The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as an ocean or a lake, including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers. Organisms living in this zone are called benthos. They generally live in close relationship with the substrate bottom; many such organisms are permanently attached to the bottom. The superficial layer of the soil lining the given body of water, the benthic boundary layer, is an integral part of the benthic zone, as it influences greatly the biological activity which takes place there. Examples of contact soil layers include sand bottoms, rock outcrops, coral, and bay mud.