turbidity current

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turbidity current 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.

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turbidity current A water 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 seabed, and to deposit originally shallow-water sediments at the foot of the slope or on the abyssal plain.

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turbidity current Dense current in air, water, or other fluid caused by different amounts of matter in suspension. In the ocean, when sediment along the continental shelves breaks off and rushes down slope, the resulting turbidity current carves out submarine canyons and deposits distinctively bedded layers on the ocean floor.

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turbidity current: see ocean.