Investigation of lithogenic particles collected by sediment traps in open-ocean stations revealed that the sediment flux increased linearly with depth in the water column. This rate of increase decreased with distance of the station from the continent; it was largest at the Panama Basin station and almost negligible at the E. Hawaii Abyssal Plain station. At the Panama Basin station, smectite flux increased with depth. We suggest that smectite resuspended from bottom sediments of the continental slope west of the sediment-trap station is advected by easterly deep currents, and the suspended particles are then possibly entrapped by large settling particles. On the other hand, the flux of hemipelagic clay particles, kaolinite and chlorite, was nearly constant at all depths; this can be explained by incorporation of these particles in fecal pellets which then settle from the surface water. At the Demerara Abyssal Basin Station, flux of illite and chlorite particles increased with depth and the flux of smectite was constant. A sudden increase of the flux of illite and chlorite was observed near the bottom traps at the So??hm Abyssal Plain station. The flux of quartz and feldspar was 10 to 15% of the clay flux. ?? 1982.
Additional publication details
Sedimentation of lithogenic particles in the deep ocean