PHYCOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Geology and Paleontology
The earliest diatom fossils come from 100
million years ago. During all this time, as diatoms died, their
heavy shells sank to the bottom of the sea. Because they are hard
and chemically stable in seawater, the shells are preserved. As millennia
go by, more shells form thicker and thicker deposits of diatomaceous
earth or diatomaceous oozes over large expanses of the sea floor.
Since the deposits are stable and immobile, we can use what we know
about modern diatoms and diatom assemblages to learn about the ancient
Diatom Main Menu
copyright John Becker 1996.