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Textures of Sedimentary Rocks

Texture deals with the size, shape, and arrangement of the component minerals of a rock. It is the microgeometry of the rock.
Factors controlling the textures of sediment and sedimentary rocks:
1. The nature of the source rocks: This determines the original shape of the grains and the mineralogical composition of the original sediment. 2. The strength of the wind or water currents that carry and deposit the sediment: This determines the size of the grains that transported or deposited. 3. Distance and time in transportation process: They effect on shape, roundness, sorting of the grains and also control degree of break down of the grains during the transportation process. 4. Biological activity with the sediment: Burrowing organisms can redistribute sediment after it has been deposited and affect on the original depositional texture. 5. Chemical and physical diagenesis: The texture may be changed during diagenesis that: grains are compacted, new minerals may precipitate in the pore spaces, some minerals may alter to produce new minerals, and some minerals may recrystallize.

Types of Sedimentary rock Textures:

a)Clastic texture: It is found in the rocks whose are formed from broken or fragmented grains (detritus) that are emplaced as solid particles in the framework of the rock. This texture characterizes the terrigenous (mechanical, detrital) sedimentary rocks such as conglomerates, sandstones and mudrocks. Also some biochemical sedimentary rocks exhibit clastic textures, for example, fossiliferous limestones (coquina) which composed of cemented shells and shell fragments

b) Crystalline (nonclastic) texture It is formed by chemical precipitates from solution or produced by recrystallization or alteration of preexisting materials. It shows an interlocking aggregate of crystals. It may be collectively referred to as diagenetic texture. This texture characterizes the chemical sedimentary rocks such as gypsum, rock salt, some limestones.

C) Other Sedimentary textures:

Biogenic texture (produced by organisms)

Oolitic Texture

Elements of descriptions of Clastic Texture Main fabric elements. Grain size (mechanical analysis) and Sorting. Degree of roundness of the grains. Degree of sphericity of the grains. Surface texture Grain fabric. Textural maturity of the rock. Porosity of the rock. Permeability of the rock.

1. Main fabric elements (Composition)

The sedimentary rock of clastic texture is composed of four main components: a. Detrital grains Depositional fabric components b. Matrix Depositional / Diagenetic fabric component c. Pore space d. Cement Diagenetic fabric component
a. Detrital grains - They form the framework of the sediments and rocks and are transported to the site of deposition. -The most common grain types are:Quartz, Feldspar, and Rock Fragment).
- The framework is formed of gravel-sized materials (>2mm) in conglomerates and breccias, and of sand-sized materials (21/16 mm) in sandstones, and of mud-sized materials (<1/16mm) in mudstone rocks

b. Matrix -It is the fine-grained material located between most of the grains and deposited with them. - In most case, both grains and matrix have the same mineralogical composition.

Pore Space

c. Cements

-They are authigenic (chemically precipitated) minerals formed after the deposition of the sediment and during diagenesis. -They are precipitated in the pore space between the grains and partially or completely filled them.. -Cementation is the principal chemical process that produces lithification of sediment. They are common in well-sorted sandy and gravelly sediments. Pore -Common cementing minerals : Space (quartz, calcite, iron oxides).
d. Pore spaces

- They represent the holes in the rock. - It is the site of receive and store the migrated fluids. -They may be: primary, having existed immediately during sedimentation, or secondary, having been produced by mineral dissolution or fracturing during diagenesis.

Relation of grains and matrix. If the sediment and rocks are sorted and the grains touch each other throughout, and there is little matrix, the rock is said to be grain supported. ex.: Beach and wind sands, stream flood sediments If the rock is poorly sorted and the grains are separated by a fine-grained materials "grains float in the matrix", the rock is said to be matrix supported. ex.: Glacial deposits, deep turbidite sediments

matrix supported fabric

grain supported fabric

2. Grain Size
The basic descriptive element of all sedimentary rocks is the grain size.
Clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks are classified on the basis of the predominant grain size of clasts in the rock.

Several grain-size scales have been proposed:

1. Udden-Wentworth grain-size scale: It is a geometric one (i.e. , , 1, 2, 4, 8, mm.) . 2. Krumbein phi scale: It is an arithmetic scale( i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4,..) of phi units (), where phi is the logarithmic transformation of the Udden- Wentworth scale: (phi) = -log2 D where D is the grain size in mm.

Name of Particle

Size Range mm >256 mm 64 - 256 mm 4 - 64 mm 2 - 4 mm 1 - 2 mm 0.5 - 1 mm

phi () Scale <-8 -6 to -8 -2 to -6 -1 to -2 0 to -1 1 to 0

Loose Sediment

Consolidated Rock Conglomerate or Breccia (depends on rounding)

Boulder Cobble Pebble Granule Very Coarse Sand Coarse Sand


Medium Sand
Fine Sand Very Fine Sand Coarse Silt

0.25 - 0.5 mm
0.125 - 0.25 mm 0.0625-0.125 mm 0.031-0.0625 mm

2 to 1
3 to 2 4 to 3 5 to 4



Medium Silt
Fine Silt Very Fine Silt Clay

0.016 - 0.031 mm
0.008 - 0.016 mm 0.004 - 0.008 mm <0.004 mm

6 to 5
7 to 6 8 to 7 >8




Claystone, Mudstone, Shale

Grain-size Analysis ( Mechanical Analysis of Sediments)

Mechanical analysis means the quantitative expression of the size frequency distribution of particles in clastic (granular) sediments. It is the determination, by weight, of the size-grades present in a sample.
Type of sample Sample grade Methods of analysis

1. Unconsolidated, friable sediment

Boulder, Cobbles, Pebbles

Granules, Sands Silt, clay

Manual measurement of grains with a tape measure

Sieving analysis Pipette and hydrometer techniques: Sedimentation methods, which measure the settling velocity of grains through a column of water Manual measurement of individual grains

Boulder, Cobbles, Pebbles 2. Consolidated sediment Granules, Sands Silt, Clay

Thin-section measurement under microscope with an eyepiece with graduated scale and point counter. Electronic microscope with high magnification

Sieve analysis
Sieve analysis is performed to determine the distribution of the coarser, larger-sized particles

Hydrometer and Pipette Analysis

The hydrometer method is used to determine the distribution of the finer particles.

Grain Size Data

1. Grain size class: the size of holes on which the weighed sediment was trapped in a stack of sieves. 2. Weight (grams): the weight, in grams, of sediment trapped on the sieve denoted by the grain size class.
1. Grain Size Class (f) 2. Weight (grams) 0.40 3. Weight (%) 1.3 4. Cumulative Weight (%) 1.3

3. Weight (%): the weight of sediment trapped expressed as a percentage of the weight of the total sample. 4. Cumulative Weight (%): the sum of the weights expressed as a percentage (column 3).


0.5 1.0 1.5

2.76 4.92 5.96

8.9 15.9 19.3

14.8 30.7 50

2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Total:

4.92 2.76 1.42 0.40 30.92

15.9 8.9 4.6 1.3 100

85.2 94.1 98.7 100

Ex. 30.7% is the percentage of the sample that is coarser than 1.0

Graphic presentation of grain-size distribution a. Histogram

A bar diagram in which the grain size is plotted along the X-axis (abscissa) of the graph and the particle frequency (weight percent of each size class) is plotted as bars along the Y-axis (ordinate). It is useful for depicting the general textural features of a sedimentary deposit.

b. Frequency Curve
In this graph, the variation in grain sizes is indicated by a smooth line diagram instead of bars. The frequency (weight percent) of each size class is plotted as a point in midway between the size class limits and these points are then connected by smooth curve.

c. Frequency Cumulative Curve:

It is generated by plotting grain size against cumulative weight percent (the sum of all percentages of the preceding coarser size classes). It is plotted either on arithmetic ordinate scale and S-shaped curve results, or on a log probability ordinate scale and a straight line results. The abscissa scale consists of phi units increasing towards the right.

Plots of samples which are made up of normally distributed subpopulations plot as a series of straight line segments, each segment representing a normally distributed subpopulation.

Cumulative curves are extremely useful because: - many sample curves can be plotted on the same graph. - Calculation of statistical parameters is easy. - The slope of the line is a function of the sorting of the sample (The steeper the slope of the line, the better the sorting, as a major percentage of sediment occurs in one class).

Grain size parameters 1. Mode It is the size grade representing the most abundant class in the population. It is the highest point (peak) of the frequency curve.

Bimodal Sediment that contains two abundant grain sizes

Unimodal Sediment that contains one dominant grain size

2. Median -it is the size of midpoint of the grain size distribution that half the grains (by weight) are finer and half coarser. - It is the grain size corresponds to the point where 50% line intersect the cumulative curve".

3. Mean is the arithmetic average of all particle sizes in a sample.

4. Sorting It is a measure of the range of grain sizes present. It is a measure of spreading of the grain-size distribution. Sorting is one of the most useful parameters since it reflects energy levels of the depositional medium to separating grains of different classes.

On a histogram or frequency curve

ill sorted

Moderately sorted

Well sorted

Factors controlling Sorting of the sediment:

Sediment source: grain sizes of sediment originated from granite will be different from sediment supplied by reworking of a well sorted sandstone. Grain size: Coarse sediments (gravels) and fine sediments (silts and clays) are generally poorly sorted, While Sand-sized sediments, which are more easily transported, are more sorted by wind and water. Depositional mechanism: Sediments which are deposited quickly from storm or from viscous flow (mud flow) are generally poorly sorted; - sediments transported and deposited by wind or water as sand of deserts, beaches and shallow shelf seas, are much better sorted. Energy of current: High velocity currents can separate the fine and medium grains from the coarser grains and more sorted deposits are formed. Beach sands and dune sands tend to be well-sorted. Mountain streams, usually show poorly-sorted sediment on the bottom of the stream channel. Glacial till, because it is deposited in place as glacial ice melts, and is not transported by water, tends to show poor sorting.

5. Skewness
It is a measure of the symmetry of the distribution. Negative skew: If the distribution has a coarse tail (excess coarse material. No skew: if the distribution is symmetrical and normal Positive skew: if there is a fine tail, i.e. excess of fine material.

Skewness is also a reflection of the depositional process: Beach sands tend to have a negative skew since fine components have been removed by the wave action. River sands are often positively-skewed, since silt and clay is not removed by the currents.

6. Kurtosis
The degree of peakedness or departure from the "normal" frequency or cumulative curve. Leptokurtic curves are excessively peaked (center is better sorted than ends). Platykurtic curves are flat-peaked (ends are better sorted than center). Mesokurtic curves are "normal" (a normal bell shaped curve).

Formulae for calculation grain size statistical parameters by graphical methods (Folk & Ward Formulae)

Folk and Ward (1957) introduced the Graphic Method to estimate the various statistical parameters describing a grain size distribution using only percentiles taken from cumulative frequency curves. 20 is referred to as the 20th percentile of the sample. In the example 20 is 0.86

Calculation of statistical parameters by these equation is easy and more accurate.

Graphic Mean (M): The. arithmetic average of the distribution

Values from To
-1 f

gravel very coarse sand coarse sand medium sand fine sand very fine sand silt clay

f16 = -0.59f f50 = 0.35f

-1 +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +8

0f +1 f +2 f +3 f +4 f +8 f f

f84 = 1.27f

-0.59 + 0.35 + 1.27 = 0.34f M 3 coarse sand

Inclusive Graphic Standard Deviation (D): (Sorting)

Also referred to as the sorting coefficient or dispersion coefficient of a sediment. A measure of how much variation in grain size is present within a sample.

Values from


0.35 0.50 0.71

0.35 f
0.50 f 0.71 f 1.00 f

very well sorted

well sorted moderately well sorted moderately sorted

2.00 4.00

2.00 f
4.00 f f

poorly sorted
very poorly sorted extremely poorly sorted

Inclusive Graphic Skewness (S):

Values from



+0.30 +0.10 - 0.10 - 0.30

+0.10 - 0.10 - 0.30 - 1.00

Strongly positive skewed

Positive skewed Near symmetrical Negative skewed Strongly negative skewed

Graphic Kurtosis (K):

Values from 0.41 0.67 0.90

To 0.67 0.90 1.11

Equal very platykurtic platykurtic mesokurtic

1.50 3.00


very leptokurtic extremely leptokurtic

Uses and Interpretation of grain-size analysis

1. It use to define the type and classification of clastic sedimentary rocks (Terminology of Clastic Sedimentary Rocks) Some ternary Diagrams are used to classify the clastic rocks according to the mixture of grain sizes making them up).

Assuming that more than 5 percent of the rock is larger than sand (gravel

Assuming that less than 5 percent of the rock is larger than sand (gravel

2. Grain-size analysis can be used to distinguish between sediments of different environments. By using some constructed binary diagram, such as sorting plotted against skewness, it has been possible to distinguish between beach, dune and river sands. Example Beaches tend to have sands that are better sorted and with more common coarse tail skewness. While river sand tend to be relatively poorly sorted and rich in fine particles (+ve or fine tailed skewness). 3. It can give information on the kind of processes responsible for transportation and deposition of sediments. 4. Combined with studies of sedimentary structures, they can be most useful in facies description.

3. Roundness
Roundness is concerned with the degree of abrasion of a clastic particle as shown by the sharpness and curvature of its edges and corners. True Roundness expressed by Wadell (1932) as: The ratio of the average radius of curvature of the corners of the particle to the radius of the maximum inscribed sphere

r 1 r

Where N is the number of corners.

Sedimentary particles can be classified according to roundness into

Factors affecting Roundness

1. Mineralogical composition: - Resistant mineral for abrasion (e.g. quartz) have roundness less than that of soft mineral such as calcite 2. Distance and duration of transportation from the source: - Short distance and duration of transportation Angular grains - Long distance and duration of transportation Rounded grains 3. Agent of transportation: - Beach and desert sands are well rounded grains - River and glacial sands are less rounded grains 4. Grain Size: -Degree of roundness of coarse grains is more that of fine grains with the same mineral composition. 5. Diagenesis processes: - high degree of corrosion and solution decreases roundness of grains

4. Sphericity
Sphericity is a measure of the proximity in shape of particle to a sphere. It refers to the relation between the three axes (length, width, thickness) of particle which define the morphology and geometric shape. Quantitatively Sphericity (Wadells Sphericity) (Y):


Where VS is the volume of the particle and VC is the volume of the circumscribing sphere.

Sphericity (shape) is a function of: - Original shapes of grains - Transportability of grains - Velocity of settling of grains

The Shape (Sphericity) of the clastic grains can be determined from a graphical representation diagram (Zingg Diagram) which based on various ratios of dLong, dInterm and dShort
Bladed: L>I>S Think of a knife blade. Roller: L>(I=S) Think of a rolling pin.

Discoidal: (L=I)>S Think of a CD.

Spherical: L=I=S Think of a ball, or a cube

In general, river gravels are relatively compact whereas beach gravels tend to be more platy or disc-shaped.

5. Grain Fabric
The term fabric of grains refers to their arrangement, orientation and packing, and the nature of the boundaries between them. It reflects the transport and depositional conditions.
1. Orientation It is the arrangement of coarse grains in preferred orientation aligned with their long axes and parallel to the bedding surface It is produced by the interaction of the unidirectional current (wind, ice, water) and the sediment. One common orientation fabric of river-deposited pebbles is imbrication, where the pebbles overlaps each other, dipping in an upstream direction.

no preferred fabric.

2. Packing of Grains It refers to the arrangement, spacing and density patterns of clastic grains in a sedimentary rock. It is a function of grain size, sorting, grain shape, and degree of compaction.

Well sorted, less compacted sediment with high porosity, packing is loose and approaches the cubic packing of spheres.

Poorly sorted, compacted sediment with low porosity, packing is close and tight as the rhombohedral arrangement of sphere

3. Grain Contact Compaction forces the grains into closer contact and causes change in the types of grain to grain contact.

Tangential Contact (grains are just

touching each other.)

Matrix (clays, etc.)

Sutured Contact (a mutual stylolitic interpenetration of grains) Long Contact

Concavo-Convex Contact (one grain has penetrated another)

(modified from Blatt, 1982)

6. Pore Spaces (Porosity)

Pore spaces (voids) represent the holes and pore system between the grains. It is the site of receive and store the migrated fluids. The voids are rarely empty and are partially or wholly filled with matrix or cement. Two important aspects of sedimentary rocks are their porosity and permeability.
Framework detrital grains Pore Space

Rock Porosity
Porosity is the percent of void space in a rock or sediment. It is a measure of the potential volume of fluids that can be stored in a rock. The connected porosity, in conjunction with permeability, dictates the ultimate quantity of the reservoir.
Rock matrix Water

Oil and/or gas

Absolute porosity refers to the total void space, whereas effective porosity is the percentage of interconnected pore space (throats) and it is more important.

Interconnected pore space Non-interconnected pore space

volume of pore space (bulk volume - solid volume) Absolute porosity = --------------------------- X 100 = ------------------------------------- X 100 ( % of total void volume of rock Bulk volume space)

Effective porosity = (% of interconnected pore Space (throats )

Vp Vb

V b - V ma Vb

Interconnected pore volume -------------------------------------Bulk volume

X 100

Types of Porosity
a) Primary porosity - developed at the time of deposition - includes intergranular, intragranular and intercrystalline porosity.
b) Secondary porosity - developed after deposition during diagenetic processes by dissolution and by Earth stresses. - includes: intragranular, molds, vugs, fractures, microchannels Fracture Intergranular pore Cement Dissolution pore




Intragranular pore


Factors that affect Porosity

The original porosity of a sediment depends on sizes, shapes and packing of the grains, and also on compaction and cementation processes and other processes.

A. Primary factors that affect Porosity:

The more densely packed the particles the lower the porosity.

Very Angular WellRounded

In general, the better sorted the sediment the greater the porosity. In well sorted sands fine grains are not available to fill the pore spaces.

Very Well Sorted

Well Sorted

Moderately Sorted

Poorly Sorted

Very Poorly Sorted


Grain Size
There are some indirect relationships between size and porosity. But in general: Fine sand is angular, with sharp edges, and the edges will break under the load pressure and become more compacted (more tightly packed with lower porosity). Coarse sand is better rounded and less prone to breakage under load; therefore the porosity is higher than that of fine sand.

B. Secondary (diagenetic) factors that affect Porosity: Cementation

Precipitation of new minerals from pore waters causes cementation of the grains and acts to fill the pore spaces, reducing porosity.

If pore waters are undersaturated with respect to the minerals making up a sediment then some volume of mineral material is lost to solution. Dissolution is the most effective means of creating secondary porosity. Quartz is highly resistance to dissolution. Feldspars and carbonate grains and cement are less resistance to dissolution than quartz leaving some pore spaces in sandstones.
Partially Dissolved Feldspar

Quartz Detrital Grain Dissolution of Feldspar grain. This is Secondary porosity

Compaction & Burial depth -The compaction due to the weight of overlying deposits, reducing porosity -Freshly deposited mud may have 70% porosity but with increasing burial depth the porosity of sediment decreases. (burial under a 1 km. of sediment reduces porosity to 5 or 10%).

Pressure solution
The solubility of mineral grains increases under an applied stress (such as burial load, compaction) and the process of solution under stress is termed Pressure Solution. The solution takes place at the grain contacts where the applied stress is greatest. Pressure solution results in a reduction in porosity that the dissolved materials precipitate elsewhere forming a cement and filling the voids

Fracturing of existing rocks creates a small increase in porosity. Fracturing is particularly important in producing porosity in rocks with low primary porosity.

Clay formation
Clays may form by the chemical alteration of preexisting minerals after burial. Feldspars are particularly common clay-forming minerals. Clay minerals are very fine-grained and may accumulate in the pore spaces, reducing porosity.

Intergranular pore Kaolinite

Quartz detrital grain

In general, the primary porosity increases as the grain size increases, the sediment is better sorted and more loosely packed, with little cement and the clay content decreases.
Sediment of angular grains, poorly sorted, highly compacted, closely packed and cemented have low porosity. The clean, well-sorted, loosely packed sands of beaches and eolian dunes can have porosities in excess of 50%.

7. Permeability
Permeability is the ability of sediment to transmit fluids. It is a measure of how fast the fluid can travel through the reservoir rock. Fluids can move along grain boundaries or along fractures.

Permeability depends on the shape and size of the pores and pore interconnections, the effective porosity, the grain size, degree of sorting, cementation, the properties of the fluid itself.

Permeability & Grain size

Larger grains have high permeability than small grains.

Permeability & burial depth - Cementation - Clay formation - Compaction -Pressure solution All act to reduce permeability

Permeability & Sorting

Well sorted sands have high permeability

Poorly sorted sands have low permeability

Directional permeability
Permeability is not necessarily isotropic (equal in all directions). Permeability can vary greatly depending on orientation (e.g. vertical permeability may be far lower than horizontal permeability) for the same rock, especially if micas are abundant. Permeability may also be strongly influenced by cross-bedding and other sedimentary structures. Fractures are commonly aligned in the same direction, greatly enhancing permeability in the direction that is parallel to the fractures.
Direction of low permeability Direction of high permeability

Permeability & Porosity

In general, permeability increases with primary porosity. The larger and more abundant the pore spaces the greater the permeability. Pore spaces must be well connected to enhance permeability.

Porosity and Permeability of Different Rock Types

Rock Type
Gravel Coarse- to fine grained sand Fine-grained sand & silt Sandstone, mod. cemented Fractured Shale Unfractured Shale

Very High High Moderate Mod - Low Low Very Low

Very High High Mod - Low Low Low Very Low

8. Textural Maturity
It reflects the relation between the texture of the sediment (i.e. grain size, sorting, roundness, fabric of grains) and transportation process. The longer sediment is transported, the more time it has to become well-sorted and better rounded. Textural maturity also largely reflects the depositional processes. Super-mature sediment: are very good sorted, well rounded, with no matrix (grain supported fabric), ex.: Beach and wind sands Mature sediment: are moderate to good sorted, rounded to sub-rounded, with little matrix (fluvial deposits, stream flood sediments) Immature sediment: are poorly sorted, angular grains, with much matrix (matrix supported fabric). ex.: Glacial and, deep turbidite sediments.
poorly sorted, angular grains, with much matrix very good sorted, well rounded, with no matrix

Immature sediment

Super-mature sediment

Minerals of Sedimentary Rock

Sedimentary rocks can derive from any existing rock (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary) and precipitate from fluids. Their composition, therefore, can be highly diverse. Allogenic minerals: - are formed elsewhere and transported into the area of deposition. -They are mechanically emplaced in the sediment at the time of accumulation. They are of detrital origin
Authigenic minerals: - are formed at the site of deposition, either by direct chemical precipitation or by later diagenetic processes and have crystalline texture

The essential minerals and components of clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks are: Quartz
I.detrital quartz: -is the most common mineral in terrigenous sediments ( about 65% of the minerals in sandstones, 30% in shales, and <5% in carbonate rocks. -derives from granitic rocks and acidic gneisses and schists. II. Authigenic silica: chemically precipitated as opal, chalcedony and chert and silica cement

- They form an average of 10-15% of sandstones, but may be >50% as in arkose. - In shales they account for <5%, and in carbonate rocks <1%. - K-feldspar (orthoclase, microcline) is more common than plagioclase - They generally alter to clay minerals

Lithic (rock) fragments

- Fragments of different rocks can be found in most sedimentary rocks. Extraformational, derived from outside the area of sedimentation, including fragments of igneous,metamorphic, or sedimentary rocks (sandstones, shales, siltstones). Intraformational fragments, derived from erosion of rocks within the area of sedimentation (including fragments of carbonate and phosphate rocks and mudstones). -They highly found in conglomerate, breccia, and sandstones.

Clay minerals
- are the main component in mudstones and shales, - occur as matrix in sandstones and conglomerates, - derived from weathering or alteration of aluminosilicate minerals, and then transported and deposited), or precipitated from solution in pore spaces.

Other sedimentary minerals

Carbonate minerals - A group of minerals (i.e. calcite, aragonite, dolomite) precipitate directly or by organisms from seawater. - They found as rock fragment and skeletal grains or as cementing materials (authigenic minerals) in some clastic rocks. Phosphate minerals: - A group of phosphate minerals precipitate directly or by organisms from seawater. - They found as lithic and skeletal grains or as cementing materials in some clastic rocks.

Evaporite Minerals - A group of minerals, the common ones are gypsum and halite -Chemical precipitate from saline solution under arid conditions. - They found as cementing materials or as detrital grains reworked by winds, waves and currents, transported and resedimented in clastic deposits.

Other sedimentary minerals

Iron oxides and sulfides -Chemical precipitate from solution (e.g. hematite) - Found as cementing materials or as detrital grains. Volcanic debris - Glass and other pyroclastic material incorporated into sediments. Organic materials - found in some clastic rocks such as black shales, and deposited in restricted reduce environment. Heavy minerals- (accessory minerals) -account for <1% of most sedimentary rocks. - Most are silicates and oxides that are resistant to abrasion and chemical weathering. - Most have high specific gravity (2.8-3.0), compared to quartz (2.6). - Rutile, apatite, and tourmaline are common in igneous terrains; -garnet, epidote and staurolite characterize metamorphic terrains

Mineralogical Maturity
Mineralogical maturity reflects the weathering processes in the source area and the degree and extent of reworking and transportation. The longer a mineral is in the weathering and transportation cycles of sedimentary rock forming processes, the more likely it is to break down to a more stable mineral or disappear altogether. Mineralogically supermature sediments -consist entirely of minerals that are stable near the surface (e.g. Quartz) -are the end-product of intense weathering and transportation for long time where, all unstable grains have been removed (e.g. feldspar and rock fragments

Mineralogically immature sediments -consist of a high proportion of unstable rock fragments and minerals as feldspar. -they have been rapidly transported and deposited with little reworking or located close to their source area

Sandstone mineralogy related to time, climate and transport distance


Lithics, Feldspars Quartz


Feldspars Quartz

Quartz Feldspars Quartz Feldspars



Quartz Quartz

Classification of Sedimentary Rocks

I. On the basis of the mode and process of formation (physical, chemical and biological)

1. Terrigenous (clastic, detrital) sedimentary Rocks

are those consisting of fragments (clasts) of pre-existing rocks, which have been transported and deposited by physical processes. The chief constituents include: Clay minerals, Quartz, Feldspars, rock fragments and Micas On the basis of grain size, we recognized three main kinds: - Coarse-grained clastic rocks: conglomerate & Sedimentary Breccia - Medium-grained clastic rocks: sandstones -Fine-grained clastic rocks: siltstone, claystone, shale




2. Biochemical and organic sedimentary rocks

They consist of organic fragments such as shells and bones that: - derived from materials dissolved in water by biochemical and biological mechanisms (i.e. limestones, dolomites, phosphate deposits, .. or -formed by the accumulation of organic material in situ (coal).

Chalk Coral L.S. Fossiliferous L.S.

3. Chemical sedimentary rocks:

They are formed by direct chemical precipitation from water including Evaporites cherts, ironstones and some limestones.


Rock Salt

4. Volcanclastic sediments:
They consist of rock fragments and materials derived from penecontemporaneous volcanic activity e.g. tuffs.

II. According to provenance (source of the rock), sedimentary rocks are also divided into:
1. Extrabasinal rocks: are formed from particles derived from outside the basin of deposition by weathering and erosion of land masses. The particles may travel long distances to reach and rest in the basin. They include the terrigenous rocks such as conglomerates, sandstones, shales,... 2. Intrabasinal Rocks: are formed and remained in the basin in which they accumulate their constituents were derived from within the basin of deposition. They include chemically and biochemically precipitated and organic sediments such as carbonates, evaporites, carbonaceous rocks. 3.Pyroclastic rocks: - formed from pyroclastic debris originate from volcanic source such as: agglomerates, tuffs, volcanic breccia.

Detrital sedimentary rocks

Conglomerate and breccia Both are composed of particles greater than 2mm in diameter Conglomerate consists largely of rounded gravels Breccia is composed mainly of large angular particles not transported as far Mountain rivers, rapidly eroding coasts, glacial and landslide deposits


medium-grained detrital rocks made up of sand grains (2 1/16 mm) dominantly of Quartz and Feldspars named and classified according to grain size, texture, and composition into four major types

Mudrocks - They are finer-grained sedimentary rocks include shale, siltstone, claystone, and/or mudstone - They are most abundant sedimentary rocks, accounts for about 65-75% of them Shale - contains both silt- (quartz and mica) and clay (clay minerals)-sized particles with a notable presence of thin laminations along which rock easily splits (fissility) Siltstone - primarily silt-sized particles of quartz, feldspar and clay minerals Claystone - primarily clay-sized particles of clay minerals and mica Mudstone similar to shale but more massive & blocky, and lacks shale fissility

Common chemical sedimentary rock

Inorganic Limestone:
- formed by chemical precipitation of calcite and/or aragonite (CaCO3) from water - Travertine: can be found in caves and hot springs -oolitic limestone: Forms in warm climates from Water must be supersaturated in calcium carbonate Dolomite like limestone but Mg substitutes for Ca in calcite and changed to dolomite mineral CaMg(CO3)2


Oolitic limestone

They are formed from precipitation from seawater or a saline lake Have crystalline texture Examples include gypsum, Rock salt (halite),

Gypsum is less soluble precipitates out when ~75% of the water has evaporated

Rock Salt is very soluble precipitates out when ~90% of the water has evaporated

Microcrystalline quartz or chalcedony (silica) Silica comes from radiolaria and diatoms Includes flint and jasper (banded form is called agate) May have precipitated from seawater or originated as a biochemical sediment



Common Biochemical sedimentary rocks

Fossiliferous (organic) limestones: are composed of calcium carbonate shells and skeletal fragments of different organisms (corals, mollusc, echinoids,) cemented together by cementing materials or finegrained calcareous matrix. Reefal limestones: are formed by growth of calcareous skeleton of some organism in situ forming a calcareous reef (i.e. coral limestones, algal limestones,..)

Chalk: is a white, very fine-grained limestones composed of calcareous shells of microorganisms such as foraminifera and planktonic algae (coccoliths) and is mostly deposited in deep seawater.

Phosphates: are composed of phosphatic shell and skeletal

fragments, bone remains, fish remains and other phosphatic materials precipitated from seawater. These materials are cemented together by different cementing materials forming phosphate rocks. They are used as fertilizers.

Organic Sedimentary Rocks

Coal : is formed when the plant materials are accumulated in an environment with little oxygen (as bottom of swamp) and rapidly buried by sediments to prevent their decaying. Increasing (P) from the weight of overlying sediments and (Temp.) combine to transform the plant material into gradually changing forms of coal (coalification process).

Different rank of coal can be formed with increasing of : Peat ----- lignite ----- bituminous coal ----- anthracite more hardness, more carbon content, more dark colour

(20 25 %)

(10 15 %)

(65 75 %)