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Contents

c. Deformational

Load Casts
Flame Structures
Slump Folding
Dish and Pillar Structures
Convolute Lamination

d. Others
Mudcracks
Synaeresis

e. Biogenic
Structures

Burrows, Tracks and


Trails
Borings
Stromatolites

Objectives
Deduce the processes and
conditions of deposition.
Palaeo-current direction indicators.
Way-Up indicators.

CLASSIFICATION OF SEDIMENTARY
STRUCTURES

EROSIONAL STRUCTURES
Channels
Scour and Fill Structures
Scour marks
I. Flute casts
Tool marks
I. Continuous: Groove casts
II.Discontinuous:
a. Single: Prod marks, bounce
marks
b. Repeated: Skip marks

DEPOSITIONAL
DEPOSITIONAL
STRUCTURES
STRUCTURES

Ripple Marks
Cross Bedding
Cross Lamination
Flaser and Lenticular Bedding

DEFORMATIONAL
STRUCTURES

Load Casts
Flame Structures
Slump Folding
Dish and Pillar Structures
Convolute Lamination

BIOGENIC STRUCTURES

Burrows, Tracks and Trails


Borings
Stromatolites

Stratification and Bedforms

Bedding and Lamination


Beds: strata greater than 1cm thick.
Results by a rapid deposition in flood or gravity
flow.
Slow deposition by sediments suspension.

Laminae: layers less than 1cm thick.


Results by short lived fluctuations in sedimentation.
Alternating layers of finer and coarser sediments.

Stratification and Bedforms


Upper and lower surfaces of beds are bedding
planes or bounding planes.
A marked discontinuity (commonly an erosional
surface) within beds are amalgamation surface.
Beds are tabular or lenticular layers of
sedimentary rock with lithologic, textural, or
structural unity.
Distinguishable from above and below layers.

Terminology of Bedsets

Stratification and Bedforms

Amalgamation surface in the Kussak Fm,


Nilawahan Gorge, Pakistan.

Stratification and Bedforms

Geometries of Beds
Planar Stratification: internal layers and
laminae that are parallel to bedding planes.
Cross strata: internal layers or laminae that
are at an angle to bedding planes.
Cross- Beds: beds composed of crosslaminated or cross-stratified units.
Bedsets: comprised of similar beds or cross
beds.

Bouma Sequence
Idealized turbidite
sequence recording
decay of flow strength.
Subdivided into Units A
through E.
A : Massive graded bed
(coarsest settled),
B: plane laminated
bed (high flow), C:
lower flow ripples and
wavy lamination, D:
laminated silt, E:
mudstone

Graded Bedding
Vertical gradations in
grain size within a bed.
Basal coarse particles
that grade upwards to
finer particles at top is
Normal (common).
Basal fine particles
that grade upwards to
coarser particles at top
is Reverse (rare).
Graded beds attributed
to turbidites.

Massive Bedding
Lacking internal structure and beds
appear homogeneous.
Massive due to diagenesis.
Intensive organic burrowing
destroyed sedimentary structures.

Erosional Structures

Channels
Show a U or V shape
in cross section.
Cut across earlier
formed bedding and
laminations.
Filled with sediments
texturally different
from the bed they
truncate.

Erosional channel, Khewra


S.st.

Channel in the Khewra S.st, Khewra Gorge,


Pakistan.

Erosional Structures

Scour and Fill Structures


Small, asymmetrical
troughs filled either
with coarser grained
or finer grained
sediments.
Steep upcurrent slope,
and more gentle
downcurrent slope.
Primarily structures of
fluvial origin.

Scour-and-Fill Structures,California.

Erosional Structures

Sole Marks
Sole marks preserved when a coarse sand or silt
layer deposits onto mud.
Present on soles of beds and are Way-up
indicators.
1. Flute Casts (Scour marks)
2. Groove Casts (Tool marks)
3. Bounce, Prod and Skip Marks (Tool marks)

Erosional Structures

Sole Marks
Flute Casts
Bulbous ridges, steeper in upstream
direction and flare downstream
formed by scour fill.
Groove Casts
Elongate straight ridges formed by
tool dragged on a muddy surface,
later filled by coarse sediments.

Erosional Structures

Sole Marks

Two directions of groove casts on


sandstone, Gt. Valley Group, CA.

Flute casts on the sole of a Pliocene


turbidite in the upper part of Split
Mountain Gorge, Salton Trough, southern
California.

Erosional Structures

Prod, Bounce and Skip Marks


Casts of small gouge marks in the underlying
bed produced by the collision of fragments
being carried by the flow that deposited the
overlying bed.

Erosional Structures

Prod , Bounce and Skip Marks


In case of Prod marks, approach angle of is large, on
impact they dug deeply down into the mud and pulled
steeply out by the flow to leave a blunt nose at the
downstream end of the mark.
In case of Bounce marks, approach angle is lower, on
impact it dug more gently into mud before lifting off
again.
Prod marks are asymmetrical in cross section, Bounce
marks are roughly symmetrical.
Skip marks are a series of similar bounce marks
arranged linearly with even spacing. These represent
the repeated bouncing of the same tool above the bed.

Depositional Structures

Ripples
Form in lower flow regime.
Ripple Index ratio of ripple length : ripple
height
Out-of-phase wave propagation with bedforms.
Ripples smallest bedform with RI ~8 (coarse)
to 20 (fine sand), forming in sand and silt.

Dunes
Dune larger
bedform with RI ~5
(fine sand) to 50
(gravel)
2D Dune :
straight/sinuous and
long crested; 10 cm
- 100s m.
3D Dune: curved
faces, irregular and
short crested; 10 cm
-10s m.

Depositional Structures

Antidunes
Form in upper flow regime.
In-phase wave propagation
with bedforms.
Plane-bed flow stage with
transport over a relatively
flat bed.
Internal planar lamination
(mm - cm laminae).
Highest flow velocities may
create antidunes.
Antidunes low, undulating
with RI ~7 to 100.
Low angle cross beds
directed upstream.

Depositional Structures

Ripple Marks
Ripple marks usually form in conditions
with flowing water, in the lower part of the
Lower Flow Regime.
There are two types of ripple marks:
1.Symmetrical Ripple Marks
2.Asymmetrical Ripple Marks

Depositional Structures

Ripple Marks
Symmetrical
ripple marks
Results by two way
current like waves on
a beach (swash and
backwash).
Sedimentary
structures by these
processes are
herringbone crossstratification, flaser
bedding, and
interference ripples.

Ripple Marks in the Khewra S.st, Khewra


Gorge, Pakistan.

Depositional Structures

Ripple Marks
Asymmetrical
ripple marks
Results by a one way
current like in a river,
or the wind in a desert.
More gentle in upcurrent and steep in
down-current direction.
Inclined in the
direction of the current.
Palaeocurrent
indicators.

Asymmetrical ripple marks (current from


top to bottom) on sandstone tilted on
end, Ontario, Canada.

Depositional Structures

Cross Stratification
Strata deposited at an angle to the main
stratification and is produced by migration of
sand dunes or ripples.
Two types of cross stratification on the basis of
scale:
1.Cross- Bedding
2.Cross- Lamination.

Planar Cross bedding


Planar foresets bounded above and below by planar
bounding surfaces.
Migration of large-scale ripples and dunes; lower flow
regime.
Trough Cross bedding
Units whose bounding surfaces are curved, consist of
elongate scour filled with curved laminae.
Migration of small-scale or large-scale ripples.
Palaeocurrent measured in dip direction of foreset laminae.

Depositional Structures

Cross Bedding

Trough cross bedding in a fluvial


channel sandstone.

Planar cross bedding in the Khewra


S.st, Khewra Gorge, Pakistan

Depositional Structures

Hummocky Cross Bedding


Undulating sets of cross
laminae both concaveup (swales) and convexup (hummocks).
Common in 15 - 50 cm
thick sets; wavy
erosional bases and
rippled, bioturbated
tops.
Formed by strong surges
of oscillatory flow in
large storm waves.

Hummocky cross-strata in the Khewra S.st, kh


Pakistan.

Depositional Structures

Ripple Cross Lamination


Under conditions of
rapid deposition,
successive ripples
may climb onto the
backs of previous
ripples with little or
no erosion,
producing false
cross bedding.

Ripple Cross Lamination in the Khewra


S.st, Khewra Gorge, Pakistan.

Depositional Structures

Flaser, Lenticular and Wavy


Bedding
In tidal regions caused by mixing of sand
and mud from asymmetrical currents.
Lenticular bedding occur when sand is
trapped in troughs in the mud as sand
waves migrate across a muddy substrate.
If mixing produces minor mud layer in a
sandy substrate the pattern is called
flaser bedding.

Depositional Structures

Flaser, Lenticular and Wavy


Bedding

Depositional Structures

Flaser, Lenticular and Wavy


Bedding

Sand
Mu
d
Lenticular bedding in the Khewra
Formation, Khewra Gorge, Pakistan.

Flaser bedding in the Khewra Formation,


Khewra Gorge, Pakistan.

Deformational Structures

Load Casts
Occur along bases
of sandstone beds
that overlie
mudstone or shale
beds.
Associated with
flame structures.
Irregularly shaped
without palaeocurrent indicator.
Most common in
turbidite
sequences.

Load Casts in the Khewra Formation,


Khewra Gorge, Pakistan.

Deformational Structures

Flame Structures
Clay-rich material that dragged into the
overlying sand develop flames.
Asymmetry of flame structures determine
paleo-current direction.

Flame Structure in the Khewra S.st, Khewra


Gorge, Pakistan.

Deformational Structures

Slump Folding
Slump structures as
being the products of
i) Pervasive movement
ii) Decollement type of
movement. (Potter and
Pettijohn, 1977)

Bounded above and


below by undisturbed
sediments.
Occur in glacial
sediments, varved
silts, and clays of
lacustrine origin, eolian
dune sands etc.

Slump folding near new Kensington,PA.

Deformational Structures

Convolute Lamination
Folding of laminations
into upright cuspate
forms with sharp
anticlines and more
gentle synclines.
Convolution involves
plastic deformation of
partially liquefied
sediments soon after
deposition.
Common occurrence
in turbidite
sandstones.

Convolute lamination in Pigeon Point


Formation, north-central California.

Deformational Structures

Dish and Pillar Structures


Dish structures are
dark coloured clayrich laminations that
appear saucer or
dish shaped
associated with
vertical pillar
structures.
Occur principally in
sandstone and
siltstone units.

Dish structures in the Cerro Toro Formation


, Southern Chile.

Miscellaneous

Mudcracks
Polygonal patterns on
bedding surface formed
through subaerial
shrinkage.
Cracks infilled by sand.
Concave-upward
surfaces between
mudcracks sand.
Downward tapering
form are useful
indicators of Way-up.

Mud cracks in the Khewra S.st, Khewra


Gorge,
Pakistan.

Miscellaneous

Synaeresis
Discontinuous polygonal to
spindle shaped cracks.
Formed by subaqueous
shrinkage of mud
interbedded with sand.
Appear as positive relief
features on lower bedding
planes or as negative relief
features on upper bedding
surfaces.
Occur in ancient sediments
of both marine and non
marine environment.

Synaeresis in the Kussak Formation,


Nilawahan Gorge, Pakistan.

Bioturbation Structures

Burrows, Tracks and Trails


Burrows: excavations
made into
unconsolidated
substrate.
Tracks: imprints on a
sediment surface by
animal with legs.
Trails: imprints on
sediment by legless
animal.

Burrows in Kussak Formation, Nilawahan


Gorge, Pakistan.

Bioturbation Structures

Burrows, Tracks and Trails

A. Crawling trails on base of turbidite


sandstone.
B. Vertical dwelling burrows, filled with oolite.

Bioerosion Structures

Borings

Excavations made into consolidated


substrate include rock or wood.

Biostratification

Stromatolites
Formed by sediment
binding and trapping in
cyanobacterial
colonies.
Occur in the shallow
subtidal, intertidal, and
supratidal zones of the
ocean and also in
lacustrine
environments.

References
Jr,Sam Boggs ., Principles of
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy: Merril,
columbus,143-174 pp.
Collinson,J.D., and D.B. Thompson,1989,
Sedimentary Structures, second edition:
Unwin Hyman, London, 153,156 p.