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Sedimentary Structures

Chapter 4

Physical sedimentary structures  Physical (inorganic) structures are sedimentary features formed by physical processes without the influence of organism. They are mechanical structures formed during deposition of the sediments. .  Primary sedimentary structures are the most important.


and encroachment into the lee of an obstacle.  Three basic mechanism can form plane bedding: sedimentation from suspension. They form in practically all sedimentary environments and under a variety of conditions. .Plane bedding  The simplest sedimentary structures is plane bedding. horizontal accretion from a moving bed load.

 It can be form by alteration of light and dark layers such as glacial varves.  Lamination in mud is usually the result of slow steady deposition.Lamination  Finer scale plane bedding (less than 1 cm thick). .

 Absence of lamination in mud is due to flocculation (clumping of clays before they settle) or to secondary bioturbation.  Lack of lamination may be the result of bioturbation. . often by a single hydrodynamic event.  Laminated sands are the results of rapid deposition.

 If they are latter buried and preserved. . they will form sedimentary structures. sediments are transported in a set of structures of the bed called Bedforms.Bedforms generated by unidirectional currents  As soon as flow attains a force sufficient to erode particles from the bed.

 Flume studies have shown that their is a predictable sequence of bedforms that depend on velocity. grain size. .7 mm (coarse or finer) the first feature to form is ripples. depth of flow.  In Sand that is finer than 0.

and their height is less than a few centimeters. Typically their spacing is 10 to 20 cm or less. and finally dunes. which have spacing from 0.  As flow velocity increase the ripples enlarge until they form sand waves. .5 to 10m or more and heights of tens of cm to a meter or more.

dunes are destroyed and the turbulent flow which was out of phase turns into sheetlike flow in phase with the bedform. It forms plane beds.  With increasing flow velocity. greater flow velocity is required to produce the large bedforms. . In deeper currents.

Low dip angles of 10 degrees or less. At higher velocities plane beds are replaced by antidunes of up to 5m spacing. . eventually chutes and pool.

Flow pattern of sediment movement over migrating ripples or dune .

Laboratory flume show the trajectories of sand .


Is produced by migrating sand waves . Develops from migrating Ripples & dunes Tabular cross-strat.Symetrical ripple marks with A distinctive lenticular x-section Trough cross-strat.

Interference pattern form In symmetrical ripples from Two coexisting wave sets In a modern tidal flat.Bedform generated by multidirectional flow Herringbone crossstratification from alternating tidal currents. .

and mud-sized fractions from the asymetrical currents.In tidal regions the most significant features are caused by the mixing of sand. If mixing produces minor mud layer in a sandy substrate the pattern is called flaser bedding. Lenticular bedding occur when sand is trapped in troughs in the mud as sand waves migrate across a muddy substrate. .