The diatomite deposits of south Spain, locally known as moronitas, form part of a distinctive Tertiary sequence of alternating littoral clastic deposits and Globigerina marls formed during Aquitanian-Burdigalian time in the North Betic strait which connected the Mediterranean and the Atlantic south of the Iberian massif. The diatoms, among which benthonic forms predominate, and associated pelagic plankton were transported from the coastal depths by marine currents and deposited in the neritic zone at times when the intensity of the currents decreased.

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