Lower Cretaceous limestones and schists, with radiolarian cherts, are extensively developed; and in many parts of the island Upper Creta 1 See L.
At Esperanza and other places in the Santa Clara province, bituminous plant-bearing beds occur beneath the Tertiary limestones, and at Baracoa a Radiolarian earth occupies a similar position.
The silica, in the form of diatom or radiolarian skeletons, is eventually deposited on the ocean floor after the death of the organisms. Most of the fine colloidal clay is, however, deposited as river-sludges when the fresh water carrying it mixes with denser sea-water.
(b) Abyssal, including the radiolarian ooze and red clay of the deepest abysses.
To this inconceivably slowly-growing deposit of inorganic material over the ocean floor there is added an overwhelmingly more rapid contribution of the remains of calcareous and siliceous planktonic and benthonic organisms, which tend to bury the slower accumulating material under a blanket of globigerina, pteropod, diatom or radiolarian ooze.
Thus red clay and radiolarian ooze are distinguished as abyssal deposits in contradistinction to the epilophic calcareous oozes.
Radiolarian ooze was recognized as a distinct deposit and named by Sir ' John Murray on the " Challenger " expedition, but it may be viewed as red clay with an exceptionally large proportion of siliceous organic remains, especially those of the radiolarians which form part of the pelagic plankton.
If there were strong currents at the bottom of the ocean the uniform accumulation of the deposit of minute shells of globigerina and radiolarian ooze would be impossible, the rises and ridges would necessarily be swept clear of them, and the fact that this is not the case shows that from whatever cause the waters of the depths are set in motion, that motion must be of the most deliberate and gentlest kind.
Radiolarian ooze is found in the central Pacific in a region between 15° N.
The " Challenger " discovered an area of radiolarian ooze between 7°-12° N.
In the Kapoewas district radiolarian cherts supposed to be of Jurassic age are met with.
In the northern portion of the square, north and east of Wharton deep, the red clay is replaced over a large tract by Radiolarian ooze.
Some cherts contain tests of radiolaria, and correspond fairly closely to the siliceous radiolarian oozes which are gathering at the present day at the bottom of some of the deepest parts of the oceans.