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Basic Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology

Basic Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology



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Published by: vaibhav on Nov 25, 2009
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1Sedimentary Rocks
Sedimentary rocks are those formed at or near the Earth's surface by the depostion (bywater, wind or ice), accumulation and lithification of sediment (detrital rock) or by theprecipitation from solution (chemical rock) and/or growth in position by organic processes(e.g., carbonate reefs). They are formed at or near the earth's surface at relatively lowtemperatures and pressures. They typically occur in layers (strata) separated by beddingplanes and differences in composition.Sedimentary rocks are the most common rocks exposed on the Earth's surface but areonly a minor constituent of the entire crust, which is dominated by igneous andmetamorphic rocks. They consist 75% of all rocks exposed at Earth's surface. Many of you will work more with sedimentary rocks than with the other rock types.
1.1.1Sedimentary Environments 
Sedimentary rocks are formed in a variety of environment where sediment accumulates.Sedimentary environments typically are in the areas of low elevation at the surface, whichcan be divided into continental, shoreline, and marine environments. Each environment ischaracterized by certain physical, chemical, and biological conditions, thus sedimentaryrocks hold clues to ancient environments and Earth history.
1.1.2Diagenesis and Lithification 
is a complex process whereby freshly unconsolidated deposits of sedimentsare converted into rock. The main processes of lithification are:
CrystallizationThe physical, chemical and biologic changes that occur under conditions of pressure (upto 1 kb) and temperature (maximum range of 100
C to 300
C) that are normal to the outer part of the Earth's crust to the deposited sediments from the time of their initial depositionto their lithification and after it are known as
. In very thick sedimentarysequences, diagenesis may grade into metamorphism, and the sediment will change froma sedimentary rock to a meta-sedimentary rock to a metamorphic rock.Some geologists restrict the term to the initial phase of post-sedimentary changes,occurring in the zone where the sediment is still unconsolidated, the process beingcomplete when the sediment has been converted to a more or less compact sedimentaryrock. In this usage, the term is equivalent to early diagenesis as used in the U.S. There isno universally excepted definition of the term, and no delimitation (such as the boundarywith metamorphism).The main processes of diagenesis are:
1.Compaction2.Recrystallization3.Solution4.Cementation5.Authigenesis (neocrystallization)6.Replacement7.BioturbationThe degree to which each of these processes contributes to the diagenesis of any givensediment is controlled by such factors as:
Pressure (due to burial)
The composition and nature of the pore fluids
Grain size
Porosity and Permeability
The amount of fluid flowNote that any sediment that has been deposited is subject to diagenesis, not justsiliciclastics.
The simplest diagenetic change is compaction.
is the process by which thevolume of sediment is reduced as the grains are squeezed together. The reduction involume as the pore space is reduced helps to hold the rock together by binding the grainscloser together and increasing the friction between grains. Intergranular fluid is expelled asvolume is reduced. The degree of compaction is controlled by such factors as grainshape, sorting, original porosity, and the amount of pore fluid present.
is a process in which physical or chemical conditions induce areorientation of the crystal lattices of mineral grains. These textural changes cause thesediment to become lithified. It occurs in response to such factors as pressure,temperature, and fluid phase changes. It also occurs because of solution andreprecipitation of mineral phases already present in the rock.
refers to the process in which a mineral is dissolved. As fluids pass through thesediment, the unstable constituents will dissolve and are transported away or arereprecipitated in nearby pores where conditions are different. The dissolution of solubleminerals by a solution under saturated with respect to that mineral depends on pH, Eh,temperature, pressure, PCO2, ion strength etc. Common minerals to dissolve areevaporates such as halite, sylvite and anhydrite. This process is important because itcommonly leads to secondary porosity.
Pressure solution
is a process that occurs as pressure is concentrated at the point of contact between two grains in the sediment. This causes solution and subsequentmigration of ions or molecules away from the point of contact, towards an area of lower pressure where the dissolved phase can be reprecipitated.
is the process in which chemical precipitates (in the form of new crystals)form in the pores of a sediment or rock, binding the grains together. Some commoncements are quartz, calcite and hematite, but a wide variety of cements are known, suchas aragonite, gypsum, and dolomite. Pressure solution produces locally derived cement,but many cements consist of new minerals previously in solution in the fluid phase.Cementation reduces porosity by filling in the pore spaces between the grains.Higher pH and higher temperatures favor carbonate cements. Lower pH and lowtemperatures favor quartz or chert cements. Syntaxial overgrowths are formed whencement growth occurs as and an extension of existing detrital "crystal".The reverse process, called
, also is thought to occur. There is evidencethat decementation has occurred in calcareous sandstones, in which case the calcareouscement or grains are dissolved in the same manner as the solution of limestones. Thefrosted and etched surfaces of quartz grains in some friable and loosely cementedsandstones seem to indicate the former presence of a carbonate cement that has beenleached. (Neocrystallization)
 Authigenesis (neocrystallization)
is the process in which new mineral phases arecrystallized in the sediment or rock during diagenesis. These new minerals may beproduced:
By reactions involving phases already present in the sediment (or rock)
Through precipitation of materials introduced in the fluid phase, or 
From a combination of primary sedimentary and introduced components.This process overlaps with weathering and cementation. It usually involvesrecrystallization and may result in replacement. Authigenic phases include silicates suchas quartz, alkali feldspar, clays and zeolites; carbonates such as calcite and dolomite;evaporite minerals such as halite, sylvite and gypsum, as well as many others.Examples of authigenesis are:

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