Definition: Siliceous ooze is a marine sediment composed of the debris of plankton with silica shells, such as diatoms and radiolaria. This ooze is limited to areas with high biological productivity, such as the polar oceans, and upwelling zones near the equator. The least common type of sediment, it covers only 15% of the ocean floor. It accumulates at a slower rate than calcareous ooze: 0.2-1 cm / 1000 yr.
Definition: Calcareous ooze is a marine sediment composed primarily of the shells--also known as tests--of foraminifera, coccolithophores, and pteropods. This is the most common pelagic sediment by area, covering 48% of the world ocean's floor. This type of ooze is limited to depths above the Carbonate Compensation Depth at time of burial. It accumulates more rapidly than any other pelagic sediment type, with a rate that varies from 0.3 - 5 cm / 1000 yr.