Suspended Sea Matter

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Suspended Sea Matter


solid particles suspended in the seas. This includes mineral and organic particles of various origins: terrigenic (products of rock erosion from dry land), biogenic (fragments of the bodies and excrement of marine organisms), volcanogenic (debris from volcanic eruptions), chemogenic (products of chemical reactions), and cosmogenic (cosmic dust). Terrigenic and biogenic suspended matter are the most important. Some of the suspended matter in the ocean water comes from sewage.

The concentration of suspended sea matter varies within broad limits (from hundredths of a gram per m3 in the open sea to several kg per m3 in the estuaries of muddy rivers). Suspended sea matter is the source material for the formation of bottom deposits. The zonal distribution of basic types of ocean sediment in various climatic zones depends upon the origin of the matter. The content and properties are also a determining factor of the optical properties of seawater (transparency, color, and absorption and scattering of light). Organic suspended matter serves as food for marine animals. Suspended sea matter is investigated during the planning and use of hydraulic structures.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.