Story: Sea floor geology

Organic and inorganic sediment (1st of 3)

Organic and inorganic sediment

These electron microscope images show fine marine sediments made up of mineral and plant particles. The top image shows quartz grains composed of the mineral silica. Because quartz is very resistant to chemical weathering, it is common in beach and ocean sands. The lower image shows sediment made of the remains of diatoms – a common plant plankton also composed of silica. In general, inorganic sediments are more common close to land, and organic sediments more common offshore.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

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How to cite this page:

Keith Lewis, Scott D. Nodder and Lionel Carter, 'Sea floor geology - How sediment forms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 April 2024)

Story by Keith Lewis, Scott D. Nodder and Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006