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SEDIMENTOLOGY &

STRATIGRAPHY

SEDIMENT GRAIN SIZE & SORTING


BY
ASSOC. PROF DR. CHOW WENG SUM
Grain Size Distribution

• -indicate the availability of material of that


particular grain size to be supplied to that area
where the process is taking place

- sediment reflects both the hydrodynamic


condition in the area of deposition and the grain-
size population of sediments available from
the source area
Grain Size

• - normally mean grain diameter; but most grains are not


spherical
• - use the term norminal diameter (dn) which is defined
as the diameter of a sperical body which has the same
volume as the grain

Sand and gravels are analysed by mechanical sieving


Fine silt and clay are analysed by hydrometer analysis
Principles Involved In Sieve Analysis & A Sedimentation Balance
Hydrometer Analysis
Grain Size Distribution
• Wentworth Scale is based on logarithms to the
the base 2
f =-log2d (where d is the grain size)
For example, if d=256mm,
f =-log10256/log102
=-2.408/0.301
=-8
Grain Size Classification Of Clastic Sediments
Surface/Volume Ratio
SETTLEMENT OF PARTICLES

• Density, shape and size are important factors


• All else being equal a large particle will settle out faster
than a small particle
• The frictional force that resists the particle’s fall acts only
on the surface of the particle; the smaller the particle, the
greater its ratio of surface area to volume and weight.
• The larger particle with more weight per unit surface,
needs more force per unit weight to move it.
SETTLEMENT OF PARTICLES

• Shape also affects ease of transport


• A perfect sphere has more volume and weight per unit
surface than any other shape
• Less spherical a particle , the easier a stream can carry
it

• For any given shape and size, a denser particle will


settle faster because its weight-to surface ratio is higher
Grain Size Distribution
• Grain size distribution is presented in a cumulative curve
The steeper the curve, the better the sorting
Mean M= (f 16+f 50+f 84)/3
Sorting SO1=(f 84- f 16)/4 +(f 95-f 5)/6.6
Skewness Sk=(f 16+f 84-f 50) + (f 5+f 95-2f 50)
2(f 84- f 16) 2(f 95-f 5)
Kurtosis KG= (f 95-f 5)
1.44(f 75-f 25)
Presentation Of Grain-Size Distribution Data
Grain Size Distribution
• Kurtosis is the spread of extreme ends of a grain size
distribution curve in relation to the central part

• Median diameter= diameter of that fraction of grains with


a size such that 50% by weight of the
sample grains are smaller than it, and
50% are larger

Mean diameter= arithmatically calculated average grain


size
CUMULATIVE FREQUENCY CURVES- RIVER
SAND & BEACH SAND
CUMULATIVE FREQUENCY CURVE OF BEACH SAND
Sorting
• Sorting refers to the selection,during transport, of particles according
to their sizes, specific gravities, and shapes.
Deposits that contain only a small range of particle sizes are well
sorted
Diamicton: any non/poorly sorted terrigenous sediment that consists
of sand and/or larger particles in a muddy matrix
Particle-supported : framework particles are abundant enough to be
in contact with one another
Matrix-supported: the matrix is so abundant that the coarser particles
are not in contact (mud-supported, silt-supported or clay-supported)
Fabric Mixtures
Sorting Classes
Skewness
• In completely symmetrical distribution curves, the mean
(M) and median (Md) diameters will coincide.
If the sample has a wide spread (tail) towards the fine
grain sizes,and a relatively sharp delimitation at the large
grain-size end, the sample is positively skewed, which is
characteristic of fluvial sediments. This is because there
is a fairly definite upper limit to the grain size which can
be carried as the bottom load
Sorting Vs Skewness
SCATTER PLOT, SKEWNESS VS SORTING FOR BEACH
& RIVER SANDS
Characteristics Of Various Sediments

Eolian deposit--- +ve skewness, very well sorted


Fluvial deposit--- +ve skewness
Beach deposit--- -ve skewness, well sorted
Further out beyond beach—poor sorting
Sedimentary deposit from suspension- +ve skewness,
poor sorting
Mud flows--- -ve skewness
Glacial and till deposit--- extremely poor sorting
Grain Shape- Roundness
• Roundness is a property of surface shape-whether it is
smooth or angular

Roundness=Sr/R
n
Roundness can be defined as the sum of all (n) radii (r)
of circles which can be inscribed by a section through
the grain divided by the radius (R) of the inscribed circle

- difficult to measure
- use visual scale instead
Roundness
Roundness
THANK YOU