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chapter 5 - Grotzinger Jordan Press Siever Understanding...

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Understanding Earth Chapter 5: SEDIMENTATION: Rocks Formed by Surface Processes Grotzinger • Jordan • Press • Siever Texas “Permian Basin”
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Significance of sedimentary rocks Academic Interests: - Ancient tectonic events - Extent of past oceans, rivers, lakes - Reconstructing continents Resources - Source and reservoir for gas, oil and minerals Paleontology - Preserve fossils in stratigraphic order – evolution Paleoclimate - Indirectly records climatic variations with time
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Definitions Weathering: All processes that break up and decay rock, by a combination of physical fracturing and chemical decomposition Erosion: All processes by which soil and rock fragments are loosened and moved downhill or downwind. (all three represent components that form the next products of the Earth ! s rock cycle – sedimentary rocks)
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Grain selection/size Survival of the strongest (Quartz - no cleavage, chemically stable) With progressive transportation, grain size is reduced and the most stable fragments survive – e.g. Padre Island “mature” (quartz) sand
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Types Clastic Sediments – physically transported rock fragments produced from weathering of preexisting rocks, typically silicate minerals or rock fragments (quartz, feldspar, pyroxene, clays, rock fragments etc) - e.g. sandstones, shales Chemical (and Biochemical Sediments) – direct, chemical deposition (either by chemical reaction or biotic production), typically in marine settings (i.e. oceans) - e.g. salt, gypsum, limestone
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Clastic Sediments (10x more clastic sediments than chemical/biochemical) Source : physical and chemical weathering in high areas produces raw material Transportation : carried from source - water (fluvial systems, ocean currents) - wind (mainly deserts) - ice (high altitude and latitude) Deposition : where energy becomes too low to continue carrying the sediment, it settles out - oceans are the major sediment “trap”
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