OSU OC 103 - e-OC103_Lesson10 (7 pages)

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e-OC103_Lesson10



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e-OC103_Lesson10

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Pages:
7
School:
Oregon State University
Course:
Oc 103 - Exploring The Deep: Geography Of The World's Oceans

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OC103 Lesson 10 The Nature Distribution of Sediments The types of sediments found on the ocean floor vary depending on where they came from and how they got there This lesson describes the different factors that determine what type of sediment is found on the seafloor in a particular location and what sediments can tell us about past ocean conditions Marine Sediments are Particles of various sizes from a variety of sources that are deposited on the ocean floor They provide a recording of geologic oceanographic biologic and climatic conditions including tectonics evolution climate currents sea level changes volcanism and meteorite impacts Because the deep sea is not subjected to the weathering and erosive forces typically found on land the oceanic sediment record is remarkably complete compared to the sediment record on land Close examination of sediments allows us to classify them based upon their size and origin which in turn tells us about the ocean conditions at the time they were deposited Classifying Sediments by Size and Origin By Size o Geologists classify particles based upon their sizes which have specific definitions from largest boulders at 100mm diameter to smallest clay at 0 001mm diameter with cobble pebble sand and silt in between in descending order Measuring particle size is important because o Water velocity determines the size of sediment particles that can be transported Fast moving rivers can transport large rocks and boulders as well as smaller particles but slow moving rivers and ocean currents can only move small particles When a river reaches the ocean and spreads out the drop in water velocity means that it can no longer carry its sediment load so the sediments drop out of suspension and fall to the seafloor with the smaller sediment particles staying suspended slightly longer so they are transported slightly farther offshore see how particle size decreases with distance from shore in figure at right Classifying Sediments by Origin By



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