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GEO 316P: Sedimentary Rocks (Unique # 26830)

Spring 2015

Lecture: Meets MWF 10-11 AM, JGB 2.324


Instructors: Dr. William Fisher, wfisher@jsg.utexas.edu
Office: JGB 6.130, Office hours: MW 1 3 PM

Dr. David Mohrig, mohrig@jsg.utexas.edu


Office: EPS 3.162, Office hours: T 11 12PM; W 11
12PM

Teaching Assistants:
Sarah Bateman, sarahbateman@utexas.edu
Office: JGB 6.120, Office hours: T 11 12PM; W 11
12PM

Moonsoo Brian Shin, mshin@utexas.edu


Office: JGB 6.134, Office hours: M 11 1PM

Laboratory: No labs

Final Exam: none

*Required course materials:


- B: Boggs, Principles of Sedimentology and
Stratigraphy (4th edition or 5th edition)

*Other texts (library reserve):


T&W; Tucker, M.E. and Wright, V.P. (1990),
Carbonate Sedimentology.
S: Wolfgang Schlager, (2005), Carbonate
Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy

Lecture notes: Lecture notes and readings from


other texts can be found on Canvas
(http://canvas.utexas.edu).
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Class policy, procedures and grading: Historically, there is a very


strong correlation between exam grades and attendance.
- There will be 4 lecture exams; each will consist of multiple-choice
and/or short answer questions and will be worth 100 points. The
four exams together will constitute 80 % of the final class grade.
On each exam you will be responsible for all material covered in
lectures (lecture notes + materials NOT in lecture notes), as well as
materials covered in required reading from textbooks.
o There are no make-up lecture exams in this class.If you miss
an exam, that exam grade becomes 0. Make-ups are
permitted only with a physician-certified illness report or an
agreed on prearranged absence (e.g., professional trip,
religious holy day).
- There will be four unannounced in-class quizzes. Unannounced
in-class quizzes will constitute 20% of the final class grade.
o There are no make-up quizzes in this class. If you miss a quiz,
the quiz grade is a 0. Make-ups are permitted only with a
physician-certified illness report or an agreed on
prearranged absence (e.g., professional trip, religious holy day).
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Class policy, procedures and grading: continued


Course grades will be curved, but the boundaries between letter
grades are determined by the instructors judgment and are very
different every semester. Recently the A/B boundary has been in the
high 80 %s and the B/C boundary in the high 70 %s, etc.

University Electronic Mail Notification Policy


(Use of E-mail for Official Correspondence to Students)
In this course e-mail will be used as a means of communication with
students. You will be responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for
class work and announcements. Note: if you are an employee of the
University, your e-mail address in Canvas is your employee address.

What is a Sedimentary Rock?


Rock that has formed through the deposition and solidification
of sediment.
Scientific fields that are primarily focused on sedimentary
rocks.
Sedimentology = scientific study of sediments and
sedimentary rocks. Includes production of sediment, and the
transport, deposition, & lithification of sediment (i.e., loose
sediment rock).
Stratigraphy = a branch of geology dealing with the
classification, correlation, and interpretation of stratified
(layered) rock.

Reasons to be interested in sedimentary deposits and rocks:


1. Most people live on top them.
2. Serve as reservoirs for important subsurface fluids, including
groundwater and hydrocarbons.
3. Directly linked to most carbon-based energy sources (e.g.,
coal, gas, gas hydrates, oil).
4. Preserve record of life on Earth.
5. General recorder of earth-surface history.

In this class
We are going to learn how to read sedimentary rocks to aid
reconstruction of earth history.
We are going to learn what controls distribution of rock
properties (strength, porosity, permeability, etc.) in order to
predict the character of subsurface deposits.
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Sedimentary rocks only make up 5 % of the Earth's crust, but


cover about 70 % of the surface of the earth.
Sedimentary rocks have an average thickness of about 1800 m
on the continents.
Thickness is quite
variable.
For example:
Canadian Shield 0 m;
Louisiana & Texas
Gulf Coast 20 km.

Global sediment thickness based on the 1 o x 1o


compilation of Laske and Masters (1997)

Older sedimentary rocks are less exposed on Earth surface


than younger sedimentary rocks.
Over 40% of the exposed sedimentary rocks are younger than
100 million years in age.

Geologic time scale was largely constructed from age dating of


distinct packages of sedimentary rock.
Most geologic
periods were
defined by
stratigraphic
events, including:
1. Paleontological
change (e.g.,
extinctions);
2. Tectonic change
(regional
unconformities);
3. Geochemical
change (change in
environment).
See page 517 of Boggs

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Types of Sedimentary Rocks:


A. Clastic (fragmental)
- Particles are derived from pre-existing rocks
- Source of particles is typically external to the depositional
basin

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B. Biochemical: Sedimentary rocks composed of grains


produced by organic (biogenic) processes.

Shell fragments

Limestone reef rock

Biochemical particles compose most carbonate rocks, including


limestone.
12

B. Biochemical, continued. Particulate organic matter


Common sources of organic matter include plants and
microorganisms

Coal

Particles are typically produced within the depositional basin.


13

C. Chemical: Sedimentary rocks composed of mineral grains


precipitated by inorganic processes.
Common chemical rocks are evaporites (including salts)
Laminated Castile Formation, west TX.
Dark layers are calcite plus organic
matter; light layers are gypsum (photo
by Peter Scholle)

Particles are always produced


within the depositional basin.
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Particle
Attributes

Millimeters Microns

(Phi Scale) Wentworth Size Class

1. Grain Size
(nominal grain
diameter)

15

2. Roundness:
angular vs. subangular
vs subrounded vs
rounded
Modified after Powers, M . C., 1953,
Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 23, p.
118.

3. Grain Shape or
Form:
c b
a
CSF

c
ab

Where a, b, and c are the


longest, intermediate and
shortest axis of the particle
(and are mutually
perpendicular).

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4. Sorting (range of
particle sizes in deposit)
Graphical representation of
Grain-size Distribution

1st Quartile
Median (D50)
3rd Quartile

Trask Sorting Coefficient =

So

D25 (1st Quartile )


D75 (3rd Quartile )

Beard, D.C., and Weyl, P.K., 1973, Influence of texture on porosity and permeability of unconsolidated
17 sand: AAPG Bulletin.

The original grain size & sorting of a deposit controls:


1) how fluid moves through the deposit; and
2) total amount of inter-granular fluid contained in the deposit.

River Bottom
Fine sediment
Coarse
sediment

Field of view 30 m by 10 m
Vertical sequence of sedimentary deposit
(field of view 2 m by 0.5 m)
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Deposit Porosity = (1 volume concentration of sediment) =


void space fraction
Porosity (%)

So = Trask Sorting

Beard, D.C., and Weyl, P.K., 1973, Influence of texture on porosity and permeability of
unconsolidated sand: AAPG Bulletin, v. 57, p. 349-369.

Porosity of a granular deposit is primarily a function of grain


sorting.
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Permeability = measure of a deposit to transmit interstitial fluid


(e.g. fluid flow through the pore network)

9.87 10 9 cm2

Beard, D.C., and Weyl,


P.K., 1973, Influence of
texture on porosity and
permeability of
unconsolidated sand:
AAPG Bulletin, v. 57, p.
349-369.

Permeability controlled by grain size & sorting, equally important


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Many sedimentary deposits do not remain at Earth surface, they


are buried, sometimes to great depth.
Two important processes associated with
burial are:

2. Lithification processes through which


loose sediment becomes solid rock

Examples of
cementation

Depth (meters below sea floor)

1. Mechanical compactionthe loss of


porosity by rearrangement of the grain
framework due to overburden pressure.

21Site 1115
ODP Leg 180

What causes considerable thicknesses of sedimentary deposits


to accumulate?

Subsidence ()
ater

ediment
SEA

L
VE
E
L

(figure from
Chris Paola)

We all know that in plate tectonics, horizontal motion leads to vertical


motion, e.g. uplift of mountain ranges.
But for every place where the crust is going up, there must be somewhere
else where it is going down this is tectonic subsidence

Basic idea: subsidence induces net deposition

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Velocity Vector Map of Tectonic Plate Motions


Typical rates of horizontal plate motion: ~1-100 mm/yr
Typical rates of vertical motion (uplift & subsidence): ~0.1-10
mm/yr
23

Questions You Should be Able to Answer


1. What does sorting measure in a sample? What factors determine sorting?
2. What determines grain shape? How is it measured? What are the basic
grain shapes?
3. What is grain roundness? What factors determine grain roundness?
What does grain roundness tell you?
4. What is porosity? What is permeability?
5. What is the relationship between porosity/permeability and grain size?
Why?
6. What is the relationship between porosity/permeability and sorting? Why?
7. What is the range of depositional (original) porosity in sand? What factors
influence depositional porosity?
8. What is the scientific field of Sedimentology?
9. What is the scientific field of Stratigraphy?
10. Sedimentary rocks make up what fraction of Earths crust?
11. Sedimentary rocks cover what fraction of Earths surface?
12. What is the average and maximum vertical thickness of sedimentary
rock sections on the continents?

13. 40 % of exposed sedimentary rocks on the continents are younger


than what age?
14. Periods on the geologic time scale were original defined by what
three types of stratigraphic events?
15. What are the three fundamental types of sedimentary rocks?
Which two rock types are composed of particles that primary form
within the depositional basin? Which rock type is primarily composed
of particles derived from outside the depositional basin?
16. What is the definition of the Trask Sorting Coefficient?
17. What are typical rates of horizontal motion for crustal plates?
18. What are typical rates of vertical motion for crustal plates?
19. What is basin subsidence? How is basin subsidence connected to
net sediment deposition?