from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fine-grained sediment rich in organic matter, formed at the bottom of a body of water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun an aquatic sludge-like sediment rich in organic matter formed in stagnant water

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun sludge (rich in organic matter) that accumulates at the bottom of lakes or oceans


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[sapro– + Greek pēlos, mud.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

sapro- + Ancient Greek πηλός ("clay")


  • Throughout the Black Sea the cores showed the same stratigraphy: a sediment with remains of freshwater mollusks overlain by a wet, dark, organic-rich layer known as a sapropel, above which are normal marine sediments with saltwater mollusk shells.

    Books: Neolithic Noah

  • Remains of freshwater creatures killed by the saltwater and of terrestrial plants inundated by it settled in an organic rich blanket over the bottom, the sapropel found throughout the Black Sea basin today.

    Books: Neolithic Noah

  • (Another expedition obtained similar dates for the base of the sapropel in nine other cores.)

    Books: Neolithic Noah

  • Gert de Lange investigated the most recently developed bed, sapropel S1.


  • Going upward from this depth level, the organic content of sapropel S1 decreases corresponding to an increasing average oxygen content and concomitant breakdown of the organic material.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Antiquity’s singers were apt to tell

    Of ominous blooms of asphodel.

    Persephone’s bower

    Was full of this flower,

    Bred of the netherworld’s sapropel.

    June 23, 2018