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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

To understand more about what this page is describing, see How to use the classification. See also How to cite.

   Sublittoral sands and muddy sands

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Reduced (18-30ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Medium to fine sands and muddy sands.
Zone Circalittoral, Infralittoral
Depth Band 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 m, 20-30 m, 30-50 m
Other Features

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Various
Faunal group Epifauna/Infauna

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.

Distribution of habitat SS.SSa Sublittoral sands and muddy sands

  • Records used to define the biotope (core records)
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'certain'
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'uncertain'
  • Predicted extent of the level 3 (for sublittoral rock & deep sea) or 4 (for sublittoral sediment) habitat

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot. Predicted habitat extent is from UKSeaMap.


Clean medium to fine sands or non-cohesive slightly muddy sands on open coasts, offshore or in estuaries and marine inlets. Such habitats are often subject to a degree of wave action or tidal currents which restrict the silt and clay content to less than 15%. This habitat is characterised by a range of taxa including polychaetes, bivalve molluscs and amphipod crustacea.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Characterising species

Characterising species data not applicable.

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code Habitat name
2015 (15.03) SS.SSa Sublittoral sands and muddy sands
2004 (04.05) SS.SSa Sublittoral sands and muddy sands
1997 (97.06) SS.CMS (part) Circalittoral muddy sands
1997 (97.06) SS.IMS (part) Infralittoral muddy sand
1997 (97.06) SS.Part of IGS Infralittoral gravels and sands

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