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Encyclopedia > Sedimentary rock
Two types of sedimentary rock: limey shale overlain by limestone. Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
Two types of sedimentary rock: limey shale overlain by limestone. Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Sedimentary rock is one of the three main rock groups (the others being igneous and metamorphic rock). Rock formed from sediments covers 75-80% of the Earth's land area, and includes common types such as chalk, limestone, dolomite, sandstone, conglomerate and shale.[1] Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone, Cumberland Plateau, TN Image taken by me, released under GFDL Pollinator 05:38, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC) ( ) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone, Cumberland Plateau, TN Image taken by me, released under GFDL Pollinator 05:38, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC) ( ) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... For other uses, see Limestone (disambiguation). ... The Cumberland Plateau includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia in the United States. ... This article is about the U.S. state of Tennessee. ... This article is about the geological substance. ... Igneous rocks (etymology from Latin ignis, fire) are rocks formed by solidification of cooled magma (molten rock), with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. ... Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ... Sediment is any particulate matter that can be transported by fluid flow and which eventually is deposited as a layer of solid particles on the bed or bottom of a body of water or other liquid. ... For other uses, see Chalk (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Limestone (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Dolomite (disambiguation). ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... A conglomerate with iron oxide cementing material Conglomerate, Submarine Landslide located at Point Reyes, Marin County California. ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ...


Sedimentary rocks are classified by the source of their sediments, and are produced by one or more of:

The sediments are then compacted and converted to rock by the process of lithification. The walls of Lower Antelope Canyon are composed of sandstone, a common sedimentary rock Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing rock. ... Weathering is the decomposition of rocks, soils and their minerals through direct contact with the Earths atmosphere. ... For morphological image processing operations, see Erosion (morphology). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Mixture. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into sediment. ... A biogenic substance is a substance produced by life processes. ... Making a saline water solution by dissolving table salt (NaCl) in water This article is about chemical solutions. ... For compaction near the surface, see Soil compaction; for consolidation near the surface, see Consolidation (soil) Compaction (geology) refers to the process by which a newly deposited sediment progressively loses its original water content due to the effects of loading, this forms part of the process of lithification. ... Lithification (from the Greek word lithos meaning rock and the Latin-derived suffix -ific) is the process whereby sediments compact under pressure, expel connate fluids, and gradually become solid rock. ...

Contents

Formation

Sedimentary-rock formation, Karnataka, India
Sedimentary-rock formation, Karnataka, India

Sedimentary rocks are formed because of the overburden pressure as particles of sediment are deposited out of air, ice, wind, gravity, or water flows carrying the particles in suspension. As sediment deposition builds up, the overburden (or 'lithostatic') pressure squeezes the sediment into layered solids in a process known as lithification ('rock formation') and the original connate fluids are expelled. The term diagenesis is used to describe all the chemical, physical, and biological changes, including cementation, undergone by a sediment after its initial deposition and during and after its lithification, exclusive of surface weathering. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1639 × 1229 pixel, file size: 439 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photographed by Pratheepps 17:11, 3 October 2007 (UTC) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1639 × 1229 pixel, file size: 439 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photographed by Pratheepps 17:11, 3 October 2007 (UTC) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... This article is about the Indian region. ... This article is about the geological substance. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... Settling is the process by which particulates settle to the bottom of a liquid and form a sediment. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Mixture. ... Lithification (from the Greek word lithos meaning rock and the Latin-derived suffix -ific) is the process whereby sediments compact under pressure, expel connate fluids, and gradually become solid rock. ... The term connate fluids in the context of geology, and of sedimentology in particular, refers to the liquids that fill the pore-space of sedimentary rocks. ... In geology and oceanography, diagenesis is any chemical, physical, or biological change undergone by a sediment after its initial deposition and during and after its lithification, exclusive of surface alteration (weathering) and metamorphism. ... In geology, cementation is the process of deposition of dissolved mineral components in the interstices of sediments. ...


Sedimentary rocks are laid down in layers called beds or strata. That new rock layers are above older rock layers is stated in the principle of superposition.There are usually some gaps in the sequence called unconformities. These represent periods in which no new sediments were being laid down, or when earlier sedimentary layers were raised above sea level and eroded away. See here for the superposition principle of physics. ... There is a billion year gap in the geologic record where this 500 million year old dolomite unconformably overlays 1. ...


Sedimentary rocks contain important information about the history of Earth. They contain fossils, the preserved remains of ancient plants and animals. Coal is considered a type of sedimentary rock. The composition of sediments provides us with clues as to the original rock. Differences between successive layers indicate changes to the environment which have occurred over time. Sedimentary rocks can contain fossils because, unlike most igneous and metamorphic rocks, they form at temperatures and pressures that do not destroy fossil remnants. Geological time put in a diagram called a geological clock, showing the relative lengths of the eons of the Earths history. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ...


The sedimentary rock cover of the continents of the Earth's crust is extensive, but the total contribution of sedimentary rocks is estimated to be only 5% of the total. As such, the sedimentary sequences we see represent only a thin veneer over a crust consisting mainly of igneous and metamorphic rocks. World geologic provinces (USGS) Oceanic crust  0-20 Ma  20-65 Ma  >65 Ma Geologic province  Shield  Platform  Orogen  Basin  Large igneous province  Extended crust In geology, a crust is the outermost solid shell of a planet or moon. ...


Classification

Sedimentary rocks are classified into three groups. These groups are clastic, chemical precipitate and biochemical or biogenic.


Clastic

Clastic sedimentary rocks are composed of discrete fragments or clasts of materials derived from other rocks. They are composed largely of quartz with other common minerals including feldspar, amphiboles, clay minerals, and sometimes more exotic igneous and metamorphic minerals. For other uses, see Quartz (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For the logical fallacy, see Amphibology. ... Clay minerals are hydrous aluminium silicates, sometimes with minor amounts of iron, magnesium and other cations. ... Igneous rocks are formed when molten rock (magma) cools and solidifies, with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. ... Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ...


Clastic sedimentary rocks, such as breccia or sandstone, were formed from rocks that have been broken down into fragments by weathering, which then have been transported and deposited elsewhere.


Clastic sedimentary rocks may be regarded as falling along a scale of grain size, with shale being the finest with particles less than 0.002 mm, siltstone being a little bigger with particles between 0.002 to 0.063 mm, and sandstone being coarser still with grains 0.063 to 2 mm, and conglomerates and breccias being more coarse with grains 2 to 263 mm. Breccia has sharper particles, while conglomerate is categorized by its rounded particles. Particles bigger than 263 mm are termed blocks (angular) or boulders (rounded). Lutite, Arenite and Rudite are general terms for sedimentary rock with clay/silt-, sand- or conglomerate/breccia-sized particles. The walls of Lower Antelope Canyon are composed of sandstone, a common sedimentary rock Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing rock. ... Particle size, also called grain size, refers to the diameter of individual grains of sediment, or the lithified particles in clastic rocks. ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... Siltstone Siltstone is a geological term for a sedimentary rock whose composition is intermediate in grain size between the coarser sandstone and the finer mudstone. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... A conglomerate with iron oxide cementing material Conglomerate, Submarine Landslide located at Point Reyes, Marin County California. ... Breccia, derived from the Latin word for broken, is a sedimentary rock composed of angular fragments in a matrix that may be of a similar or a different material. ...


The classification of clastic sedimentary rocks is complex because there are many variables involved. Particle size (both the average size and range of sizes of the particles), composition of the particles, the cement, and the matrix (the name given to the smaller particles present in the spaces between larger grains) must all be taken into consideration.


Shales, which consist mostly of clay minerals, are generally further classified on the basis of composition and bedding.


Coarser clastic sedimentary rocks are classified according to their particle size and composition. Orthoquartzite is a very pure quartz sandstone; arkose is a sandstone with quartz and abundant feldspar; greywacke is a sandstone with quartz, clay, feldspar, and metamorphic rock fragments present, which was formed from the sediments carried by turbidity currents. Arkose is a kind of sandstone combining of quartz and with large amounts of feldspar. ... Greywacke (German grauwacke, signifying a grey, earthy rock) is a variety of sandstone generally characterized by its hardness, dark color, and poorly-sorted, angular grains of quartz, feldspar, and small rock fragments set in a compact, clay-fine matrix. ...


All rocks disintegrate when exposed to mechanical and chemical weathering at the Earth's surface. Weathering is the decomposition of rocks, soils and their minerals through direct contact with the Earths atmosphere. ...

Lower Antelope Canyon was carved out of the surrounding sandstone by both mechanical weathering and chemical weathering. Wind, sand, and water from flash flooding are the primary weathering agents.
Lower Antelope Canyon was carved out of the surrounding sandstone by both mechanical weathering and chemical weathering. Wind, sand, and water from flash flooding are the primary weathering agents.

Mechanical weathering is the breakdown of rock into particles without producing changes in the chemical composition of the minerals in the rock. Ice is the most important agent of mechanical weathering. Water percolates into cracks and fissures within the rock, freezes, and expands. The force exerted by the expansion is sufficient to widen cracks and break off pieces of rock. Heating and cooling of the rock, and the resulting expansion and contraction, also aids the process. Mechanical weathering contributes further to the breakdown of rock by increasing the surface area exposed to chemical agents. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1231x821, 272 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sedimentary rock Clastic rocks User:Moondigger ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1231x821, 272 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sedimentary rock Clastic rocks User:Moondigger ... A photographer in Upper Antelope Canyon Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Antelope Canyon Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... Lower Antelope Canyon was carved out of sandstone by flash floods A Flash Flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas (washes), rivers and streams, caused by the intense rainfall associated with a thunderstorm, or multiple training thunderstorms. ...


Chemical weathering is the breakdown of rock by chemical reaction. In this process the minerals within the rock are changed into particles that can be easily carried away. Air and water are both involved in many complex chemical reactions. The minerals in igneous rocks may be unstable under normal atmospheric conditions, those formed at higher temperatures being more readily attacked than those which formed at lower temperatures. Igneous rocks are commonly attacked by water, particularly acid or alkaline solutions, and all of the common igneous rock forming minerals (with the exception of quartz which is very resistant) are changed in this way into clay minerals and chemicals in solution.


Rock particles in the form of clay, silt, sand, and gravel, are transported by the agents of erosion (usually water, and less frequently by ice and wind) to new locations and redeposited in layers, generally at a lower elevation.


These agents reduce the size of the particles, sort them by size, and then deposit them in new locations. The sediments dropped by streams and rivers form alluvial fans, flood plains, deltas, and on the bottom of lakes and the sea floor. The wind may move large amounts of sand and other smaller particles. Glaciers transport and deposit great quantities of usually unsorted rock material as till. Glacial till with tufts of grass Till is an unsorted glacial sediment. ...


These deposited particles eventually become compacted and cemented together, forming clastic sedimentary rocks. Such rocks contain inert minerals which are resistant to mechanical and chemical breakdown such as quartz, zircon, rutile, and magnetite. Quartz is one of the most mechanically and chemically resistant minerals. Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. ... Rutile is a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide, TiO2. ... Magnetite is a ferrimagnetic mineral with chemical formula Fe3O4, one of several iron oxides and a member of the spinel group. ...


Biochemical

Outcrop of Ordovician oil shale (kukersite), northern Estonia.

Biochemical sedimentary rocks contain materials generated by living organisms, and include carbonate minerals created by organisms, such as corals, molluscs, and foraminifera, which cover the ocean floor with layers of calcite which can later form limestone. Other examples include stromatolites, the flint nodules found in chalk (which is itself a biochemical sedimentary rock, a form of limestone), and coal and oil shale (derived from the remains of tropical plants and subjected to pressure). Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Artist impression of the Ordovician Sea. ... Outcrop of Ordovician kukersite oil shale, northern Estonia. ... Extant Subclasses and Orders Alcyonaria    Alcyonacea    Helioporacea Zoantharia    Antipatharia    Corallimorpharia    Scleractinia    Zoanthidea [1][2]  See Anthozoa for details For other uses, see Coral (disambiguation). ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... Orders Allogromiida Carterinida Fusulinida - extinct Globigerinida Involutinida - extinct Lagenida Miliolida Robertinida Rotaliida Silicoloculinida Spirillinida Textulariida incertae sedis    Xenophyophorea    Reticulomyxa The Foraminifera, or forams for short, are a large group of amoeboid protists with reticulating pseudopods, fine strands that branch and merge to form a dynamic net. ... The seabed (also sea floor, seafloor, or ocean floor) is the bottom of the ocean. ... Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ... For other uses, see Limestone (disambiguation). ... Pre-Cambrian stromatolites in the Siyeh Formation, Glacier National Park. ... This article is about the sedimentary rock. ... For other uses, see Chalk (disambiguation). ... Oil shale Oil shale is a general term applied to a fine-grained sedimentary rock containing significant traces of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) that have not been buried for sufficient time to produce conventional fossil fuels. ...


Chemical precipitate

Precipitate sedimentary rocks form when mineral solutions, such as sea water, evaporate. Examples include the evaporite minerals halite and gypsum. Sea water is water from a sea or ocean. ... A sample of evaporite material Evaporites (IPA: ) are water-soluble, mineral sediments that result from the evaporation of bodies of surficial water. ... For Halite Bittorrent client , see Halite Client. ... For other uses, see Gypsum (disambiguation). ...


Economic and scientific relevance

Sedimentary rocks are economically important in that they can easily be used as construction material because they are soft and easy to cut. For example, the White House in Washington DC is made of sandstone. In addition, sedimentary rocks often form porous and permeable reservoirs in sedimentary basins in which petroleum and other hydrocarbons can be found (see Bituminous rocks). Porosity is a measure of the void spaces in a material, and is measured as a fraction, between 0–1, or as a percentage between 0–100%. The term porosity is used in multiple fields including manufacturing, earth sciences and construction. ... In the earth sciences, permeability (commonly symbolized as κ, or k) is a measure of the ability of a material (typically, a rock or unconsolidated material) to transmit fluids. ... The term sedimentary basin is used to refer to any geographical feature exhibiting subsidence and consequent infilling by sedimentation. ... Petro redirects here. ... In chemistry, a hydrocarbon is a cleaning solution consisting only of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). ... Bituminous rocks are sedimentary rocks, usually shale, sandstone, limestone or dolostone, that contain traces of tar, bitumen, asphalt or petroleum. ...


It is believed that the relatively low levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, in comparison to that of Venus, is because of large amounts of carbon being trapped in limestone and dolomite sedimentary layers. The flux of carbon from eroded sediments to marine deposits is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide (chemical formula: ) is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Air redirects here. ... (*min temperature refers to cloud tops only) Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 9. ... For other uses, see Dolomite (disambiguation). ... For the thermonuclear reaction involving carbon that helps power stars, see CNO cycle. ...


The shape of the particles in sedimentary rocks has an important effect on the ability of micro-organisms to colonize them. This interaction is studied in the science of geomicrobiology. One measure of the shape of these particles is the roundness factor, also known as the Krumbein number after the geologist W. C. Krumbein. A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ... Geomicrobiology is a science that combines geology and microbiology, and studies the interaction of microscopic organisms with their inorganic environment, such as in sedimentary rocks. ... William Christian Krumbein was born at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, USA, in January, 1902. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into sediment. ... Gem animals. ... This page is intended as a list of all rock types. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... In geology, transportation refers to the movement of eroded debris, whether by rivers, glaciers, wind or ocean currents and tides. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Sediment and Sedimentary Rocks." Sedimentary Rocks. Retrieved on July 29, 2007.

is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
About Stone (610 words)
Of the three generally sedimentary rock is the softest and absorbs most moisture and igneous rock is the hardest and least absorbent.
Sedimentary rock is due to sediments being laid down over time it is formed in four main ways—by the deposition of the weathered remains of other rocks; by the accumulation and the consolidation of sediments; by the deposition of the results of biogenic activity i.e.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from overburden pressure as particles of sediment are deposited from the air, ice or water where the particles were carried in suspension.
Sedimentary rock (0 words)
Sedimentary rock is one of the three main rock groups (along with igneous and metamorphic rocks) and is formed in three main ways—by the deposition of the weathered remains of other rocks (known as 'clastic' sedimentary rocks); by the deposition of the results of biogenic activity; and by precipitation from solution.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from overburden pressure as particles of sediment are deposited out of air, ice, or water flows carrying the particles in suspension.
Rock particles in the form of clay, silt, sand, and gravel, are transported by the agents of erosion (usually water, and less frequently by ice and wind) to new locations and redeposited in layers, generally at a lower elevation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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