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CHAPTER 5

SEDIMENTARY
ROCKS

ROCKS

SEDIMENTARY
Derived from the sedimentum, which
means settling, a reference to solid
material settling out of a fluid.
Deposited on or Near Surface of Earth
by Mechanical or Chemical Processes
Form

from

sediment

(weathered

products)
About 75 percent of all rock outcrops on
the continents

Used to reconstruct much of Earths

history
Clues to past environments
Provide

information

about

transport
Rocks often contain fossils
Economic importance
oCoal
oPetroleum and natural gas
oSources of iron and aluminum

sediment

What Rocks Tell Us


Rock Type
Igneous

Sedimentary

Metamorphic

How Classified
Composition
Texture

What it Tells Us
Tectonic Setting
Cooling History

Chemical
Composition

Surface
Environment

Grain Size

Energy of
Environment

Composition

Original Rock Type

Mineral Makeup

Temperature,
Pressure

Texture

Degree of Change

Environmental Clues in Sedimentary


Rocks
Grain Size - Power of Transport
Medium
Grading - Often Due to Floods
Rounding
Sorting

} Transport, Reworking

Cross-bedding - Wind, Wave or


Current Action

Environmental Clues in
Sedimentary Rocks
Fossils

Salt Water - Corals, Echinoderms


Fresh Water - Insects, Amphibians
Terrestrial - Leaves, Land Animals
Color And Chemistry
Red Beds - Often Terrestrial
Black Shale - Oxygen Poor, Often
Deep Water
Evaporites Arid Climates

SEDIMENT

Sediment is the collective name for loose,


solid particles of mineral that originate from:

1.Weathering and erosion.


2.Precipitation
These particles usually collect in layers on
Earths surface.
Unconsolidated
Detrital sediment particles are classified
according to the size of individual fragments.

Transportation
By gravity, wind, water, or ice
Change in character in proportion
to the distance the sediment is
moved.
Rounding and sorting occurs

Figure: Grain Size Distribution

FIGURE: Detrital rocks commonly have a


variety of different size clasts and sorting.

Deposition

When transported material settles or comes to


rest, deposition occurs.
Deposition also refers to the accumulation of
chemical or organic sediment, such as shells on
the sea floor or plant material on the floor of a
swamp.
The

environment

of

deposition

is

determined by the location in which deposition


occurs.

Preservation
Not

all

sediments

are

preserved

as

sedimentary layers.
In

general,

sediments

continental
are

most

and
likely

marine
to

be

preserved if they are deposited in a


subsiding (sinking) basin and if they are
covered or buried by later sediments.

Lithification

Lithification is the general term for the


processes that convert loose sediment
into sedimentary rock.
Most sedimentary rocks are lithified by a
combination of compaction, which packs
loose sediment grains tightly together,
and

cementation,

in

which

the

precipitation of cement around sediment


grains binds them into a firm, coherent
rock.

The open spaces between grains are


called

pores,

and

in

quiet

environment, a deposit of sand may


have 40% to 50% of its volume as
open pore space. (If the grains were
traveling rapidly and impacting one
another just before deposition, the
percentage of pore space will be less.)

FIGURE: Lithification of sand grains to


become sandstone

TYPES OF SEDIMENTARY ROCKS


Sedimentary rocks are formed from
1.eroded mineral grains
2. minerals precipitated from low-temperature
solution, or
3.consolidation of the organic remains of plants.
These different types of sedimentary rocks are
called, respectively, detrital, chemical, and
organic rocks.

Detrital Sedimentary Rocks

Also referred to as terrigenous clastic rocks


because

they

are

composed

of

clasts

(broken pieces) of mineral derived from the


erosion of the land.
Material is solid particles
Classified by particle size
Common rocks include
oShale (most abundant)
oSandstone
oConglomerate

GRAIN SIZE
Gravel
>256-2 mm

Sand
2- 0.062 mm

Boulder: >256mm
Cobble: 64-256 mm
Pebble: 4-64 mm
Granule: 2-4mm
Fine gravel

Silt
0.062-0.004 mm

Clay
<0.004 mm

Breccia
Coarse-grained sedimentary rock formed by
the

cementation

of

coarse,

angular

fragments.
Form

from

fragments

that

have

accumulated at the base of a steep slope of


rock that is being mechanically weathered
e.g. Landslide deposits
This type of rock is not particularly common.

Conglomerate
Conglomerate is a coarse-grained sedimentary
rock formed by the cementation of rounded
gravel.
It can be distinguished from breccia by the
definite roundness of its particles. Because
conglomerates are coarse-grained.
Gravel

that

is

transported

down

steep

submarine canyons or carried by glacial ice,


however, can be transported tens or even
hundreds of kilometers before deposition.

Figure: Conglomerate

Sandstone

Sandstone is formed by the cementation of sand

grains. Any deposit of sand can lithify to sandstone.


Rivers deposit sand in their channels, and wind

piles up sand into dunes. Waves deposit sand on


beaches and in shallow water. Deep-sea currents
spread sand over the sea floor.
Sandstones show a great deal of variation in

mineral composition, degree of sorting, and degree


of rounding.

Figure: Sandstone

Quartzite
More than 90% of the grains are quartz.
The quartz grains in a quartz sandstone
are usually well-sorted and well-rounded
because they have been transported for
great distances.
Most quartz sandstone was deposited as
beach sand or dune sand.

Figure: Quartz sandstone; more than 90%


of the grains are quartz.

Arkose
A sandstone with more than 25% of the grains

consisting of feldspar is called arkose.


Feldspar grains are preserved in the rock, the original

sediment do not undergo severe chemical weathering,


or the feldspar would have been destroyed.
Most arkoses contain coarse, angular grains, so

transportation distances were probably short.


An arkose may have been deposited within an alluvial

fan.

Figure: Arkose, the grains are mostly


feldspar and quartz

Graywacke
Sandstone in which more than 15% of the

rocks

volume

consists

of

fine-grained

matrix.
Tough and dense, and are generally dark

gray or green.
Most

graywackes

probably

formed

from

sediment-loaded currents that are deposited


in deep water.

Figure: Graywacke; the grains are


surrounded by dark, fine-grained matrix.

The Fine-Grained Rocks


Rocks consisting of fine-grained silt and clay
are called shale, siltstone, claystone, and
mudstone.

Shale
fissil.

Contains both silt and clay


Accumulate on lake bottoms, at the
ends of rivers in deltas, on river flood
plains, and on quiet parts of the deepocean floor.

Figure: Shale with plant


fossils

A rock consisting mostly of silt grains is called

siltstone.
ocoarser-grained than most shales
olack the fissility and laminations of shale.
Claystone is a rock composed predominately of

clay-sized particles but lacking the fissility of


shale.
Mudstone contains both silt and clay, having

the same grain size and smooth feel of shale


but lacking shales laminations and fissility.
Mudstone is massive and blocky, while shale is
visibly layered and fissile.

Chemical Sedimentary Rocks


Chemical

sedimentary

rocks

are

precipitated from a low temperature


aqueous environment.
Chemical

sedimentary

rocks

are

precipitated either directly by inorganic


processes
organisms.

or

by

Chemical

the

actions

rocks

of

include

carbonates, chert, and evaporites.

Carbonate Rocks
-2

Carbonate rocks contain the CO3 ion as part of


their chemical composition.
The two main types of carbonates are
limestone and dolomite.

Limestone
Composed mostly of calcite (CaCO3).
Precipitated either by the actions of organisms or
directly as the result of inorganic processes.
Biochemical limestones are precipitated through
the actions of organisms.
oFormed on continental shelves in warm, shallow water.
oContains fossil remains of organisms preserved in
growth position.
oFormed of broken fragments of algae, corals, and
shells.

oCoquina forms from the cementation of shells and


shell fragments. It has a clastic texture and is coarse
grained.
oChalk is a light-colored, porous, very fine-grained
that

forms

from

the

seafloor

accumulation

of

microscopic marine organisms that drift near the sea


surface.
oCarbonate

Reefs

Corals

are

one

important

example of organisms that are capable of creating


large quantities of marine limestone.

Inorganic limestones are precipitated directly


as the result of inorganic processes.
oOolitic limestone formed by the cementation
of sand-sized ooids, small spheres of calcite
inorganically

precipitated

in

warm,

shallow

seawater.
oTufa is precipitated from solution in the water of
a continental spring or lake, or from percolating
ground water.
oTravertine may form in caves when carbonaterich water loses CO2 to the cave atmosphere.

FIGURE: Dripstone

Figure: Fossiliferous limestone

Dolomite
Refers to both a sedimentary rock and the
mineral that composes it, CaMg(CO3)2.
Often forms from limestone.
Regionally extensive layers of dolomite
Dolomitization
recrystallization

process
of

the

causes
preexisting

limestone.
Original

features

are

during recrystallization.

often

destroyed

Chert

hard,

compact,

fine-grained

sedimentary rock formed almost entirely


of silica, chert occurs in two principal
formsas irregular, lumpy nodules
within

other

rocks

and

as

layered

deposits like other sedimentary rocks.

Evaporites
Rocks formed from crystals that precipitate during
evaporation of water are called evaporites.
Rock gypsum, formed from the mineral gypsum

(CaSO4 2H2O), is a common evaporite.


Rock salt, composed of the mineral halite (NaCl),

may also form if evaporation continues.


Other

less

common

evaporites

include

the

borates, potassium salts, and magnesium salts. All


evaporites have a crystalline texture.

Organic Sedimentary Rocks


Formed as a result of once living
material accumulating to form solid
rock.
The most common organic rock is
coal, which forms when plant material
in

water

saturated

environments

(swamps) die and accumulate to form


peat (Delta, continental environments).
As peat is buried it compresses and
eventually changes to form coal.

Coal

Partial decayed plant material.


Shallow swamps or tropical climate are likely
environments of deposition.
The plant fossils in coal beds include leaves,
stems, tree trunks, and stumps with roots
often extending into the underlying shales.
Develops from peat.

Figure: Plant Fragments Are Often Visible in Coal

THE ORIGIN OF OIL AND GAS

Originate from organic matter in marine sediment.


Environments for this are restricted basins with
poor water circulation, particularly on continental
shelves.
OM

may

partially

decompose, using

up

the

dissolved oxygen in the sediment.


Continued

sedimentation

buries

the

organic

matter and higher temperatures and pressures,


which convert the organic matter to oil and gas.

Figure: Petroleum Traps

Classification of Sedimentary Rocks

SEDIMENTARY
STRUCTURES
Form during or shortly after

deposition of

the sediment but before lithification.


Provide clues
Reveal the orientation, or upward direction,
of the deposit, the geometry of rocks that
have been folded and faulted in tectonically
active regions.

Bedding or Stratification
In geology a bed is the smallest
lithostratigraphic unit or division of a
geologic formation series marked by
Bed
Bedding
Plane

well-defined

divisional

planes

(bedding planes) separating it from


layers above and below.
bedding, a series of visible layers
within rock
Almost Always Present in Sedimentary
Rocks

A bedding plane is a nearly flat surface of


deposition separating two layers of rock.
In geology, the sedimentary structures known
as cross-bedding refer to (near-) horizontal
units that are internally composed of inclined
layers.
In geology, a graded bed is one characterized
by a systematic change in grain or clast size
from the base of the bed to the top.

Bed

Crossbed
s

Bed

Fine
Particle
s
Coarse
Particle
s

Bedding Plane

Mud cracks
opolygonal pattern of cracks formed in very fine-

grained sediment as it dries.


Fossils
oremains of organisms preserved in sedimentary

rock.
olimestones are composed entirely of fossils.
Trace fossils
othe impact of an organismss activities on the

sediment.
oFootprints, trackways, and burrows are the most

common trace fossils.

FIGURE: Development of ripple marks in loose


sediment. (A) Symmetric ripple marks form
beneath waves. (B) Asymmetric ripple marks,
forming beneath a current, are steeper on their
down-current sides.

Figure: Mudcracks

formation

considerable
enough

to

is

body

thickness
be

of

that

mappable,

rock

of

is

large

and

with

characteristics that distinguish it from


adjacent rock units.
A

contact

is

the

boundary

surface

between two different rock types or ages


of rocks. In sedimentary rock formations,
the contacts are usually bedding planes.

Types of depositional
environments

Continental
Transitional
Alluvial
Deltaic
Aeolian
Tidal
Fluvial
Lagoonal
Lacustrine
Beach
Marine
Others
Shallow water marine
Evaporite
environment
Glacial
Deep water marine
environment
Reef

Figure: Sedimentary Environments

Valuable Sedimentary Rocks


Limestone
obuilding stone
ocrushed rock for road construction
ocement for mortar and concrete
oneutralize acid soils in the humid regions
Coal
omajor fuel, for generating electrical
power and for heating.
Gypsum
oPlaster and plaster board
ostabilize the shrink-swell characteristics
of clay-rich soils in some areas.

Rock salt
omanufacture of hydrochloric acid
otable salt
omelting ice on roads.
Chalk
oblackboard chalk,
Diatomite (an accumulation
remains of microscope diatoms.)
ofiltering agent

of

the

siliceous

Clay
oceramics
osewer pipe.
Sulfur
omatches
oFungicides
osulfuric acid
phosphates and nitrates
ofertilizers are extracted
Potassium
osoap manufacture
oheat-resistant cookware and fiberglass
Sodium
obaking soda, washing soda, and soap.

Quartz sandstone
oglass manufacturing and for building
stone.
Many metallic ores, such as the most
common iron ores, have a sedimentary
origin.
The pore space of sedimentary rocks acts
as a reservoir for ground water, crude oil,
and natural gas.