terrigenous sediments, biogenic sediments, authigenic sediments , cosmogenic sediments .
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Sediment Classification Grain Size Clay <4 μm Silt 4-62 μm Sand 62-2000 μm Gravel >2000 μm
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Table 3.1
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Basic Sediment Transport
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Sediment Sorting Well-sorted sediments are those of similar size class Beach: well sorted (far from source) Glacier: not sorted (close to source)
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Sediment Angularity Sediment weathering during transport induces loss in angularity Angular grains (close to source) Rounded grains (far from source)
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Shelf Versus Basin Depths
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Shelf sedimentation is strongly controlled by tides, waves and currents , but their influence decreases with water depth. Shoreline turbulence prevents small particles from settling and transports them seaward where they are deposited in deeper water.
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course MSCI 101 taught by Professor Douglas during the Fall '08 term at South Carolina.

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Sediments 9-11 - Ocean Sediments Sediment Thickness The...

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