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By M. J. Keen and J. A. Jacobs (Auth.)

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T h e skeletal remains of pelagic organisms which are found (except for whales' ear-bones, for example) are small in size, but may comprise a large fraction of the sediment. The organisms may be divided in the following way, according to the type of skeleton they possess: Plants calcareous siliceous: coccolithophorids diatoms silicoflagellates Animals calcareous : Foraminifera pteropods siliceous: Radiolaria sponges phosphatic: fish remains The skeletal remains of these organisms may make up a large part of the sediment; this is true of the Foraminifera, Radiolaria, diatoms and coccolithophorids especially, but the other groups are less common, not only because of their actual abundance in the water but because the skeletons may dissolve too rapidly.

The Topography of the Ocean Floor 51 the crest of the ridge, a high fractured plateau and various steps which form the flanks of the ridge. These features are shown in Fig. 14, where the ridge is compared with rift valleys of East Africa, and in Fig. 15. T h e most striking of these features is the central rift valley, Fig. 15. East-west bathymétrie profiles from the eastern flanks to the centre of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. T h e median rift valley is the conspicuous notch 137 between 27°W. and 28°W.

No large river mouth is at its head, although, at a time of lower sea-level it 42 An Introduction to Marine Geology could have acted as a drainage channel from the inner region of the shelf (Fig. 3). A source of supply for sediment is at present available from the banks along the outer margin of the shelf. D Fig. 7. Transverse profiles across T h e Gully. Lowest points in profiles adjusted to a common axis. Locations of the profiles are given in Fig. 6. (after J . I. (188) Marlowe ). At the foot of submarine canyons may be found deep-sea fans and abyssal cones, piles of sediment transported down the canyons.

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