turbidity current

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A variety of density current that flows as a result of a density difference created by dispersed sediment within the body of the current. Such currents occur off delta fronts, in lakes, and in oceans, and are initiated by the disturbance of sediments on a slope by strong wave action, earthquake shock, or slumping. Turbidity currents in the oceans are thought to move rapidly (at speeds of up to 7 m/s) down the continental slope or submarine canyons along the sea bed, and to deposit originally shallow-water sediments at the foot of the slope or on the abyssal plain. The ideal sequence of sediments laid down by a waning turbidity current is known as the Bouma sequence.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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