Marine sediments

Marin sediment sampling and research. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

Oceanographic conditions 2013
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Marine sediments are mixtures of grains of varying sizes on the seabed; they serve as functionally important habitats for benthic organisms. The relative proportion of grains in different categories used to describe sediment can be classified as: mud (clay and silt) <0.063 mm; sand 0.063-2 mm; gravel 2-64 mm; cobbles 64-256 mm; and boulders >256 mm. The present day sedimentation pattern in the Barents Sea shows low or no sediment deposition on the shallow bank areas due to relatively strong bottom currents.

This is in contrast to the deeper areas where bottom currents are weaker and fine sediments are deposited continuously. Within the framework of the Norwegian-Russian Environmental Commission Work Plan, an interactive map showing the grain size of marine surface sediments for the entire Barents Sea has been developed in cooperation between Russia and Norway.