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Textbook: Introduction to Clastic Sedimentology

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Topics to be covered:

1. Grain Texture (fundamental descriptors of granular material)

Grain size
Grain shape
Porosity and permeability
Grain orientation

2. Classification of terrigenous clastic rocks.

3. Unidirectional fluid flow and sediment transport
Characteristics of unidirectional flows

Simple fluid flow

Fluid gravity flows

Sediment transport
Modes of transport

Initiation of transport
4. Bed forms and stratification under unidirectional flows
Bed forms
The sequence of bed forms
Bed form stability fields

Cross-stratification formed by bed forms.

Origin of cross-stratification
Cross-stratification and bed forms.
5. Flow, bed forms and stratification under oscillatory and
combined flows
Characteristics of gravity waves
Bed forms and stratification under symmetrically
oscillating currents

Bed forms and stratification under combined flows

The enigma of Hummocky Cross-stratification

Clastic Sedimentology:

The study of sediment and sedimentary

rocks that are made up of particles that are
the solid products of weathering at or near
the Earth’s surface.

Gravel Sand Mud (silt and clay)

Conglomerate Sandstone Siltstone and Shale

Purpose of the course:

To introduce terminology and fundamental concepts for
the description and interpretation of clastic sediment and
sedimentary rocks.
Why study clastic sediment?

Sedimentary rocks make up only 7.9% of the Earth’s crust.

66% of the surface of the Earth is covered by sediment or
sedimentary rocks.
Humans interact with the Earth largely at or near its surface.
At the same time they…..

Hide garbage and other waste

material in it.

Modify its physical and chemical properties so that it is no

longer useable by them.

It is important to understand the various properties of the

sedimentary cover and have systematic methods for describing
these properties.
Sedimentary rocks record the history of changing
environments on Earth.

Based on the recognition of the signature of changing

environments over time, as preserved in the rock record.

Environmental interpretation of rocks

Age of rocks

= Earth History
Large scale cross-bedding in 240 = windblown sand dunes; the
million year old rocks in the Central US was a desert at that
Central US. time.
Environmental interpretation:

The present is the key to the past.

By examining the characteristics of various environments on Earth

today we can interpret the environments in which ancient sediments
were deposited.