Assessment of density variations of marine sediments with ocean and sediment depths

Robert Tenzer, V. Gladkikh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze the density distribution of marine sediments using density samples taken from 716 drill sites of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP). The samples taken within the upper stratigraphic layer exhibit a prevailing trend of the decreasing density with the increasing ocean depth (at a rate of -0.05 g/cm3 per 1 km). Our results confirm findings of published studies that the density nonlinearly increases with the increasing sediment depth due to compaction. We further establish a 3D density model of marine sediments and propose theoretical models of the ocean-sediment and sediment-bedrock density contrasts. The sediment density-depth equation approximates density samples with an average uncertainty of about 10% and better represents the density distribution especially at deeper sections of basin sediments than a uniform density model. The analysis of DSDP density data also reveals that the average density of marine sediments is 1.70 g/cm3 and the average density of the ocean bedrock is 2.9 g/cm3. Tenzer and V. Gladkikh.
Original languageEnglish
Article number823296
JournalThe Scientific World Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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