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• • A part of the earth’s surface, physically, chemically, and biologically distinct from adjacent terrain. defined by, fauna and flora, geology, geomorphology, climate, weather, temperature, and if sub-aqueous, the depth, salinity, and current system of the water. could be a site of erosion, non-deposition, or deposition. • Erosional/non-depositional environments preserved in the rock record as unconformities. •
Sedimentary Facies • A mass of sedimentary rock which can be defined and distinguished from other by its geometry, lithology, sedimentary structures, paleocurrent pattern, and fossils (Selley 1970).
where there is tectonic movement which maintains high relief between mountains and plains How is it formed? • mountains shed sediment off their flanks, streams carry it away as alluvium. • stream carries lots of alluvial sediment easily when its slope is steep and energy is abundant. • As stream valley emerges into a basin (plain), slope and energy decrease deposition of sediments in an alluvial fan Deposits • lots of coarse particles • usually sandstone and conglomerate • poor sorting
Fluvial (River) Environment Rivers/streams are elongated bodies of water that flow through channels
Physical Chemical Biological Sedimentary Environment
Erosional Non-depositional Depositional Sedimentary Facies
Geometry Lithology Sedimentary structures Paleocurrents Fossils
Three ways streams transport sediments: • in solution (dissolved load) • in suspension (suspended load) • along the bottom of the channel (bedload) Type and amount of material in suspension is controlled by: • water velocity • settling velocity of each grain which depend on: • size • shape • specific gravity bedload • composed of coarser particles - cannot be carried by suspension • bedload particles move along by: • rolling • sliding • Saltation Ability of streams to carry sediments is described by: • capacity - maximum load of sediment that a stream can transport • competence - measure of the maximum size of particles it is capable of transporting Two Types of Channels: 1. Meandering • consist of a single channel and thalweg (deepest point in a channel cross section) • low gradient(slope) and high sinuosity (curved/sinuous shape in map view) • sediments deposited at the inner sides of meanders (channel bends) • associated with vegetated areas under a humid climate • deposition of sediments takes place in the channel, on the levees and in the basins.
The relationship between sedimentary environments and sedimentary facies
Alluvial fan Fluvial Terrestrial/ Continental Lacustrine Eolian Glacial Transitional (Shorelines) Lobate (deltas) Linear (beaches) Lagoons Reef Shelf Submarine channel and fan Pelagic
Classification of Major Depositional Environments
TERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENTS Alluvial Fan Environment • What is an alluvial fan? • a fan-shaped, terrestrial deposit • Where is it found? • At the transition of mountains and plains
describes activity of deposits of winds • deserts (arid environment) • wind . multiple thalwegs and bars reappear within the channel • occur in areas with a highly irregular water regime. (2) Meanwhile water on the outside edges tends to flow faster. Without a current to move the water along. finer sand settles along the inner bends of the river. the channel is completely inundated • In times of low discharge. sediment builds up along the banks and fills in the lake. and abundant sediment supply • Deposits contain alternating areas (lenses) of coarse gravel and sand • Associated with oxbow lakes Evolution of an Oxbow lake (1) On the inside of the loop. (3) Over time the loop of the meander widens until the neck vanishes altogether. (4) Then the meander is removed from the river's current and the horseshoe shaped oxbow lake is formed. Lacustrine Environment • From the word “lacuna”. Greek god of winds) .circular or elongate in plan view. meaning lake • lake . which erodes the banks making the meander even wider. lenticular (lens-like) in cross section • Low energy laminated fine sediments Eolian Environment • eolian (from Aeolus. • high sediment load • During times of maximum discharge. on so-called `point bars'. non-marine water • formed in depressions or basins with internal drainage or limited flow • Geometry .landlocked body of standing. Braided • have a single channel of low sinuosity (almost straight) and high slope. Point bar deposits 2. with multiple `thalwegs' and bars.• • gravel and coarse sand are normally found on the channel floor (`lag deposits'). the river travels more slowly leading to deposition of silt.
Temperatures in excess of 180 degrees may occur in sands exposed to full solar radiation. • Suspension . Involves bedload. • Saltation . in the Sahara Desert. Sand dunes form when moving air slows down on the downwind side of an obstacle./yr. or fences.limits competence • unrestricted flow .shaped by the wind • deflation • erosion of ground when dry. or where evaporation exceeds precipitation. reducing moisture available for lowlands in the lee of mountains. • Great daily extremes can occur. Ventifacts . • Temperature extremes can vary from –60 degrees F.Sand dunes form when there is (1) a ready supply of sand. unstratified aggregation of small. to about 40 cm.enables spread over wide areas • lack of rain allows more effective wind work sand transport • Creep . in Mongolian deserts to 137 degrees F./yr.bouncing and jumping movement of grains. Deserts • concentrated in two regions: • subtropics • middle-latitudes • areas where rainfall is less than 250 mm (10 in. Rainfalls of 5-20 cm. loose particles of dust and salt are lifted and blown away .)/year. • Due to lack of vegetation./yr. Involves suspended load. wind velocities are high.2 cm.Unconsolidated. are common. • • Wind Erosion • needs chemical and mechanical weathering to act effectively • two types of wind erosion: • Abrasion • Sandblasting • shaping of solid rock surfaces by constant impact of grains by wind. angular mineral fragments. transport and deposit • two properties: • low density . Causes of Deserts • caused by high mountains causing available moisture to condense and precipitate on their higher parts. Dunes may cover large areas and reach heights up to 500m. rocks. Generally believed to be wind-deposited. • Direct blocking of moisture may also occur.large particles are rolled to the surface after coming into contact with saltating particles. usually buff in color.• a turbulent stream of air like water. (2) a steady wind.Coarsest clasts (desert pavement) • loess . • Rainfall in deserts may vary from 0. • dunes .occurs when fine dust and dirt are lifted into the wind. it has the ability to erode. to trap some of the sand. Wind Deposits • deflation lag deposits . and (3) some kind of obstacle such as vegetation.
a moderate supply of sand. Barchan Longitudinal Transverse Parabolic Star Glacial Environment • Glaciers • permanent (on a human time scale) body of ice that shows evidence of downward movement due to gravitational pull. • form at or above snowline • Snowline .where ice can be created and remain all year round • The snowline. Consist of ridges of sand with a steep face in the downwind side.If two adjacent valleys are filled with glacial ice. Horns . • Parabolic dunes .Types of Sand Dunes: • Barchan dunes . .Where three or more cirques are carved out of a mountain. • Glacial Erosion • Plucking -particle detachment by moving glacial ice • Abrasion . • Transverse dunes. • Ice Shelves: – are sheets of ice floating on water and attached to land. called an arête. Types of Glaciers • Alpine/Mountain Glaciers – Relatively small glaciers at higher elevations in mountainous regions. Fjords .bowl shaped depressions that occur at the heads of mountain glaciers Glacial Valleys .long straight dunes that form in areas with a limited sand supply and converging wind directions. Form in areas with abundant vegetation and constant wind.narrow inlets along seacoasts once occupied by a fjord glacier. • Ice Sheets: (Continental glaciers): – the largest types of glaciers on Earth. Hanging Valleys . they can produce a sharp peak called a horn. – usually occupy coastal embayments. • Star dunes . • Recrystallized snow has decreased air and increased grain size and density forming solid blocks of ice. • Linear dunes .A valley that has greater elevation than the valley to which it is tributary.large fields of dunes that resemble sand ripples on a large scale. Most common in coastal areas. • formed by recrystallization of snow due to pressure of overlying compacted snow.dunes with variable arms and slip face directions.debris in basal ice grinds into the bedrock and produce: – Glacial striations .are "U" shaped dunes with an open end facing upwind. form in areas where there is abundant supply of sand and a constant wind direction. the ridges between the valleys can be carved into a sharp knifeedge ridge. They form in areas where there is a hard ground surface. – Glacial polish . – cover large areas of the land including mountain areas. Landforms produced by mountain glaciers: Cirques . and a constant wind direction. lies at sea level in polar latitudes and rises up to 6000 m in tropical areas.rock that has a smooth surface produced as a result of fine grained material embedded in the glacier acting like sandpaper on the underlying surface.Valleys that once contained glacial ice become eroded into a "U" shape in cross section. Form in areas with abundant sand supply and variable wind direction. – Modern ice sheets cover Greenland and Antarctica.long parallel scratches and grooves that are produced by rocks embedded in the ice scraping against the rock underlying the glacier. at present. Arêtes .crescent-shaped dunes.
and peat swamps. . • Wave-dominated delta – smoothly arcuate. Factors Affecting Delta Formation and Facies: • water and sediment yield of the river • differences in river/sea water densities. • delta front .nonsorted glacial drift deposited directly from melting ice. – much sandier than the other types of delta. • Wave action – Longshore current • a current that moves parallel to a shore • formed from the momentum of breaking waves that approach shore obliquely. • some cases. • usually covered by sandy or pebbly material • usually well sorted sand and pebbles. forming sequence of mudstone and shale • overgrown with vegetation forming salt marshes. • Moraines – linear deposits of till produced by the movement or retreat of glaciers • Glacial Marine drift • Unsorted chaotic deposits of sediments/rocks on seafloor or lakebeds brought by melted glaciers. smooth rocks and shell fragments. or similar feature • quiet waters allow fine silt and clays to settle out of suspension. wave action reworks sediment. – Longshore drift • the movement of sediment along a beach by swash and backwash of Glacial Deposits • Since glaciers are solid they can transport all sizes of sediment. mud. sometimes gravel • Decrease in grain size as you move away from land • General coarsening upward due to progradation Lagoon • shallow salt water body separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank. or algal mats. TRANSITIONAL ENVIRONMENTS Transitional environments are those at or near the transition between the land and the sea. • Glacial Drift – general term for glacial deposits • Till .composed of meandering flood plains. • prodelta . Beach • shore of a body of water formed and washed by waves and tides. Delta • prograding depositional bodies that form at the point where a river drains into a lake or sea. and beach complex. evaporites are formed. buoyancy. coral reef. Types of Deltas • River-dominated – large sediment volume – lobate shape = moderate sediment supply – elongated when sediment supply is large • Tide-dominated – linear features parallel to tidal flow and perpendicular to shore. • Large single rock bodies at the floor of a water body is called a dropstone. cobbles.steeper part. Delta sediments • Sand. salinity • shelf slope and topography • wave and tidal energy acting on the coast • along shore winds and currents. swamps. • tectonics (subsidence) of the receiving basin. accompanied by mud. A till that has undergone diagenesis and has turned into a rock is called a tillite. boulders.Parts of a Delta: • delta plain . coal. from huge house-sized boulders to finegrained material.broadly sloping that grades into the open shelf.
Barrier Reefs – a long narrow coral reef roughly parallel to the shore – separated from it at some distance by a lagoon.waves that approach the shore obliquely. Evolution of reefs • Spit long ridge of sand deposited by longshore current and drift • attached to a land at upstream end. sand and mud. • • MARINE ENVIRONMENT • Shallow marine – Reefs – Continental shelf • Deep marine – Submarine canyons and fans – Pelagic Reefs • • • • • wave-resistant. mound-like structures usually made of fossiliferous carbonates (coral reefs) and/or sand build up on continental shelves Fringing Reefs – coral reef that is directly attached or borders the shore of an island or continent. chert . • carbonates. Tombolo • a sand or gravel bar that connects an island with the mainland or another island. Atoll – continuous or broken circle of coral reef and low coral islands surrounding a central lagoon. • fossils are mostly marine invertebrates Carbonate compensation depth • CCD • Depth where the rate of dissolution and precipitation of carbonates is equal • Below this depth very little or no carbonates • Continental Slope • between the continental shelf and continental shelf and continental rise (oceanic trench) • Continental Rise • between continental slope and abyssal plain • gentle incline and generally smooth topography • may bear submarine canyons and fans • TURBIDITES • Deposited by sediment-laden currents flowing down submarine canyons and fans • Sand and mud • Abyssal Plain • Pelagic open ocean • flat region of the ocean floor • covered with pelagic mud with fine sand layers from nearby turbidites • fine-grained limestones (micrite). Continental Shelf • continuous with the coastal plain sequences of the continents • part of the continental margin that is between the shoreline and the continental slope (~200m).
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