Types of Sediment

Terrigenous – derived from the land or continent

Biocalcareous – composed of whole or fragmented calcite shells (foraminifera, pteropods, coccoliths…)
Biosiliceous – composed of whole or fragmented silica shells (radiolaria, diatoms…)

Bioclastic – composed of the remains of organisms (shells, bones, teeth…)

Authigenic minerals – formed in place, during or after deposition of the sediment they are found in; minerals that are formed by precipitation or recrystallization (some forms of pyrite and glauconite, calcite, gypsum, clays)

Pyroclastic – composed of volcanic material (ash, pumice…)

Ooze – a pelagic sediment composed of at least 30% skeletal remains (shells of forams, diatoms, radiolaria…), the rest being clay

Marl – calcareous clay; sediment made up of carbonate and clay or silt in varying amounts


Diagram from the International Ocean Discovery Program

Types of Sediment

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