Submarine Canyon Erosion: Contribution of Marine Rock Burrowers

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Science  17 Sep 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 4002, pp. 1127-1129
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.4002.1127


Rocks of the rim and upper walls of Scripps Submarine Canyon are intensely burrowed by marine invertebrates. Important excavators are bivalves, polychaetes, and sipunculoids whose activities culminate in a network of passageways and eventual disintegration of the rocks. In many localities erosion by animals is more important than erosion by physical and chemical processes.