The log-probability plots of some shallow to deep Atlantic sediments are analysed and compared with simulated mixtures of log-normal populations. The plots consist characteristically of two smoothly connected segments which display different slopes. The point of maximum curvature (PMC) between the two segments is shown to reflect the granulometric parameters (mean and sorting) and quantitative proportions of two mixed overlapping populations. This understanding is contrary to the concept which relies heavily on the break points of cumulative plots as indicating truncation of grain size distributions and therefore reflecting hydrodynamic processes.
The particular behaviour of the cumulative plots from the Atlantic indicates fining of the two component populations with depth and distance from the shore, accompanied by an increasing dominance of the finer population. This behaviour is compatible with sorting processes which operate in sediments transported through individual grain movements, rather than through mass transportation or turbidity currents.