Geology 340: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Lecture Notes

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GEOL 340 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Lecture 1
1. Introduction
2. Overview of syllabus and semester schedule
3. What is the origin of a sedimentary rock?
4. Systematic Approach
5. Basic Definitions


Professor Fouke's background and research interests
TA's background and research interests

Overview of syllabus, semester schedule and questionaire (handouts)

What is the origin of a sedimentary rock?

The approach to framing fundamental questions in science

Big Picture Goals:
a. reconstruct physical/chemical/biological attributes of ancient environments
b. detailed earth history as a predictive environmental tool
c. sea level as links to climate, oceanography, evolution, tectonics
d. hydrocarbon and groundwater exploration tools

Systematic Approach

I. Determine the time and space framework of sediment deposition
A. Information Categories
1. sedimentology
2. paleontology
3. stratigraphy
4. diagenesis
B. Tools and Techniques
1. field work
a. mapping and measuring
b. strategic sampling
2. lab work
a. optical and petrographic analyses
b. geochemical characterization
bulk rock
microdrilled microanalyses
in situ microanalyses
c. geomicrobiological analyses

II. Qualitative and Quantitative Reconstructions of Depositional Environment
A. Physical
1. basin analysis
2. provenance
B. Geochemical (solid and aqueous)
1. water-rock interaction
2. solid and/or aqueous mixing

Basic Definitions

a. scientific study of the classification and interpretation of sedimentary rocks
b. analysis of:
physical properties (textures, structures and mineralogy)
chemical properties
biological (fossil) properties
processes by which these properties are generated
c. sediments are derived from:
erosion of pre-existing rock
biotic and/or abiotic chemical precipitation
animal and plant skeletons

a. scientific study of the classification, origin and interpretation of rock layers (strata)
b. analysis of the shapes and geometries, stacking successions, age relationships and regional to global correlation of strata

Sedimentary Rock Components
a. Primary: original sedimentary components present at time of deposition
b. Secondary (post-depositional): sedimentary components formed or introduced after deposition

any physically, chemically, and/or biologically induced changes that take place in sediments and sedimentary rocks after their original deposition

the physical and chemical decomposition and disintegration of rocks, producing particulate residues and dissolved consituents. These products are the source materials to form soils and sedimentary rocks

Water-Rock interaction
chemical reactions amongst grains, cements and water in pore spaces

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