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Rhythmic patterns observed in unconsolidated marine deposits in cores, collected from the western abyssal plain of the Gulf of Mexico and from the Beta Straits in the Caribbean, are based on sedimentary structures rather than on lithology.
From the present knowledge of contourites, nepheolites, pelagites, and turbidites, it is believed that the silty clay intercalations from the Gulf cores, as well as the sandy intercalations from the Caribbean cores, can be interpreted best as incomplete turbidite sequences. This interpretation is based primarily on the incomplete sedimentary facies model as developed for ancient turbidites. The thin clay seams commonly found in recent deposits, as well as some other features not known in ancient turbidites, normally become invisibly thin from the effect of consolidation.
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