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The purpose of this study is to provide information about grain sizes of hemipelagic mud in Holes C0011C and C0011D. Grain size distribution is one of the most important properties of sediment and is fundamental data used in studies of many fields.

Grain size distribution provides information about the origin and formative processes of sediment, including provenance, depositional environment, type and intensity of transport mechanisms, and depositional processes (e.g., Visher, 1969; McLaren, 1981; MacLaren and Bowles, 1985; Rea and Hovan, 1995; Holz et al., 2004). Therefore, grain size distribution can be a useful proxy in paleoenvironmental studies, especially when combined with other proxies.

Furthermore, physical properties of mud or mudstone are strongly influenced by grain size (Aplin and Macquaker, 2011). Hence, grain size distribution of the sediment deposited on the Philippine Sea plate at the Nankai Trough in Holes C0011C and C0011D will be an important data set when interpreting the downhole variation of several physical properties and the subsequent evolution of these properties during subduction (see the “Site C0011” chapter [Expedition 333 Scientists, 2012]).