from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In geology, dust of deserts borne away by the wind and descending at a long distance in the form of ‘red fog’ or ‘sirocco-dust.’ It is usually of brick-red color, and when descending with rain occasions the so-called ‘blood-rain.’
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One pound of rock-cod requires for its formation ten pounds of whelk; one pound of whelk requires ten pounds of sea-worms; and one pound of worms requires ten pounds of sea-dust.
The minute fragments broken off from seaweeds and from the sea-grass (a flowering plant called Zostera) form a sort of nutritive sea-dust which is swept slowly down the slope from the shore, to form a very useful deposit in the quietness of deepish water.
The "floating sea-meadows," as Sir John Murray called them, are always receiving contributions from inshore waters, where the conditions are favourable for the prolific multiplication of unicellular Algæ, and there is also a certain amount of non-living sea-dust always being swept out from the seaweed and sea-grass area.
What is left of them, before or after being swallowed, and of sea-dust and mineral particles of various kinds forms the diversified "ooze" of the sea-floor, a soft muddy precipitate, which is said to have in places the consistence of butter in summer weather.