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Sedimentary Petrology, Distribution and Tectonic Setting of Sediment

Some about 80 percent of the earth’s crust is covered by Sedimentary rocks. All our information of stratigraphy and the vast of our knowledge of structural geology rely on studies of sedimentary rocks. A percentage of the world’s economic mineral deposits, in monetary value, is found from sedimentary rocks: oil, natural gas, coal, salt, sulfur, potash, gypsum, limestone, phosphate, uranium, iron, manganese, Not to highlight such prosaic things as construction sand, building stone, cement rock, or ceramic clays. Research of the composition and properties of sedimentary rocks are important in explaining stratigraphy: it is the work of the sedimentary petrologist to identify the location, lithology, relief, climate, and tectonic activity of the source area; to define about the behaviour of the environment of formation; for detection of the consequences for changes in width or Pathology; and to correlate beds precisely by mineral work. Sedimentary studies are also essential in prospecting for economic mineral reserves, usually as early deposits become harder to locate. Research of sediments is being harboured intensely by oil companies, phosphate, uranium, and iron mining companies in order to find new deposits and prove the origin of those already in our knowledge.
The study of sedimentary rocks, possessing stratigraphy, sedimentation, sedimentology, and paleontology. This deals with sedimentary petrology, it is the particular branch of study which concerned especially with the composition, characteristics, and origins of sediments and sedimentary rocks. The petrology concern with the different kinds of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the principal kinds of sedimentary rocks. But it is also concerned with the relativeness of these properties to depositional conditions and provenance. It has attempted, where eligible, to identify major problems and concerns regarding the origin of special kinds of sedimentary rocks or individual properties of that types of rocks. It surrounds the origin controversy, as with the origin of dolomites and iron-formations, different points of view are examined.

Source:en.wikipedia.org Fig:Sedimentary rocks on Mars
Fig:Sedimentary rocks on Mars


Distribution of sedimentary rocks in space and time
The Sedimentary rocks and sediments range in age from the previous era to modern era. The ages of the oldest known sedimentary rocks in Greenland and northern Quebec, Canada, which have been determined by the iron isotope interpret to be about 3.7–3.8 billion years. The first rocks which are formed on Earth were may be basic volcanic rocks. Then the Sedimentary rocks start to form once Earth’s atmosphere and ocean shad developed owing to degassing of Earth’s interior. The total area of Earth’s surface surrounded by sedimentary rocks has increased successively with time and the area of volcanic rocks has been successively reduced by erosion. About 80 percent of the to all and area of Earth is covered by Sedimentary rocks. The most of the floor of the ocean is covered by this type of rocks, above a basement of volcanic rocks. According to Ronov, sedimentary rocks make up about 11 percent of the volume of which 9.5 percent of the mass of Earth’s crust and remaining 0.1percent of the volume (0.05percent of mass) of the total Earth. The minimum and maximum thickness of Earth’s sedimentary shell is about 2.2km, but the thickness of the earth crust varies widely in different parts of the continents and ocean basins. About 70 percent of the volume of sedimentary rocks of Earth’s crust is dense on the continents. About 29 percent of Earth’s surface is made by this. About 13percent of sedimentary rocks occur on the continental shelf and continental slope, which together make up about 14 percent of Earth’s surface. About 17 percent of the total volume of sedimentary rocks occurs in the floors of the oceans, they made up for about 58 percent of Earth’s surface.

Tectonic setting of sediment accumulation

The properties of sedimentary rocks like physical, chemical, and biological are strongly influenced by the nature of sediment source areas and the conditions of the laying down environment. The major behaviour of source areas and depositional environments, in turn, are their result of the tectonic can the geologic history of the region in which these dements accumulate. For instance, source rock types are intimately concerned with the regional tectonic setting; For example, volcanic source rocks originate mainly within magmatic arc settings, plutonic igneous rocks are more characteristic of continental block provenances and metamorphic and sedimentary source rocks typically occur in orogenic belts characterized by collision tectonics. Furthermore, the topographic expression and relief of source areas are prevented by up lift and distortion. Similarly, such aspects of the depositional environment as basin size and geometry, water depth, proximity to source areas, and rate of basin subsidence are influenced by the position of the depositional environment within the regional tectonic framework. Tectonism, through its influence on provenance and depositional environments, thus exerts a significant, indirect control on sedimentation patterns and sedimentary rock.
From about the 1860s to the 1960s Plate tectonics and depositional basins begins, geological thought considered the relationship of tectonics and sedimentation focused on the geosynclinal theory. That theory was put forward and that geosyncline are relatively narrow, elongate sediment-filled troughs that were located along the margins of continents or possibly within continents. Shallow-marine stuck putatively accumulated in these troughs to great thickness as a result of continued subsidence of the geosyncline caused by sediment loading or by down buckling of Earth’s crust owing to lateral compression generated by shrinking of the Earth. characteristics.

Source:geologycafe.com Fig:Plate Tectonics Model
Plate Tectonics Model


Control or affect depositional processes and the resulting sediment characteristics include:

  1. The lithology of the parent rock like granite, metamorphic rock etc. in the sediment source area, and it controls the composition of sediment derived from these source rocks.
  2. The climate of the depositional basin is also important because it affects sedimentary processes such as transport of sediment by the wind, water, or ice. There lie, slope, and climate of the source area, which control the rate of sediment denudation, the survivability of unstable minerals, and the rate at which sediment is delivered to depositional basins.
  3. The rate of basin subsidence, together with rates of sea-level increase or decrease, can conform the accretion space – the space available at any time in which sediments can accumulate.
  4. The size and shape of the basins, that places limits on the volume of sediments that can accumulate.


Collinson, D J and B D Thompson. Sedimentary structures. Delhi: CBS Publishers and Distributors, 1989.
Ehlers, E G and H Blatt. Petrology: Igneous, sedimentary and Metamorphic. New Delhi: CBS Publishers and Distributors, 1987.
JR, Sam Boggs. Petrology of Sedimentary structures. New York: Macmillan Publishing company, 1989.
Pettijohn, F J. Petrology of Sedimentary rocks. New Delhi: CBS Publishers and Distributors, 1984.


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