It seems to have been a common assumption that deposition beneath the waters of the deep sea—that is, at depths of two or more miles—has been so slow that the magnitude of the deposits is of little importance. It is the purpose of this inquiry to consider to what extent this assumption rests on facts and to what extent it can be sustained. The problem is difficult. The rates of deposition in the deep sea are unknown and no methods seem to have been devised by which they may be measured. It has usually been assumed that terrigenous sediments are not carried far from the shores of the lands on which they originate, and there has been built on this assumption the conclusion that great thicknesses of terrigenous sediments can not accumulate beneath deep waters far from land.
In following the problem into its various ramifications, there . . .