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Full text of "The quality of the bottom : a glossary of terms"

SP-56 



SPECIAL PUBLICATION 




THE QUALITY OF THE BOTTOM 



A GLOSSARY OF TERMS 



WILLIAM H. BERNINGHAUSEN 

Environment Branch 
Oceanographic Analysis Division 



NOVEMBER 1961 




GC 

87 
.B47 



U. S. NAVY HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE 

WASHINGTON 25, D. C. 

Price 20 cents 



ABSTRACT 

Notations of bottom types which appear on navigation charts 
are a valuable source of data used in compiling bottom sedi- 
ment charts. The correct and consistent interpretation of 
these notations in terms of the sediment classification (Mud, 
Mud-Sand, Gravel, Shell and Coral) used on U. S. Navy Hydro- 
graphic Office bottom sediment charts is essential in main- 
taining high standards of reliability. This glossary indicates 
how bottom sediment notations are reconciled to this classi- 
fication. 



a glossary 



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RETURNED 



<?<£- 
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FOREWORD 



This glossary is designed for use in the Hydrographic Office 
training programs which include instruction in the preparation of 
bottom sediment charts. It defines bottom type notations given on 
navigation charts in an effort to make more uniform their interpreta- 
tion and use in bottom sediment charts produced by this Office. In 
addition, the glossary should assist researchers in comparing and 
evaluating notations and symbols which appear on navigation and bottom 
sediment charts. 




Rear Admij^l, U. S. Navy 
Hydrographer 



THE QUALITY OF THE BOTTOM 

Various kinds of charts are compiled to describe, in one way or 
another, the type or quality of the ocean bottom. The commonest type 
is a chart which shows the relative size of the particles that make up 
the bottom sediments. For this purpose the U. S. Navy Hydrographic 
Office uses the standard categories of mud, sand, gravel, and rock. 
The two additional sediment categories used are shell and coral; 
however, these do not relate directly to size but indicate origin and 
chemical composition. Other charts of a more specialized nature may 
be made in addition to the standard bottom sediment chart, such as 
charts showing the presence or proportion of calcium carbonate or the 
distribution of globigerina. 

The chief sources of data used in compiling bottom sediment charts 
are navigation charts. To use these sources effectively, one needs to 
know (with as much precision as possible) the meaning of the various 
abbreviations used on these charts to indicate the type or quality of 
the bottom. This glossary was compiled to meet this need. 

The following list is based on the International Hydrographic Bureau, 
Glossary of Cartographic Terms, 1951 and the U. S. Navy Hydrographic 
Office Chart No. 1, "Nautical Chart Symbols and Abbreviations," 1957. 
The definitions herein are based, for the most part, on "Websters New 
Collegiate Dictionary," 1954, "The Glossary of Geology and Related 
Sciences," American Geological Institute, 1957, and H. O. Pub. No. 
220, "Navigation Dictionary," 1956. 

Often some indication of the type or quality of the bottom is given 
by landforms of the adjacent coast and by other notations not usually 
classified under the general heading "Quality of the Bottom." Such 
symbols can be found in H. O. Chart No. 1, page 1, "The Coastline" 
and page 12, "Dangers." 

The abbreviations and terms are listed in the order given in the 
H. O. Chart No. 1, rather than in alphabetical order. On nautical charts 
the initial letter of the abbreviation of names is in capitals and the 
initial letter of the abbreviation of adjectives is in small letters. When 
these abbreviations appear on a chart, they may or may not be followed 
by a period depending on the date of the chart. 



1. Grd. Ground; the bottom of the ocean; the sea floor. 

2. S. Sand; loose detrital material consisting of small but 

easily distinguishable separate grains ranging between 
0.0025 and 0.0787 inch (0.0625 and 2.0000 millimeters) 
in diameter. 

3. M. Mud; pelagic or terrigenous detrital material consisting 

of particles smaller than sand; that is, an undifferen- 
tiated sediment made up of particles mostly within the 
silt-clay range smaller than 0.0025 inch (0.0625 milli- 
meter). 

4. Oz. Ooze; an unconsolidated deep sea deposit composed of 

30 percent or more of the shells (tests) of foraminifera, 
diatoms, and other marine organisms, for example, 
diatom ooze and globigerina ooze. 

5. Ml. Marl; a calcareous clay which may include silts and 

sand. This sediment is classed as mud-sand. 

6. CI. Clay; fine-grained sediments with particle size smaller 

than approximately 0.00008 inch (0.004 millimeter). 
When not separately designated on a bottom sediment 
chart, clay is classed as mud. 

7. G. Gravel; loose detrital material which consists of frag- 

ments ranging in size from approximately 0.08 to 10.08 
inches (2 to 256 millimeters). 

8. Sn. Shingle; rounded, often flat waterworn rock fragments 

(very coarse gravel). Shingle is classed as gravel on 
bottom sediment charts. 

9. P. Pebbles; small, usually rounded rock fragments ranging 

in size from 0.16 to 2.59 (4 to 64 millimeters) in 
diameter. Pebbles are classed as gravel on bottom 
sediment charts. 

10. St. Stones; detached particles of rock usually smaller than 

10 inches (256 millimeters) in diameter. Stones are 
classed as gravel on bottom sediment charts. 



11. Rk.,rky. Rock; rocky; the naturally occurring material that 

forms the firm, hard, and solid masses of the ocean 
floor. On navigation charts the abbreviation Rk. usually 
indicates a rocky formation or a single large boulder 
which may constitute a danger to navigation. 

12. Ck. Chalk; soft earthy limestone of marine origin composed 

chiefly of minute shells. It is white, gray, or buff in 
color. Chalk is classed as rock on bottom sediment 
charts. 

13. Qz. Quartz; silicon dioxide. The most common inorganic 

constituent of the detrital particles on the ocean floor. 

14. Co. Coral; the hard calcareous skeletons of certain tiny 

marine animals, or the stony solidified mass of a 
number of such skeletons. In warm waters colonial 
coral forms extensive reefs of limestone. In cool 
or cold water coral usually appears in the form of 
isolated solitary individuals. Occasionally, large reefs 
formed in cold waters by calcareous algae ( Litho- 
thamnion ) have been noted on navigation charts as coral. 

14a. Co. Hd. Coral head; a mass of coral, usually forming a portion 
of a reef. Frequently, coral heads are large enough to 
be dangerous to navigation. On the basis of size, coral 
heads would be classed as rock, but are shown as coral 
on bottom sediment charts. 

15. Mad. Madrepore; a branching coral; also any perforated 
Md. stone coral. Madrepore is classed as coral on bottom 
Mds. sediment charts. 

16. Vol. Volcanic. 

16a. Vol. Volcanic ash; usually fine-grained material ejected by 

Ash a volcano. Volcanic ash is classed as sand on bottom 

sediment charts. 

17. La. Lava; fluid rock such as that which issues from a 

volcano or a fissure in the earth's surface; also the 
same material solidified by cooling. Since this material 
usually is massive, it is classed as rock on bottom 
sediment charts. 



18. Pm. Pumice; an excessively cellular, glassy lava. It is very 

light and floats on water until it becomes water logged 
and sinks. Pumice is classed as gravel on bottom 
sediment charts. 

19. T. Tufa; a chemical sedimentary rock composed of calcium 

carbonate or silica. Tufa is included with rock on bottom 
sediment charts. On U. S. Navy Hydrographic charts for 
the western coast of France the notation T may mean 
tangue, a calcareous deposit derived from a variety of 
marine organisms. 

20. Sc. Scoriae; volcanic slag, pyroclastic ejecta; fragments 

of scoriae between 0.16 and 1.26 inches (4 and 32 
millimeters) in size are essentially equivalent to 
volcanic cinders. Scoriae are classed as gravel on 
bottom sediment charts. 

21. Cn. Cinders; volcanic cinders (see scoriae). 

22. Mn. Manganese; manganese dioxide; the black oxide of a 

metal. Manganese dioxide usually is found on the ocean 
bottom in the form of nodules. Manganese nodules are 
classed as gravel on bottom sediment charts. 

23. Sh. Shell; the hard outer covering of an animal. Shell 

usually falls within the gravel size limits, but because 
of its origin shell usually is classed separately on 
bottom sediment charts. 

24. Oys. Oysters; sessile mollusks with an unequal, irregular 

bivalved shell. Oysters frequently occur in large banks. 
Oysters are classed as shell on bottom sediment charts. 

25. Ms. Mussels; sessile mollusks with a regular bivalved 

shell. Mussels frequently occur in large banks. Mussels 
are classed as shell on bottom sediment charts. 

26. Spg. Sponge; a Porifera, a sessile invertebrate with a 

skeleton formed of a mass of elastic fibers (spongin) 
and spicules. 



27. Grs. Grass; seagrass, seed-bearing marine plants found in 

brackish and saline shallow water. They attain lengths 
to 8 feet. Occasionally, the notation Grs. on a navigation 
chart may refer to seaweed or kelp. The presence of 
grass usually denotes a mud-sand bottom. 

28. Wd. Weeds; seaweed, a plant growing in the sea, especially 

an alga. 

28a. Kelp; brown algae of the order Laminariales, including 

the largest known algae. Kelp typically grows on a rock 
or stone bottom. They attain their greatest size in cold 
waters, with lengths to 100 feet and blades 4 or more 
feet wide. 

29. Sea tangle; tangle; any of various seaweeds or kelps, 
especially of the genus Laminaria . 

30. Ballast; broken stone or gravel which has been used in 
a vessel to improve its stability or control the draft. 

31. Spicules; minute calcareous or siliceous bodies that 
support the tissues of various invertebrates, such as, 
sponges, radiolarians, and holothurians. 

32. Fr. Foraminifera; minute one-celled marine organisms 

which secrete a calcareous test (shell), or the test of 
such an organism. Foraminifera may be an important 
constituent of some deep sea deposits. If the Foraminif- 
era constitute 30 percent or more of the samples, the 
sediment is referred to as foraminferal ooze. On the 
basis of size, foraminiferal ooze usually is classified 
as mud-sand on bottom sediment charts. 

33. Gl. Globigerina; a very common form of sediment-producing 

Foraminifera. Globigerina ooze covers large portions 
of the deep ocean bottom. On the basis of size a 
globigerina ooze is classified as mud-sand. 

34. Di. Diatoms; microscopic algae which secrete siliceous 

tests (shells). Diatomaceous ooze covers large areas 
of the ocean bottom. Diatomaceous ooze is classed as 
mud on bottom sediment charts. 



35. Rd. Radiolaria; minute marine protozoans which have a 

siliceous skeleton of spicules and radiating threadlike 
pseudopodia. Radiolarian ooze contains large propor- 
tions of radiolarian skeletons and is an important 
constituent of the deep ocean deposits. Radiolarian ooze 
is classed as mud on bottom sediment charts. 

36. Pt. Pteropods; pelagic, swimming-type gastropods in which 

the foot is modified into a pair of winglike lobes or 
fins. Pteropod ooze contains conspicuous shells of these 
pelagic molluscs and is an important constituent of 
the deep ocean deposits. Pteropod ooze usually is classed 
as mud on bottom sediment charts. 

37. Po. Polyzoa; Broyozoa, a colonial animal that secretes a 

calcareous, horny, or membranous covering in a multi- 
tudinous variety of forms and structures. Bryozoa may 
form insignificant colonies on shells, or they may be 
an important constituent of a reef. 

38. Cirripeda; barnacles. 

38a. Fucus; rockweed, any of a genus of olive-green or 

brown algae. Fucus grows attached to rocks; hence the 
name rockweed. 

38b. Mattes; an uneven growth of seagrass. 

39. fne. Fine. 

40. crs. Coarse. 

41. sft. Soft. 

42. hrd. Hard. 

43. stf. Stiff. 

44. sml. Small. 

45. lrg. Large. 

46. stk. Sticky. 



47. brk. Broken. 

47a. Ground (shell); shell that has been ground up by wave 

or current action. Broken shell. 

48. Rotten. 



49. 




Streaky. 


50. 


Sp., 
spk. 


Specks; speckled 


51. 


gty° 


Gritty. 


52. 




Decayed. 



53. fly. Flinty; resembling flint, a dense, fine-grained form of 

silica which is very tough and breaks with a conchoidal 
fracture and cutting edges. 

54. glac. Glacial. 

55. Tenacious; sticky, coherent. 

56. wh. White. 

57. bk. Black. 

58. vi. Violet. 

59. bu. Blue. 

60. gn. Green. 

61. yl. Yellow. 

62. or. Orange. 

63. rd. Red. 

64. br. Brown. 

65. ch. Chocolate. 



66. gy. Gray. 

67. It. Light. 

68. dk. Dark. 

69. Ca. Calcareous; limey, containing lime. 

70. Varied. 

71. Uneven. 



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