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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.

   Arctic upper abyssal sand

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure
Tidal streams
Substratum Sand
Zone Arctic upper abyssal
Depth Band 2000 - 3100 m
Other Features

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 M.ArUA.Sa Arctic upper abyssal sand

  • 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.


Deep-sea sand sediments have a diverse infaunal community dominated by polychaetes. Epifauna tend to be sparse, mobile species, or burrowing fauna such as anemones and brittlestars visible at the surface. In the absence of ecological data, sand habitat can be defined according to Long (2006), which describes the classification's broad sediment types according to the relative proportion of mud, sand and gravel (see p3 of UKSeaMap 2010 technical report 3 It can be difficult to reliably distinguish between mud and sand using video data only. Note that muddy sand sediments are classed as mud if the mud content is great enough. If sediment particles are large enough to be classed as gravel using the Folk classification, then sediment would be classed as coarse sediment rather than sand. If sand contains a high enough percentage of gravel it is also classed as coarse sediment.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal variation data available.

Characterising species

Characterising species data not applicable.

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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