Sedimentary Rocks

Jun 30th, 2015
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Sedimentary rocks are those formed at or near the Earth's surface by the depostion (by water, wind or ice), accumulation and lithification of sediment (detrital rock) or by the precipitation from solution (chemical rock) and/or growth in position by organic processes (e.g., carbonate reefs).

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1 Sedimentary Rocks1.1 IntroductionSedimentary rocks are those formed at or near the Earth's surface by the depostion (bywater, wind or ice), accumulation and lithification of sediment (detrital rock) or by theprecipitation from solution (chemical rock) and/or growth in position by organic processes(e.g., carbonate reefs). They are formed at or near the earth's surface at relatively lowtemperatures and pressures. They typically occur in layers (strata) separated by beddingplanes and differences in composition.Sedimentary rocks are the most common rocks exposed on the Earth's surface but areonly a minor constituent of the entire crust, which is dominated by igneous andmetamorphic rocks. They consist 75% of all rocks exposed at Earth's surface. Many ofyou will work more with sedimentary rocks than with the other rock types.1.1.1 Sedimentary EnvironmentsSedimentary rocks are formed in a variety of environment where sediment accumulates.Sedimentary environments typically are in the areas of low elevation at the surface, whichcan be divided into continental, shoreline, and marine environments. Each environment ischaracterized by certain physical, chemical, and biological conditions, thus sedimentaryrocks hold clues to ancient environments and Earth history.1.1.2 Diagenesis and LithificationLithification is a complex process whereby freshly unconsolidated deposits of sedimentsare converted into rock. The main processes of lithification are:Compaction

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