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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