The Globigerina ooze is perhaps the best known of all the different deep-sea deposits. It was discovered and first described by the officers of the American Coast Survey in 1853. It is found in great abundance in the Atlantic Ocean in regions shallower than 2,200 fathoms. Deeper than this, it gradually merges into the ‘Red mud.’ It is mainly composed of the shells of Foraminifera, and of these the different species of Globigerina are the most abundant. It is probably formed partly by the shells of the dead Foraminifera that actually live on the bottom of the ocean and partly by the shells of those that live near the surface or in intermediate depths and fall to the bottom when their lives are done.
So abundant are the shells of these Protozoa that nearly 95 per cent. of the Globigerina ooze is composed of carbonate of lime. The remaining five per cent. is composed of sulphate and phosphate of lime, carbonate of ammonia, the oxides of iron and manganese, and argillaceous matters. The oxides of iron and manganese are probably of meteoric origin; the argillaceous matter may be due to the trituration of lumps of pumice stone and to the deposits caused by dust storms.