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From 411 kg of Pacific clay, 22 mg of stony spherules and 50 mg of iron spherules larger than 150 ??m were concentrated. The extraterrestrial origin of these particles was evaluated with the aid of both optical and electron microscopy as well as atomic absorption elemental analysis. The integral number (N) of stony particles from this sediment in the mass (M) range 20-300 ??g is given by N( > M(g)) = 5.13 ?? 10-6 ?? M-1.65. The world-wide influx rate of stony particles in the mass range which survive atmospheric heating and ocean sediment storage is calculated to be 90 tons/yr. The relative contributions of ablation debris vs fused interplanetary dust to the influx of stony spherules is discussed, but as yet the question remains unanswered. ?? 1980.
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Deep-sea spherules from Pacific clay: mass distribution and influx rate