Sediment samples from cores taken in the Gulf of Mexico were subjected to normal laterally confined loads of 0.5, 4.0, 32.0, and 64.0 kg per cm 2 . Electron micrographs of their microstructure show the progressive change in particle orientation during the laboratory consolidation of a sediment sample. A predominantly random arrangement of particles exists over the greater portion of the void ratio range. Strongly preferred orientation apparently develops at pressures in excess of a few kg per cm 2 .

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