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DEEP MARINE

Widest sedimentation area in the world


Not well explored because its rarely exposed in the surface
More people have traveled into space than have traveled to the deep ocean
realm....

Low energy
Transport processes: ocean currents, underwater gravity flows
Common fossils: microscopic plankton

DEEP MARINE
Submarine Canyon
Continental Slope
Submarine Fan
Abyssal Plain

LA JOLLA CANYON (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA)

LA JOLLA CANYON (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA)

CONTINENTAL SLOPE
Sediments: Fine silts and clays

SUBMARINE FAN
Fan-shaped
Apex at the lower mouth of a
submarine canyon incised into a
continental slope
Sediments (sands, silts, and clays) from
canyons
At the base of the continental slope
Spreads out on the lower gradient plain

Contains turbidite deposits from


turbidity currents

SUBMARINE FAN
Prone to underwater landslides
Landslide incorporates more
water into the mass the further it
flows
The more fluid the landslide, the
faster it goes
Ultimately, the landslide turns
into a "muddy" underwater
current that hugs the seafloor as
it flows down the submarine fan.
These currents are called
density/turbidity currents.

SUBMARINE MASS MOVEMENTS

INDUS FAN AND BENGAL FAN

ABYSSAL PLAIN
3 to 5 km
Relatively flat, deep sea floor
Covered by very fine-grained sediment, consisting primarily of clay and
the shells of microscopic organisms such as foraminifera (calcium
carbonate), radiolarians (silica), and diatoms (silica)
Sediments originate at continental shelf as the result of turbidity
currents and suspended sediments settling
Abyssal plain sediments may include chalk, diatomite, and shale

FORAMINIFERA
Made of calcium carbonate
Deposition of calcium
carbonate formed many
deposits of white, fine-grained
limestone called chalk

FORAMINIFERA

RADIOLARIANS

RADIOLARIANS

CHERT
Formed from radiolarites

DIATOMS

DIATOMS

DIATOMITE
Composed of microscopic planktonic organisms called
diatoms
Distinction from chalk: doesnt effervesce in acid

DIATOMITE

SHALE
Fine-grained from
compaction of silt and claysized minerals called mud
Laminated rock is made
up of thin layers
Fissile rock readily splits
into thin pieces along
laminations

DEEP MARINE SEDIMENTS


Fine-grained (silts and clays)
Transported at great distances
Originate at continental shelf as the result of turbidity
currents

DEEP MARINE SEDIMENTS


Hemipelagic Mud
Turbidite (graded beds)
Chalk
Contourite (inverse-grading)

HEMIPELAGIC MUD
Fine-grained sediment slowly accumulated on a basin floor
Deposited on very low current
Grey to green or green to reddish brown
Size: Mud-Shale

TURBIDITE
Eventually, density/turbidity currents slow down
and as they do so, they start to deposit the
sediment that they had been transporting. The
deposit that is produced is unique and is called a
turbidite.

TURBIDITE
Thickness: few meters to few
centimeters
Thicker turbidites are
usually deposited at the base
of submarine fans
The thinner ones can extend
100s of km across abyssal
plains
Graded beds

TURBIDITE

CHALK
Very fine-grained biochemical
sedimentary rock
Fossiliferous limestone
Made from coccolithophores
Composed of nanofossils
A 1 cu. cm piece of chalk (about
the size of a sugar cube) contains
40 billion separate nanofossils

White Cliffs of Dover in England

EX. SELMA CHALK


Was deposited around the time of the dinosaur
Appears to have been deposited in relatively
shallow water, implying that conditions were
different in the past
Today, chalk is deposited in deep water