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Sedimentary Rocks and Sedimentary Basins

Stanley, S.M., 1998, Sedimentary Environments, Ch. 5. Earth Systems History Get it from the class website:

Sedimentary Rocks
Intro Origin of sedimentary rocks Clastic Rocks Chemical and Biochemical Sedimentary Rocks Interpreting Sedimentary Rocks Environment of deposition Sedimentary structures

What is a Sedimentary Basin?

A thick accumulation of sediment Necessary conditions:
1. A depression (subsidence) 2. Sediment Supply

Where are the Sedimentary Basins?

World Map of Sed. Basins

Our Peculiar Planet: Liquid Water and Plate Tectonics

Unconsolidated products of Weathering & Erosion Loose sand, gravel, silt, mud, etc. Transported by rivers, wind, glaciers, currents, etc.

Hydrologic Cycle Sedimentary Rock: Consolidated sediment Lithified sediment


3 Basic Types of Sedimentary Rocks

Detrital ( = Clastic) Made of Rock Fragments Biochemical Formed by Organisms Chemical Precipitated from Chemical Solution

Detrital Material Transported by a River

Formation of a Sedimentary Rocks

1. Weathering mechanical & chemical 2. Transport by river, wind, glacier, ocean, etc. 3. Deposition in a point bar, moraine, beach, ocean basin, etc 4. Lithification loose sediment turns to solid rock

Processes during Transport

1. Sorting Grain size is related to energy of transport Boulders Mud high energy environment

low energy

Significance for Petroleum System?

Black shales Source rocks Porous Sandstones Reservoirs

Processes during Transport

2. Rounding abrasion is progressive angular grains rounded grains near source long transport

Sorting and Rounding

Well rounded Well sorted Quartz sandstone

Bimodal rounding Poorly sorted Lithic sandstone

Decrease in pore space Due to increasing pressure with burial

Pores filled quartz or calcite cements

Many depositional environments with particular characteristics
No porosity left Beginning of metamorphism

Determines the nature of the reservoir Critical for economic viability Highly variable Hard to predict ahead of the drill

Lithification of Shale
Dewatering of shale Overpressure? Expulsion of hydrocarbons?

Classification of Clastic Sediments

Based on Particle size Gravel (more than 2 mm)
Pebbles (small) (Driveway gravel) Cobbles (medium) (Plum to melon size) Boulders (large) (Melon to bus size)

Sand (2 mm - 1/16 mm) Silt (1/16 - 1/256 mm) Clay (< 1/256 mm)

Detrital Rock Names 1

Gravel Conglomerate

Naming of Sedimentary Rocks 2

Sand Sandstone Quartz sandstone, Arkose sandstone (with feldspar)

Fine Grain Detrital Rocks

Silt Mud Siltstone Mudstone or Shale

with plant fossils

Biochemical Sedimentary Rocks

Carbonate Rocks Limestone calcite (CaCO3 ) Dolostone dolomite (Ca,Mg (CO3 )2) Coal


Made of Calcium Carbonate or Mg -Ca Carbonate Precipitated from seawater Mostly by organisms (biochemical)
algae, shells, corals

In some cases chemically (inorganic)

Chalk- Microscopic algae


White Cliffs of Dover, UK

Carbonate BankBahamas

Coral Reef Carbonates

Coral Reef

Sedimentary Section of the Grand Canyon

250 m.y.

History of Sedimentation 1

550 m.y. > 1.5 b.y.


History of Sedimentation 2

North Slope Basin, AK

Sedimentary Environments of Deposition

Sedimentary Environments
Type and geometry of sedimentary rocks Key to paleogegraphy Prediction of distribution of source rocks and reservoirs

Non-Marine Environments
Glacial Lakes Deserts Alluvial Fans Braided Streams Meandering Streams

How do we recognize them?

Rock Types Sedimentary Structures Fossils Geometry

Perfect sorting Great reservoirs Rarely preserved

Alluvial Fans
Conglomerates Poorly sorted Not so great!

Types of River
Mountain Braided?

Fluvial Environments (Rivers)

Braided Stream Meandering Stream


Meandering Stream

Development of Meanders


Sandstone Mudstone

Channel Sandstone

Well Log Response



Sea level and the Stacking of Rocks