Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Chapter 6 Sedimentary Rocks—The Archives of Earth History

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 Sedimentary Rocks—The Archives of Earth History"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 Sedimentary Rocks—The Archives of Earth History
-two types: clastic and chemical: a. clastic: sandstone, shale, etc b. chemical: limestone, dolomite, evaporites -distinguish by: grain size, sorting, rounding, sedimentary structures -sedimentary rocks contain fossils- telling relative age of rocks -occur in many environments: terrestrial, transitional, marine Fluvial (streams): braided, meandering Deltas: 3 types: bird foot, tidal, wave dominated Deep marine: oozes, clays, turbidites Paleogeography: employ all these tools to determine what environment was like when these sediments were deposited

2 History from Sedimentary Rocks
How do we know whether sedimentary rocks were deposited on continents—river floodplains or desert sand dunes? at the water's edge? in the sea? Sedimentary rocks preserve evidence of surface depositional processes also, many contain fossils These things give clues to the depositional environment Depositional environments are specific areas or environments where sediment is deposited

3 Investigating Sedimentary Rocks
Observation and data gathering visit rock exposures (outcrops) carefully examine textures composition fossils (if present) thickness relationships to other rocks Preliminary interpretations in the field For example: red rocks may have been deposited on land whereas greenish rocks are more typical of marine deposits (caution: exceptions are numerous)

4 Investigating Sedimentary Rocks
More careful study of the rocks microscopic examination chemical analyses fossil identification interpretation of vertical and lateral facies relationships compare with present-day sediments Make environmental interpretation Derived from weathering of existing Igneous, Metamorphic or Sedimentary rocks 2 types of Sedimentary rocks: detrital and chemical

5 1. Composition of Detrital Rocks
Detrital= particles eroded from existing rocks Very common minerals in detrital rocks: quartz, feldspars, and clay minerals Only calcite is very common in limestones Detrital rock composition tells about source rocks, not transport and deposition Quartz sand may have been deposited in a river system on a beach or in sand dunes

6 2. Composition of Chemical Sedimentary Rocks
Chemical= precipitate from seawater; or in swamps Composition of chemical sedimentary rocks is more useful in revealing environmental information Limestone is deposited in warm, shallow seas although a small amount also originates in lakes Evaporites such as rock salt and rock gypsum indicate arid environments where evaporation rates were high Coal originates in swamps and bogs on land

7 Grain Size Detrital grain size gives some indication
of the energy conditions during transport and deposition High-energy processes such as swift-flowing streams and waves are needed to transport gravel Conglomerate must have been deposited in areas where these processes prevail Sand transport also requires vigorous currents Silt and clay are transported by weak currents and accumulate only under low-energy conditions as in lakes and lagoons

8 Sorting and Rounding Sorting and rounding are two textural features
of detrital sedimentary rocks that aid in determining depositional processes Sorting refers to the variation in size of particles making up sediment or sedimentary rocks It results from processes that selectively transport and deposit sediments of particular sizes

9 Sorting If the size range is not very great,
the sediment or rock is well sorted If they have a wide range of sizes, they are poorly sorted Wind has a limited ability to transport sediment so dune sand tends to be well sorted Glaciers can carry any sized particles, because of their transport power, so glacier deposits are poorly sorted

10 Rounding Rounding is the degree to which
detrital particles have their sharp corners and edges warn away by abrasion Gravel in transport is rounded very quickly as the particles collide with one another Sand becomes rounded with considerably more transport

11 Rounding and Sorting A deposit Angular, poorly sorted gravel
of well rounded and well sorted gravel Angular, poorly sorted gravel

12 Sedimentary Structures
Sedimentary structures are features visible at the scale of an outcrop that formed at the time of deposition or shortly thereafter and are manifestations of the physical and biological processes that operated in depositional environments Structures seen in present-day environments or produced in experiments help provide information about depositional environments of rocks with similar structures

13 Bedding Sedimentary rocks generally have bedding or stratification
Individual layers less than 1 cm thick are laminations common in mudrocks Beds are thicker than 1 cm common in rocks with coarser grains

14 Graded Bedding Some beds show an upward gradual decrease
in grain size, known as graded bedding Graded bedding is common in turbidity current deposits which form when sediment-water mixtures flow along the seafloor As they slow, the largest particles settle out then smaller ones

15 Cross-Bedding Cross-bedding forms when layers come to rest
at an angle to the surface upon which they accumulate as on the downwind side of a sand dune Cross-beds result from transport by either water or wind: scale differences The beds are inclined or dip downward in the direction of the prevailing current They indicate ancient current directions, or paleocurrents They are useful for relative dating of deformed sedimentary rocks

16 Cross-Bedding Tabular cross-bedding forms by deposition on sand waves
Tabular cross-bedding in the Upper Cretaceous Two Medicine Formation in Montana A few cm’s

17 Cross-Bedding Trough cross-bedding formed by migrating dunes
10’s to 100’s cm Trough cross-beds in the Pliocene Six Mile Creek Formation, Montana

18 Ripple Marks Small-scale alternating ridges and troughs
known as ripple marks are common on bedding planes, especially in sandstone Current ripple marks form in response to water or wind currents flowing in one direction and have asymmetric profiles allowing geologists to determine paleocurrent directions Wave-formed ripple marks result from the to-and-fro motion of waves tend to be symmetrical Useful for relative dating of deformed sedimentary rocks

19 Current Ripple Marks Ripples with an asymmetrical shape
In the close-up of one ripple, the internal structure shows small-scale cross-bedding The photo shows current ripples that formed in a small stream channel with flow from right to left

20 Wave-Formed Ripples As the waves wash back and forth,
symmetrical ripples form The photo shows wave-formed ripple marks in shallow seawater

21 Mud Cracks When clay-rich sediments dry, they shrink
and crack into polygonal patterns bounded by fractures called mud cracks Mud cracks require wetting and drying to form, as along a lakeshore or a river flood plain or where mud is exposed at low tide along a seashore

22 Ancient Mud Cracks Mud cracks in ancient rocks
in Glacier National Park, Montana Mud cracks typically fill in with sediment when they are preserved as seen here

23 Biogenic Sedimentary Structures
Biogenic sedimentary structures include tracks burrows trails called trace fossils Extensive burrowing by organisms is called bioturbation It may alter sediments so thoroughly that other structures are disrupted or destroyed

24 Bioturbation U-shaped burrows Vertical burrows

25 Bioturbation Vertical, dark-colored areas in this rock are sediment-filled burrows Could you use burrows such as these to relatively date layers in deformed sedimentary rocks?

26 No Single Structure Is Unique
Sedimentary structures are important in environmental analyses but no single structure is unique to a specific environment Example: Current ripples are found in stream channels in tidal channels on the sea floor Environmental determinations are usually successful with associations of a groups of sedimentary structures taken along with other sedimentary rock properties

27 Geometry of Sedimentary Rocks
The three-dimensional shape or geometry of a sedimentary rock body may be helpful in environmental analyses but it must be used with caution because the same geometry may be found in more than one environment can be modified by sediment compaction during lithification and by erosion and deformation Nevertheless, it is useful in conjunction with other features

28 Blanket or Sheet Geometry
Some of the most extensive sedimentary rocks in the geologic record result from marine transgressions and regressions The rocks commonly cover hundreds or thousands of square kilometers but are perhaps only a few tens to hundreds of meters thick Their thickness is small compared to their length and width Thus, they are said to have blanket or sheet geometry

29 Elongate or Shoestring Geometry
Some sand deposits have an elongate or shoestring geometry especially those deposited in stream channels or barrier islands

30 Other Geometries Delta deposits tend to be lens shaped
when viewed in cross profile or long profile but lobate when observed from above Buried reefs are irregular but many are long and narrow or rather circular

31 Fossils—The Biological Content of Sedimentary Rocks
are the remains or traces of prehistoric organisms can be used in stratigraphy for relative dating and correlation are constituents of rocks, sometimes making up the entire rock and provide evidence of depositional environments Many limestones are composed in part or entirely of shells or shell fragments Much of the sediment on the deep-seafloor consists of microscopic shells of organisms

32 Fossils Are Constituents of Sedimentary Rocks
This variety of limestone, known as coquina, is made entirely of shell fragments

33 Fossils in Environmental Analyses
Did the organisms in question live where they were buried? Or where their remains or fossils transported there? Example: Fossil dinosaurs usually indicate deposition in a land environment such as a river floodplain But if their bones are found in rocks with clams, corals and sea lilies, we assume a carcass was washed out to sea

34 Environmental Analyses
What kind of habitat did the organisms originally occupy? Studies of a fossil’s structure and its living relatives, if any, help environmental analysis For example: clams with heavy, thick shells typically live in shallow turbulent water whereas those with thin shells are found in low-energy environments Most corals live in warm, clear, shallow marine environments where symbiotic bacteria can carry out photosynthesis

35 Depositional Environments
A depositional environment is anywhere sediment accumulates especially a particular area where a distinctive kind of deposit originates from physical, chemical, and biological processes Three broad areas of deposition include Continental/terrestrial Transitional Marine each of which has several specific environments

36 Depositional Environments
Continental environments Transitional environments Marine environments

37 Continental Environments
Deposition on continents (on land) might take place in fluvial systems – rivers and streams deserts areas covered by and adjacent to glaciers Deposits in each of these environments possess combinations of features that allow us to differentiate among them

38 Fluvial Fluvial refers to river and stream activity
and to their deposits Fluvial deposits accumulate in either of two types of systems One is a braided stream system with multiple broad, shallow channels in which mostly sheets of gravel and cross-bedded sand are deposited mud is nearly absent

39 Braided Stream The deposits of braided streams are mostly
gravel and cross-bedded sand with subordinate mud

40 Fluvial Systems The other type of system is a meandering stream
with winding channels mostly fine-grained sediments on floodplains cross-bedded sand bodies with shoestring geometry point-bar deposits consisting of a sand body overlying an erosion surface that developed on the convex side of a meander loop

41 Meandering Stream Meandering stream deposits
are mostly fine-grained floodplain sediments with subordinate sand bodies

42 Desert Environments Desert environments contain an association of features found in sand dune deposits, alluvial fan deposits, and playa lake deposits Windblown dunes are typically composed of well-sorted, well-rounded sand with cross-beds meters to tens of meters high land-dwelling plants and animals make up any fossils

43 Associations in Desert Basin
A desert basin showing the association of alluvial fan, sand dune, and playa lake deposits In the photo, the light colored area in the distance is a playa lake deposit in Utah

44 Alluvial Fans and Playa Lakes
Alluvial fans form best along the margins of desert basins where streams and debris flows discharge from mountains onto a valley floor They form a triangular (fan-shaped) deposit of sand and gravel The more central part of a desert basin might be the site of a temporary lake, a playa lake, in which laminated mud and evaporites accumulate

45 Glacial Environments All sediments deposited in
glacial environments are collectively called drift Till is poorly sorted, nonstratified drift deposited directly by glacial ice mostly in ridge-like deposits called moraines Outwash is sand and gravel deposited by braided streams issuing from melting glaciers The association of these deposits along with scratched (striated) and polished bedrock is generally sufficient to conclude that glaciers were involved

46 Moraines and Till Origin of glacial drift
Moraines and poorly sorted till

47 Glacial Varves Glacial lake deposits show
alternating dark and light laminations Each dark-light couplet is a varve, representing one year’s accumulation of sediment light layers accumulate in summer dark in winter Dropstones liberated from icebergs may also be present Varves with a dropstone

48 Transitional Environments
Transitional environments include those with both marine and continental processes Example: Deposition where a river or stream (fluvial system) enters the sea yields a body of sediment called a delta with deposits modified by marine processes, especially waves and tides Transitional environments include deltas beaches barrier islands and lagoons tidal flats

49 Transitional Environments

50 Marine Deltas Marine deltas rarely conform precisely
to this simple threefold division because they are strongly influenced by one or more modifying processes When fluvial processes prevail a stream/river-dominated delta results Strong wave action produces a wave dominated delta Tidal influences result in tide-dominated deltas

51 Stream/River-Dominated Deltas
have long distributary channels extending far seaward Mississippi River delta

52 Wave-Dominated Deltas
such as the Nile Delta of Egypt also have distributary channels but their seaward margin is modified by wave action

53 Tide-Dominated Deltas
such as the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta of Ban-gladesh have tidal sand bodies along the direction of tidal flow

54 Barrier Islands On broad continental margins
with abundant sand, long barrier islands lie offshore separated from the mainland by a lagoon Barrier islands are common along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts of the United States Many ancient deposits formed in this environment Subenvironments of a barrier island complex: beach sand grading offshore into finer deposits dune sands contain shell fragments not found in desert dunes fine-grained lagoon deposits with marine fossils and bioturbation

55 Barrier Island Complex
Subenvironments of a barrier island complex

56 Tidal Flats Tidal flats are present
where part of the shoreline is periodically covered by seawater at high tide and then exposed at low tide Many tidal flats build or prograde seaward and yield a sequence of rocks grading upward from sand to mud One of their most distinctive features is sets of cross-beds that dip in opposite directions

57 Marine Environments Marine environments include:
continental shelf continental slope continental rise deep-seafloor Much of the detritus eroded from continents is eventually deposited in marine environments but sediments derived from chemical and organic activity are found here as well, such as limestone evaporites both deposited in shallow marine environments

58 Marine Environments Marine environments

59 Sea Floor Topography Sea Level Mid Ocean ridge Continental Margin
Continental Shelf Continental Slope Oceanic trench Abyssal Plain Continental Rise

60 Detrital Marine Environments
Shelf, slope and rise environments The main avenues of sediment transport across the shelf are submarine canyons Turbidity currents carry sediment to the submarine fans Sand with graded bedding and mud settled from seawater

61 Deep Sea Beyond the continental rise, the seafloor is
nearly completely covered by fine-grained deposits no sand and gravel or no sediment at all near mid-ocean ridges The main sources of sediment are: windblown dust from continents or oceanic islands volcanic ash shells of microorganisms dwelling in surface waters of the ocean

62 Deep Sea Types of sediment are: pelagic clay,
which covers most of the deeper parts of the seafloor calcareous (CaCO3) and siliceous (SiO2) oozes made up of microscopic shells

63 Carbonate Environments
Carbonate rocks are limestone, which is composed of calcite dolostone, which is composed of dolomite most dolostone is altered limestone Limestone is similar to detrital rock in some ways Many limestones are made up of gravel-sized grains sand-sized grains microcrystalline carbonate mud called micrite but the grains are all calcite and are formed in the environment of deposition, not transported there

64 Limestone Environments
Some limestone form in lakes, but most limestone by is deposited in warm shallow seas on carbonate shelves and on carbonate platforms rising from oceanic depths Deposition occurs where little detrital sediment, especially mud, is present Carbonate barriers form in high-energy areas and may be reefs banks of skeletal particles accumulations of spherical carbonate grains known as oolites which make up the grains in oolitic limestone

65 Evaporite Environments
Evaporites consist of rock salt rock gypsum They are found in environments such as playa lakes saline lakes but most of the extensive deposits formed in the ocean Evaporites are not nearly as common as sandstone, mudrocks and limestone, but can be abundant locally

66 Evaporites Large evaporite deposits
lie beneath the Mediterranean Seafloor more than 2 km thick in western Canada, Michigan, Ohio, New York, and several Gulf Coast states How some of these deposits originated is controversial, but geologists agree that high evaporation rates of seawater caused minerals to precipitate from solution Coastal environments in arid regions such as the present-day Persian Gulf meet the requirements

67 Environmental Interpretations and Historical Geology
Present-day gravel deposits by a swiftly-flowing stream Most transport and deposition takes place when the stream is higher Nearby gravel deposit probably less than a few thousand years old

68 Environmental Interpretations and Historical Geology
Conglomerate more than 1 billion years old shows similar features We infer that it too was deposited by a braided stream in a fluvial system Why not deposition by glaciers or along a seashore? Because evidence is lacking for either glacial activity or transitional environment

69 Interpretation Jurassic-aged Navajo Sandstone
of the Southwestern United states has all the features of wind-blown sand dunes: the sandstone is mostly well-sorted, well-rounded quartz measuring 0.2 to 0.5 mm in diameter tracks of land-dwelling animals, including dinosaurs, are present cross-beds up to 30 m high have current ripple marks like those produced on large dunes by wind today cross-beds dip generally southwest indicating a northeast prevailing wind

70 Navajo Sandstone Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park, Utah
Vertical fractures intersect cross beds of desert dunes making the checker-board pattern 100’s m thick

71 Paleogeography Paleogeography deals with Using interpretations
Earth’s geography of the past Using interpretations of depositional environment such as the ones just discussed we can attempt to reconstruct what Earth’s geography was like at these locations at various times in the past For example, the Navajo Sandstone shows that a vast desert was present in what is now the southwest during the Jurassic Period

72 Paleogeography Detailed studies of various rocks A broad coastal plain
in several western states allow us to determine with some accuracy how the area appeared during the Late Cretaceous A broad coastal plain sloped gently eastward from a mountainous region to the sea

73 Paleogeography Later, vast lakes, Interpretations the geologic record
river floodplains, alluvial fans covered much of this area and the sea had withdrawn from the continent Interpretations the geologic record we examine later will be based on similar amounts of supporting evidence

74 Summary The physical and biological features Environmental analysis
of sedimentary rocks reveal something about the depositional processes that form them Environmental analysis of sedimentary rocks uses mainly sedimentary structures and fossils but also textures, rock body geometry and even composition Geologists recognize three primary depositional areas continental, transitional, and marine each with several specific environments

75 Summary Fluvial systems might be braided or meandering
Braided streams deposit mostly sand and gravel, whereas deposits of meandering streams are mostly mud and subordinate sand bodies with shoestring geometry An association of alluvial fan, sand dune, and playa lake deposits is typical of desert depositional environments Glacial deposits consist mostly of till in moraines and outwash

76 Summary The simplest deltas, those in lakes,
consist of a three-part sequence of rocks grading from finest at the base, upward to coarser-grained rocks Marine deltas dominated by fluvial processes, waves, or tides are much larger and more complex A barrier island system includes beach, dune, and lagoon subenvironments, each characterized a unique association of rocks, sedimentary structures, and fossils

77 Summary Inner shelf deposits are mostly sand,
whereas those of the outer shelf are mostly mud; both have marine fossils and bioturbation Much of the sediment from land crosses the shelves and is deposited on the continental slope and rise as submarine fans Either pelagic clay or oozes derived from the shells of microscopic floating organisms cover most of the deep seafloor

78 Summary Most limestone originates in shallow,
warm seas where little detrital mud is present Carbonate rocks (just as detrital rocks) may possess cross-beds, ripple marks, mud cracks, and fossils that provide information about depositional processes Evaporites form in several environments, but the most extensive ones were deposited in marine environments In all cases, though, they formed in arid regions with high evaporation rates

79 Summary With information from sedimentary rocks,
as well as other rocks, geologists determine the past distribution of Earth's surface features Determine the environment of deposition of a particular package of rocks If fossils are present, make some relative age determination based upon the fossil content

80 Phosphorous For instance, phosphorous
from phosphorous-rich sedimentary rocks is used in metallurgy preserved foods ceramics matches chemical fertilizers animal-feed supplements

81 Beach Environment Sand deposition Many ancient sandstones
on a beach along the Pacific coast of the United States Many ancient sandstones possess features that indicate they were also deposited on beaches

82 Sedimentary rocks Sedimentary rocks may be
detrital or chemical, including biochemical and all preserve evidence of the physical, chemical and biological processes that formed them Some sedimentary rocks are or contain resources phosphorous liquid petroleum natural gas

83 Slope and Rise Once sediment passes the outer margin
of the self, the shelf-slope break, turbidity currents transport it So sand with graded bedding is common Also common is mud that settled from seawater

84 Simple Deltas The simplest deltas are those in lakes and consist of
topset beds foreset beds bottomset beds As the delta builds outward it progrades and forms a vertical sequence of rocks that becomes coarser-grained from the bottom to top The bottomset beds may contain marine (or lake) fossils, whereas the topset beds contain land fossils

85 Carbonate Subenvironments
Reef rock tends to be structureless composed of skeletons of corals, mollusks, sponges and other organisms Carbonate banks are made up of layers with horizontal beds cross-beds wave-formed ripple marks Lagoons tend to have micrite with marine fossils bioturbation

86 Microfossils Microfossils are particularly useful
because many individuals can be recovered from small rock samples In oil-drilling operations, small rock chips called well cuttings are brought to the surface These cuttings rarely contain complete fossils of large organisms, but they might have thousands of microfossils that aid in relative dating and environmental analyses

87 Trace Fossils In Place Trace fossils, too, may be characteristic of particular environments Trace fossils, of course, are not transported from their original place of origin

88 Tidal Flats Tidal-flat deposits showing a prograding shoreline
Notice the distinctive cross-beds that dip in opposite directions How could this happen?

89 Carbonate Shelf The carbonate shelf is attached to a continent
Examples occur in southern Florida and the Persian Gulf

90 Carbonate Platform Carbonates may be deposited on a platform
rising from oceanic depths This example shows a cross-section of the present-day Great Bahama Bank in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Florida

91 Evaporites Evaporites could form in an environment similar to this
if the area were in an arid region, with restricted inflow of normal seawater into the lagoon leading to increased salinity and salt depositions

92 Braided Stream Deposits
Braided stream deposits consist of conglomerate cross-bedded sandstone but mudstone is rare or absent

93 Meandering Stream Deposits
In meandering stream deposits, mudstone deposited in a floodplain is common sandstones are point bar deposits channel conglomerate is minor

94 Paleogeography and from Late Precambrian to Middle Cambrian
the shoreline migrated inland from east and west during a marine transgression

95 Detrital Marine Environments
The gently sloping area adjacent to a continent is a continental shelf It consists of a high-energy inner part that is periodically stirred up by waves and tidal currents Its sediment is mostly sand, shaped into large cross-bedded dunes Bedding planes are commonly marked by wave-formed ripple marks Marine fossils and bioturbation are typical

96 Slope and Rise The low-energy part of the shelf
has mostly mud with marine fossils, and interfingers with inner-shelf sand Much sediment derived from the continents crosses the continental shelf and is funneled into deeper water through submarine canyons It eventually comes to rest on the continental slope and continental rise as a series of overlapping submarine fans

97 Dune Cross-Beds Large-scale cross-beds in a Permian-aged
wind-blown dune deposit in Arizona

Download ppt "Chapter 6 Sedimentary Rocks—The Archives of Earth History"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google