Sediment distributions in deep sea influence the benthic community structure and thus play an important role in shaping the marine ecosystem. Several studies on sediment characteristics had been conducted in South China Sea (SCS), but only limited to coastal areas of regions within SCS territories. Therefore, this study was carried out to analyze the benthic sediment profile in an area beyond 12 nautical miles off the coast of Sarawak, southern SCS. Sediment samples were collected from 31 stations, comprising three depth ranges: (I) 20-50 m, (II) 50-100 m, and (III) 100-200 m. The total organic matter (TOM) contents were determined and subjected to dry and wet sieving methods for particle size analysis. TOM contents in the deep area (>50 m) were significantly higher (p = 0.05) and positively correlated (r = 0.73) with silt-clay fraction. About 55% and 82% of stations in strata II and III, respectively, were dominated by silt-clay fractions (<63 μm mean diameter), coherent with TOM data. In addition, sediments in the deep area (>50 m) tend to be poorly sorted, very fine skewed, and platykurtic. Unlike data obtained 20 years ago which reported high content of silt-clay (58%), this study recorded a lower content (35%); therefore, changes in sediment load had been observed in southern SCS.
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