The rapid rise of science and the appearance of new technologies conditioned numerous discoveries that contributed to the better comprehending of the nature of the world in which we live. Humanity acquired an opportunity to investigate numerous landscapes and environments, understand their unique peculiarities, and provide a detailed description. Yet, the ocean and sea have always been a great mystery for people because of their power and great depth. Nowadays, new technologies provided scientists with an opportunity to approach the seafloor and analyse its structure. Besides, it is not homogeneous and consists of numerous landscapes, rocks, sediments, etc. Thus, modern science determines four basic types of sediments. These are lithogenous, biogenous, hydrogenous, and cosmogenous. They all have unique characteristics that determine their structure.
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Lithogenous sediments are usually made up of small particles of weathered rocks or volcanoes (Smith par. 2). They are formed under the impact of numerous weathering processes that condition the appearance of lithogenous sediments when metal and silicate parties become bonded. Besides, scientists also distinguish two types of this kind of sediments which are terrigenous and red clay (Smith par. 2). The difference in their formation introduced the reason for this subdivision. Terrigenous sediments result from the weathering processes that occur above the water (Smith par. 2). However, red clay appears in the deep ocean. Its structure could be described as the combination of terrigenous elements, volcanic ash, and other small particles. These sediments are one of the most common surfaces of the seafloor. They could be easily discovered and investigated.
Biogenous sediments comprise another group. As it comes from their name, they are formed from the remains of past organisms that existed in the area. The fact is that not all parts of the body could dissolve fast. Bones, teeth, shells, and other fragments together with corals might form a new form of landscape. They are found both in shallow and deep waters. In case there is no high concentration of the above-mentioned life forms, this kind of sediments could be formed of the microscopic shells, tiny plants, plankton, and other small creatures that could be found on the ocean or sea floor (Smith par. 3).
Hydrogenous sediments have another structure. They are formed in the process of precipitation of minerals that are found in the ocean or sea waters (Smith par. 4). Moreover, these very minerals could be formed in the process of chemical relations between water and other kinds of sediments that already exist (Smith par. 4). The way they are formed contributed to the classification of this sort of sediments. In general, this process is rather complex and could occur only under some specific conditions. However, there are millions of organisms in the ocean, and their remnants contribute to the formation of the given kind of sediments.
Finally, there are cosmogenous sediments that could be considered small meteorites that are be found in sea waters. They are formed of space materials that come from asteroids or comets which manage to reach earth. Their structure could be characterised by silicates and a unique combination of different metals (Smith par. 5). Thus, considering their nature, cosmogenous sediments could be described as the rarest ones. Every new discovery of sediments of this sort triggers a vigorous discussion between scientists related to the impact on the environment these sediments had.
Altogether, there are four basic types of sediments that could be found in the sea. They have different nature and structure. These differences contribute to the extreme diversity of landscapes and shape our planet in a unique way.
Smith, Nicole. “Types of Marine Sediments.” Article Myriad. 2011, Web.
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