Q:

What is sedimentation?

A:

Quick Answer

In geological sciences, sedimentation is the process of accumulating sediments, or dirt, on the reef. It is a natural phenomenon that results from land and reef erosion. Broadly defined, it also encompasses glacial ice deposits and accumulation of materials due to gravity, such as talus deposits and rock debris collection at the base of cliffs.

Know More

Full Answer

Soil decomposition, plant decomposition, animal decomposition and bedrock erosion are natural sources of sediments transported to the oceans. Sediments often add nutrients to the soil. Natural sediment mobilization helps develop and maintain coastal habitats, such as mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries, lagoons and wetlands. However, many human activities often alter the process of sedimentation and erosion. High sedimentation destroys corals when sediments land directly on top of corals, smothering the corals. Corals are not capable of removing sediments, because they cannot move. Sedimentation is sometimes detrimental to corals, mainly because it affects water clarity and makes the water cloudy or turbid. When there is high turbidity, the amount of light that reaches the corals is considerably decreased. With lesser light, corals find it difficult to photosynthesize. Human activities are major culprits in the increase of sedimentation rates along many coastline areas. These activities are mainly related to poor land management practices, such as unregulated use of off-road vehicles and poor urban development.

Learn more about Landforms

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are volcanic mountains formed?

    A:

    Volcanic mountains form as lava oozes forth from cracks in the earth. The lava builds up around the area where the eruption occurred. Layers build upon layers and over a period of time, a volcanic mountain forms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are the world's deserts located at 30 degrees latitude?

    A:

    Deserts on Earth exist at 30 degrees latitude because of warm air, calm winds and virtually constant areas of high pressure forming in the atmosphere above. These deserts experience dry and hot conditions year-round and see plenty of sunlight, little wind and very little precipitation. This area of desert lands forms in the areas of latitude 30 degrees north to 30 degrees south of the Equator.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between a bay and a peninsula?

    A:

    Peninsulas are land formations, while bays are bodies of water. However, the two geographic features often occur side by side. Peninsulas are areas of land that are surrounded by water on three of its four sides. Bays are bodies of water that are surrounded by land on most sides.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are coastal plains formed?

    A:

    Coastal plains are formed when ocean levels fall on continental shelves that are at sea level, or when rivers carry sediment to areas of the ocean. These plains can take hundreds of years to form, and a few are found hundreds of miles inland.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore