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Dear Geology 11 Class,

These are the notes for the second exam on September 4, 2008.
Topics covered: sedimentary rocks, sedimentary environments, groundwater, mass wasting,
metamorphic rocks
Exam type: multiple choice (op chors), true or false, matching type
Mag-aral ng mabuti, ok? After the exam fieldtrip sa Taal, yehey! :)
Good luck!
Ma'am Jill

1. Weathering
2. Erosion
3. Transport
4. Deposition
5. Diagenesis

External processes shaping the Earth:

1. Weathering – the physical breakdown (disintegration) and chemical alteration
(decomposition) of rocks at or near the Earth’s surface
- Occurs when a rock is mechanically fragmented (disintegrated) and/or
chemically altered (decomposed)
- Two types of weathering: Mechanical and Chemical

2. Erosion – the removal of material by mobile agents such as water, wind, ice or man
Mechanical Weathering - The physical breaking up of rock into smaller pieces → leads to an
increase in surface area
- requires the application of some physical force or stress to be applied to
the rock; no accompanying changes to the composition of rocks
- Prevails in: cold climates, high altitudes, dry regions

1. Frost wedging – repeated cycles of freezing and thawing; the expansion force of water as it
freezes is sufficient to split any mineral or rock.
2. Heating and cooling - Differences in temperature in a rock give rise to differential expansion
(heating) and contraction (cooling).
3. Wetting and drying - The disruption of soil results in the swelling and contracting of soil
4. Organisms- Action of organisms, including animals and plants, reduces the size of rocks
and minerals.
5. Unloading - the removal of thick layers of sediments overlying deeply buried rocks by
erosion or uplift.

Chemical Weathering - breakdown of minerals by chemical reactions with water, with

chemicals dissolved in water or with gases in the air
progression from less stable minerals to more stable minerals

1) Dissolution - the dissolving of a solid in a liquid

2) Hydrolysis - process of minerals reacting with water to form hydroxides, which usually are
more soluble than the original mineral. example - pyroxene to Fe oxide 4FeSiO3 + H2O + O2
→ 4FeO(OH) + 4SiO2

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3) Acidification - Weathering is accelerated by the presence of hydrogen ion in water, such as
that provided by carbonic and organic acids.
4) Hydration - combination of a solid mineral or element with water.
5) Oxidation and Reduction - used in mineral weathering, is both the chemical combination of
oxygen with a compound and the change in oxidation number of some chemical element
(Reduction is the chemical process in which electrons are gained.)
6) Ion-exchange - involves the transfer of charged atoms (ions) of calcium, magnesium,
sodium, and potassium between waters rich in one of the ions and a mineral rich in another
(Most effective in clays.)

Susceptibility of minerals to chemical weathering - Goldich Stability Series

- describes the order in which silicate minerals weather.
Minerals which form at high temperatures and pressures are least stable, and weather most
quickly because they are farther from their "zone of stability“ or the conditions under which they
- The order of mineral stability in the weathering environment is the same order as Bowen's
Reaction Series.

The main products of weathering

1. Soluble Ions - Na, Ca, K, Mg
2. Clay minerals – kaolinite, montmorillonite
3. resistant minerals – quartz, hematite, magnetite, garnet, gold, diamond

Alterations due to Chemical Weathering:

**1. Decomposition of unstable minerals.
**2. Generation or retention of those minerals which are in equilibrium with the Earth’s surface.

Factors Controlling Weathering

1. Source Composition
Specifically involves the mineralogy, texture and rock structure
Source rock lithology
Fine-grained rocks decompose chemically more readily than coarse-grained rocks
2. Climate
Temperature fluctuations determine importance of ice-wedging and insolation
Precipitation governs the extent of hydrolysis, hydration and solution
3. Topographic Relief
Influence the amount of rock exposed to the forces of weathering
Slope steepness controls the rate at which weathering products are eroded to be
transported elsewhere

Product of weathering – SOIL

Soil – combination of rock, air, water and organic material

Soil type – varies in color, texture, mineral content

Types (orders) of soil:

Alfisols, Aridisols, Entisols, Histosols, Inceptisols, Mollisols, Oxisols, Spodosols, Ultisols,
Gelisols, Andisols, and Vertisols
Soil Profile
O Horizon - organic layer of soil, made up mostly of leaf litter and humus (decomposed organic

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A Horizon - made up of humus (decomposed organic matter) mixed with mineral particles
E Horizon - leaching layer; light in color; made up mostly of sand and silt, having lost most of its
minerals and clay as water drips through the soil.
B Horizon – contains clay and mineral deposits (like iron, aluminum oxides, and calcium
carbonate) that it receives from layers above it when water drips from the soil above.
C Horizon –it consists of slightly broken-up bedrock. Plant roots do not penetrate into this layer
because of very little organic material..
R Horizon - unweathered rock layer

Erosion - comes from old word meaning “eat away”

involves movement of rock or soil

Agents of Erosion:
1. gravity
2. ice
3. organism
4. water
5. wind

Agents of sediment transport:
1. ice
2. water
3. wind
Distance of sediment transport affects clast:
Roundness (measures how rounded corners are) and Sphericity (measures sphere-like
shape of clasts)
Sorting - measure of variation of grain sizes

Ways of physically transporting particles:

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Transporting sediment requires energy
Grain size has relationship with energy
Smaller grains take less energy
Bigger grains take more
If river slows down, sediment will drop out
If river speeds up, water can pick up sediment

Larger sediments are deposited in higher energy environments

Gravel - needs fast moving water or rock slides
Sand - wind and wave action (beaches)
Silt and clay - lakes, swamps and deep oceans
Diagenesis - physical, chemical, and biological processes which collectively result in
transformation of sediments into sedimentary rock
modification of the texture and mineralogy of the rock

Stages of diagenesis:
Early diagenesis - takes place from sedimentation until shallow burial
Late diagenesis - from deep burial to subsequent uplift
The different types of diagenetic processes are:

The simple ideal model for the evolution of sedimentary rocks says there are three basic end
products, that all sedimentary processes are working to reach - quartz sandstone, shale, and
The three end products in the simple ideal model are not isolated, each one stands for a class
of weathering products.
Quartz sandstone = all visible grains, including such ones as incompletely weathered feldspar
from the granodiorite in the simple ideal model.
Shale = all clay sized grains (clay is a generic name; there are many kinds of clay minerals as
well as other minerals that are clay sized)
Limestone = all dissolved minerals, including not only calcite CaCO3, but also halite (table
salt; NaCl), and gypsum (CaSO4 . H2O) among others.


siliciclastic (or simply, clastic) rocks - Clastic rocks (sandstones, shales, etc.) are classified
on: texture (grain size), and composition
- Clastic particles are divided into size categories based
on the WENTWORTH SCALE. The Wentworth scale is straight forward, and with a
ruler for scale it is relatively easy to classify the rock.
- They have a clastic (broken or fragmental)
texture consisting of:

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Clast (larger pieces, such as sand or gravel)
Matrix (mud or fine-grained sediment surrounding the clasts)
Cement (the glue that holds it all together, such as calcite, iron oxide, or silica)
Breccia - Grain size = 2 cm or greater - Clasts are angular
Conglomerate - Grain size = 2 cm or greater - Clasts are rounded
Sandstone - Grain size = 1/16 mm to 2 mm - Arkose Sandstone - 75% greater feldspar
- Lithic Sandstone - mostly rock fragments
- Quartz Sandstone - 95% quartz content
chemical rocks
composed of the mineral calcite (CaCO3 - calcium carbonate)
they form by both chemical and biochemical processes
tend to be mixed together in various combinations in the rocks
They are extremely abundant and important.
a siliceous rock (composed of SiO2)
forms from the recrystallized skeletons of "animals " (single-celled radiolarians and glass
sponges) or single-celled " plants " (diatoms, silicoflagellates)
Rock salt (halite; NaCl) and gypsum (CaSO4 . H2O)
originally are dissolved in the sea water, thus making the sea salty
sea water evaporates in a closed area, such as a lagoon, the salt concentration
becomes very high, supersaturated, and precipitates out
biochemical rocks
Carbonates - made up of carbonaceous remains of organisms
Peat and coal
come from plant remains are biochemical rocks
always form in the presence of clastic rocks - sandstones and shales

Common Sedimentary Structures

- One of the most obvious features of sedimentary rocks and sediment is the layered structure
which they exhibit. The layers are evident because of differences in mineralogy, clast size,
degree of sorting, or color of the different layers.


> 300 cm Massive

100-300 cm Very thickly bedded

30 - 100 cm Thickly bedded

10 - 30 cm Medium bedded

3 - 10 cm Thinly bedded

1 - 3 cm Very thinly bedded

0.3 - 1 cm Thickly laminated

<0.3 cm Thinly laminated

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- cross bedding, mud cracks, ripple marks, raindrop imprints, bioturbation

Resources from sedimentary rocks

Sediments are used as:
a. sand and gravel: used as road base, components of concrete, fill, sand for
sandboxes; if pure sand, for glass making
b. pure clays for ceramics (dinner ware/plate ware)
Fossil fuels (e.g. coal, petroleum, natural gas)
Food additives (e.g. sodium and potassium salts)
Placer deposits (grains of economic minerals) e.g. gold, diamond, garnet
Building stone, filtering materials

Lecture - Sedimentary Environments

Fluvial Environment
Lacustrine Environment
Eolian Environment
Glacial Environment

Transitional Environment

Marine Environment
Abyssal Plain
SEDIMENTARY ENVIRONMENT - A part of the earth’s surface, physically, chemically, and
biologically distinct from adjacent terrain.
- Defined by fauna and flora, geology, geomorphology,
climate, weather, temperature, and if sub-aqueous, the depth,
salinity, and current system of the water.
SEDIMENTARY FACIES - A mass of sedimentary rock which can be defined and distinguished
from others by its geometry, lithology, sedimentary structures, paleocurrent pattern and fossils
(Selley 1970).
Methods of Environmental Diagnosis

1. Geometry - a function of pre-depositional topography, geomorphology and its post

depositional history.
2. Lithology - parameters easily observe and has environmental significance
- grain size, sorting, shape, and texture often reflect process of the
3. Sedimentary Structures - important indicators of sedimentary environment
Pre-depositional; Syn-depositional; Post depositional
4. Fossils - one of the most important methods of identifying the depositional environment
of a sediment
- to use fossils in identifying the depositional environment of the host sediment
two assumption are made: the fossil lived in the place where it was buried; the

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habitat of the fossil can be deduced either from its morphology or from studying its
living descendants (if there are any)
* Trace fossils are useful in environmental analysis due to two reasons
they occur in situ (cannot be reworked)
some trace fossils characterize particular environments
Alluvial Environment
lots of coarse particles
usually sandstone and conglomerate
poor sorting
deposited by high energy floods or mudflows
typically found in tectonically active regions (rifting continental grabens and foreland

What is an alluvium?
It is a young sediment (freshly eroded rock particles) that have come off the hillside and been
carried by streams. The sediments accumulate at the base of the slope to form an alluvial fan.
How is it formed?
- When mountains shed sediment off their flanks, streams carry it away as alluvium.
- A mountain stream carries lots of alluvial sediment easily when its gradient is steep and
energy is abundant.
Movement of grains by: suspension, saltation, creep or roll
Ability of streams to carry sediments is described by:
capacity - maximum load of sediment that a stream can transport
competence - measure of the maximum size of particles it is capable of transporting

Two types of alluvial system:

1. Meandering System
consist of one single channel
low gradient and high sinuosity
sediments deposited at the inner sides of meander bends
deposition of sediments takes place in the channel, on the levees and in the basins
gravel and coarse sand are normally found on the channel floor (`lag deposits')
finer sand settles along the inner bends of the river, on so-called `point bars'

* Evolution of an Oxbow lake

(1) On the inside of the loop, the river travels more slowly leading to deposition of silt.
(2) Meanwhile water on the outside edges tends to flow faster, which erodes the banks making
the meander even wider.
(3) Over time the loop of the meander widens until the neck vanishes altogether.
(4) Then the meander is removed from the river's current and the horseshoe shaped oxbow lake
is formed.
Without a current to move the water along, sediment builds up along the banks and fills in the

2. Braided System
have one single channel of low sinuosity and high gradient, with multiple `thalwegs' and
high sediment load
During times of maximum discharge, the channel is completely inundated
In times of low discharge, multiple thalwegs and bars reappear within the channel

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occur in areas with a highly irregular water regime, and abundant sediment supply
Deposits contain alternating areas (lenses) of coarse gravel and sand

* Types of drainage patterns (look for figures depicting this)

a. Dendritic - Uniform underlying bedrock (Igneous rocks; Flat-lying sedimentary rocks)
- Most common drainage pattern on all scales.
- Determined by direction of slope of land
b. Radial - Develops in isolated volcanic cones and domal uplifts
- Often localized.
c. Rectangular - Common in faulted or fractured igneous rock
- Often control pattern of streams
- Guides directions of valleys
d. Trellis - Most common in tilted and folded sedimentary or metamorphic rocks
- Formed by alternating less resistant and resistant layers.

Lacustrine Environment
lake - landlocked body of standing, non-marine water
Geometry - circular or elongate in plan view; lenticular in cross section
Typical sequence - coarsening upward from laminated shales, marls, and limestones to
crossbeds of sandstones

Eolian Environment
wind - a turbulent stream of air
like water, it has the ability to erode, transport and deposit
two properties:
low density - limits competence
unrestricted flow - enables spread over wide areas and high atmosphere
lack of rain allows more effective wind work
deserts (arid environment)
eolian (from Aeolus, Greek god of winds) - describes activity of deposits of winds

Sand Transport
a. Saltation - bouncing and jumping movement of grains. Involves bedload.
b. Suspension - occurs when fine dust and dirt are lifted into the wind. Involves suspended
*Sand particles can be blown away at any height. However, the majority (over 93%) of sand
movement takes place at or below one meter.
Wind Erosion - needs chemical and mechanical weathering to act effectively
two types of wind erosion:
deflation - erosion of ground when dry, loose particles of dust and salt are lifted
and blown away

Sandblasting - shaping of solid rock surfaces by constant impact of grains by wind.

*Ventifacts - rocks shaped by the wind

concentrated in two regions:

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areas where rainfall is less than 250 mm (10 in.)/year, or where evaporation exceeds
Rainfall in deserts may vary from 0.2 cm./yr. to about 40 cm./yr. Rainfalls of 5-20 cm./yr. are
Temperature extremes can vary from –60 degrees F. in Mongolian deserts to 137 degrees
F. in the Sahara Desert. Temperatures in excess of 180 degrees may occur in sands
exposed to full solar radiation.
Great daily extremes can occur.
Due to lack of vegetation, wind velocities are high.

Causes of Deserts
high mountains cause available moisture to condense and precipitate in their higher
parts, reducing moisture available for lowlands in the lee of mountains.
Direct blocking of moisture may also occur.

Wind Deposits

dunes - Sand dunes form when there is (1) a ready supply of sand, (2) a steady wind, and
(3) some kind of obstacle such as vegetation, rocks, or fences, to trap some of the sand.
Sand dunes form when moving air slows down on the downwind side of an obstacle.
Types of dunes (look for figures showing the shape of the dunes)
Barchan dunes - crescent-shaped dunes. They form in areas where there is a hard
ground surface, a moderate supply of sand, and a constant wind direction
Transverse dunes- large fields of dunes that resemble sand ripples on a large scale.
Consist of ridges of sand with a steep face in the downwind side, form in areas where
there is abundant supply of sand and a constant wind direction.
Linear dunes - long straight dunes that form in areas with a limited sand supply and
converging wind directions.
Parabolic dunes - are "U" shaped dunes with an open end facing upwind. Form in
areas with abundant vegetation and constant wind. Most common in coastal areas.
Star dunes - dunes with variable arms and slip face directions. Form in areas with
abundant sand supply and variable wind direction.

Glacial Environment
glacier - a permanent (on a human time scale) body of ice that shows evidence of
downward movement due to gravitational pull.

Types of Glaciers
Alpine/Mountain Glaciers - Relatively small glaciers at higher elevations in mountainous
Ice Sheets: (Continental glaciers):
the largest types of glaciers on Earth.
cover large areas of the land including mountain areas.
Modern ice sheets cover Greenland and Antarctica.
Ice Shelves:
are sheets of ice floating on water and attached to land.
usually occupy coastal embayments.

Can also be classified as:

Temperate Glaciers - ice near melting point.
Polar Glaciers - ice below melting point.

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Formation of Glaciers
Form at or above snowline
Snowline - where ice can be created and remain all year round
The snowline, at present, lies at sea level in polar latitudes and rises up to 6000 m in
tropical areas.
Form by recrystallization of snow due to pressure of overlying compacted snow.
Recrystallized snow has decreased air and increased grain size and density forming
solid blocks of ice.

Glaciation - Changes in landforms due to glacial action, both by glacial deposition and glacial
Landforms produced by mountain glaciers (search for examples of these landforms)

Cirques - bowl shaped depressions that occur at the heads of mountain glaciers
Glacial Valleys - Valleys that once contained glacial ice become eroded into a "U" shape in
cross section
Arêtes - If two adjacent valleys are filled with glacial ice, the ridges between the valleys can be
carved into a sharp knife-edge ridge, called an arête.
Horns - Where three or more cirques are carved out of a mountain, they can produce a sharp
peak called a horn.
Hanging Valleys - A valley that has greater elevation than the valley to which it is tributary.
Since glaciers are solid they can transport all sizes of sediment, from huge house-sized
boulders to fine-grained material. All sediment deposited as a result of glacial erosion is called
Glacial Drift.

Ice Laid Deposits

Till - nonsorted glacial drift deposited directly from ice. A till that has undergone diagenesis and
has turned into a rock is called a tillite.
Erratics - a glacially deposited rock or fragment that now rests on a surface made of different
Moraines - are deposits of till that have a form different from the underlying bedrock. Depending
on where it formed in relation to the glacier moraines can be:

TRANSITIONAL ENVIRONMENTS - Transitional environments are those environments at or

near the transition between the land and the sea.

Delta - prograding depositional bodies that form at the point where a river debauches in a lake
or sea.

Parts of a Delta:
delta plain - composed of meandering flood plains, swamps, and beach complex.
delta front - steeper part.
prodelta - broadly sloping that grades into the open shelf.

Types of Delta:
large sediment volume
lobate shape = moderate sediment supply
elongated when sediment supply is large
linear features parallel to tidal flow and perpendicular to shore.

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Wave-dominated delta
smoothly arcuate; tidal action reworks sediment.
much sandier than the other types of delta.

Coral Reefs - composed of carbonate structures formed by carbonate secreting organisms;
build up on continental shelves; form limestone deposits
Fringing Reefs - coral reef that is directly attached or borders the shore of an island or
Barrier Reefs - a long narrow coral reef roughly parallel to the shore
- separated from it at same distance by a lagoon.
Atoll - continuous or broken circle of coral reef and low coral islands surrounding a central
Question: How do you form barrier reefs and atolls?

shore of a body of water formed and washed by waves and tides.
usually covered by sandy or pebbly material
usually well sorted sand and pebbles, accompanied by mud, cobbles, boulders,
smooth rocks and shell fragments.
Longshore drift
the movement of sediment along a beach by swash and backwash of waves
that approach the shore obliquely.
Longshore current
a current that moves parallel to a shore
formed from the momentum of breaking waves that approach shore obliquely.

Spit - long ridge of sand deposited by longshore current and drift; attached to land at upstream
end (e.g. Cavite)
Tombolo - a sand or gravel bar that connects an island with the mainland or another island.

Continental Margin

Continental Shelf - continuous with the coastal plain sequences of the continents
- part of the continental margin that is between the shoreline and the
continental slope (~200m).
- quartz and clay minerals are dominant; fossils are mostly marine

Continental Slope - between the continental shelf and continental shelf and continental rise
(oceanic trench)

Continental Rise - between continental slope and abyssal plain

- gentle incline and generally smooth topography
- may bear submarine canyons

Abyssal Plain - flat region of the ocean floor

- covered with pelagic mud with fine sand layers from distal turbidites

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1. Limestones are commonly formed in warm, shallow seas. However, if you go up to Baguio
City which is 1400 m. above sea level, you are going to find limestone deposits. How do you
explain this?
2. How can a sedimentary deposit contain fragments of basalt and andesite?

3. The beach in boracay is made up of white sand. The beach in Zambales is made up of black
magnetite sand. Explain this please.


Waters of the World:

Oceans – 97.20%
Glaciers and other ice – 2.10%
Others – 0.62% (97.40% groundwater, 1.62% surface water, 0.81% soil moisture, 0.16%

Ground water - Fresh water located beneath the ground; Stored in and transmitted through: a)
spaces between grains of Sediments and Clastic rocks; b) cracks or openings in rocks

Source of groundwater: precipitation (See water cycle)

Water table - upper boundary of groundwater

Streams – usually intersect water table

- geologic term for channelized flow of water (e.g. rivers, streams, creeks)

Vadose Zone/ Zone of Aeration – above water table; air between grains
Phreatic Zone/ Zone of Saturation – below water table; water between grains
Capillary Fringe – just above water table; water rises due to capillary action

Porosity - Measures amount of water that rocks/sediments can hold; Volume of voids / total
volume of material
- Affected by grain size, sorting and grain packing (Poorly sorted - less porous; cubic
packing more porous than rhombohedral)
- Well-rounded coarse-grained sediments usually have higher porosity than fine-grained
sediments, because the grains do not fit together well.

Permeability - Ability to transmit fluids; degree of interconnection of voids in the material

Groundwater transport
Aquifer - Stores and transmits sufficient amount of water

Confining units
Aquitard – stores, but slowly transmits water
Aquiclude – stores, but does not transmit water
Aquifuge – does not store nor transmit water

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Unconfined aquifer - Bounded at the bottom by a confining unit; Water rises up to the water
Perched aquifer - Unconfined aquifer defined by a discontinuous confining unit; Local water
table (usually above the main/regional water table)
Confined aquifer - Bounded at top and bottom by confining units; Water rises up to the
piezometric water level (also called potentiometric line/surface)
Potentiometric surface - level to which water will rise in a well due to natural pressure in the

Springs - Form when the water table, confined aquifers or GW-bearing fractures/cavities
intersect ground surface

Artesian wells - Wells tapping a confined aquifer; Analogy: water supply from elevated water
- Water in the well rises above the top of the aquifer under artesian pressure, but
does not necessarily reach the land surface (in deep wells tapping confined aquifers, the water
does not flow to the surface but the water level is higher than the aquifer level)
Flowing artesian well – a well in which the water level is above the land surface; the water will
flow out freely

Does groundwater run out?

Aquifers are recharged by the infiltration of rainwater or snowmelt from the ground surface;
When the rate of recharge becomes much slower than the rate at which groundwater is being
extracted, groundwater can run out,

Geologic Work of groundwater

Caverns – created by acidic groundwater dissolving soluble rock (limestone) at or just below the
surface in the zone of saturation
- features found within caverns from at the zone of aeration (e.g. speleothems –
stalactites, stalagmites, column)
Karst topography – result of dissolution of limestone by groundwater (e.g. sinkholes)

Groundwater-related problems
>Pumping from a well in a water table aquifer lowers the water table near the well. This area is
known as a cone of depression. Groundwater flows towards the well into the cone of
>Pollution/contamination and salt-water intrusion
Problems associated with groundwater withdrawal
>Ground water depletion
>Subsidence (e.g. Mexico: 18 in/yr to supply ~20 million people)
>Sinkhole formation
>Saltwater encroachment
>Groundwater pollution or contamination

CAMANAVA enhanced flooding: groundwater overextraction à compaction of aquifers à land

subsidence à increased susceptibility to floods

Groundwater pollution
>Septic systems

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>Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, farm chemicals, fertilizers
>Organic waste from farm animals (fecal colliform bacteria in water)
>Hazardous and industrial waste
>LUST (Leak of Underground Storage Tanks)
>Leaking landfills
>Storage and disposal of radioactive waste
>Acid rain or runoff

Groundwater availability
>Rocks are classified based on their capacity to store groundwater. This is dependent on the
rock type, and its porosity and permeability. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are typically not
known to store significant amounts of groundwater.

Lecture - Mass Wasting

Mass Wasting - downslope movement of rock, regolith (unconsolidated material) and soil under
the influence gravity
- some mass-wasting processes act very slowly; others occur very suddenly,
often with disastrous results

Factors Promoting Mass Wasting

>Slope angle
>Water content
>Material type
>Triggering mechanisms

Slope Angle:
Two components of gravity act on a slope:
a.) normal force – helps to hold the object in place
b.) shear force – pulls the object in the downslope direction
On steeper slopes, the shear force is greater than the normal force.
Angle of Repose - steepest angle at which a pile of unconsolidated grains remains stable and
controlled by frictional contact between grains

Amount of Water:
Dry unconsolidated grains will form a pile with a slope angle determined by the angle of repose;
Slightly wet unconsolidated materials exhibit a very high angle of repose due to surface tension
between the water and the solid grains holding the grains in place; But when the material
becomes saturated with water, the angle of repose becomes very small → material flows like a
fluid, because the water gets between the grains and removes grain to grain frictional contact

Type of Material:
> Bedrock is more resistant to slope failure than soil
> Presence of fractures increase susceptibility to mass wasting
> Orientation of bedding planes – Those that dip downslope (daylight structures) have a higher
tendency for slope failure

Triggering Mechanism:
> Earthquake – seismic and volcanic activity, minor shocks like heavy trucks rambling down the
road or man-made explosions
> excessive rainfall – saturates material

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> undercutting of slopes and infrastructure reduces slope stability

Types of Mass Wasting

Classified by:
Type of Motion – fall, slide, flow
Rate of movement – imperceptibly slow to very rapid movement
Type of material – rock, debris, earth

Fall - Piece of material on a steep slope becomes dislodged and falls down the slope
*Accumulation of fallen material at the base of slopes or cliffs is known as talus.

Slide - materials slide down pre-existing surface (e.g. bedding plane, foliation surface or joint

Two types:
>Translational – material moves along a roughly planar surface; Differ from slumps because
there is no rotation of the sliding rock mass
>Rotational (slump) - downward and outward rotation of material along a concave-upward
surface; leaves arcuate scars or depressions on the hill slope

Flow - distribution of velocities in the displacing mass resembles that of a liquid

a. Mudflow - Highly fluid, high velocity mixture of sediment and water (consistency similar to
wet concrete); Move at velocities >1 km/hr
*Volcanic mudflows are known as lahars
b. Earthflow – involves finer materials, usually slower than mudflows
- leaves a tongue-shaped deposit at the base
c. Creep - requires years of gradual movement (a few inches to several feet per year) to have a
pronounced effect on a slope; due to the expansion and contraction of surface sediment, and
the pull of gravity.

Mitigating Measures
> Engineering intervention – retaining walls with weep holes, wire mesh and bionets, rock bolts,
removal of portions susceptible to mass wasting
> Revegetation
> Hazard preparedness – hazard mapping, information campaign

Lecture - Metamorphic Rocks


- change undergone by an existing rock (e.g. igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic), in the solid
state, to another rock

Agents of metamorphism – Heat, Pressure, Chemically active fluids

Heat Sources
> Geothermal gradient - temperature increases with depth (20o – 30oC per km in the crust)
> Large bodies of molten rock or intrusive bodies
Provides the energy to drive chemical reactions → recrystallization of minerals


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- When subjected to confining pressure, minerals may recrystallize into more compact forms.

Two Types:

> Confining pressure – equal stress in all directions; from overlying rock
> Differential stress – unequal pressure in different directions

Chemically Active Fluids

> Water trapped in pore spaces of the original rock.
> Water released during dehydration of minerals, such as amphibole or mica.
> Water from magmatic bodies (hydrothermal fluids).

Types of metamorphism

Contact Metamorphism
- occurs when magma invades pre-existing rock. A zone of alteration called an aureole (or halo)
forms around the emplaced magma
- involves high temperature
- Takes place at shallow depths (0-6km) and low pressure
- Metamorphic rocks produced: non-foliated; fine-grained

Regional Metamorphism
- Takes place at considerable depths over an extensive area (5-20 km, sometimes more than 30
km) under high pressure and associated with the process of mountain building
- When continents collide (A) or oceanic crust subducts (B)

Hydrothermal Metamorphism
- Chemical alteration at high temperatures and moderate pressures by hot, ion-rich
(hydrothermal) fluids that circulate through fissures and cracks.
- common in basaltic rocks where hydrothermal metamorphism results in alteration to such Mg-
Fe rich hydrous minerals as talc, chlorite, serpentine, actinolite, tremolite, zeolites, and clay
- Rich ore deposits are often formed as a result of hydrothermal metamorphism.

Shock (impact) metamorphism

- When an extraterrestrial body, such as a meteorite or comet impacts with the Earth or if there
is a very large volcanic explosion, ultrahigh pressures can be generated in the impacted rock
- These ultrahigh pressures can produce minerals that are only stable at very high pressure,
such as the SiO2 polymorphs coesite and stishovite.

Classification of metamorphic rocks

Based on:
1. Texture – size, shape and relationships of constituent minerals (foliated and non-foliated)
2. Protolith – original rock that was transformed by metamorphism (in low-grade metamorphic
rocks, original textures may still be preserved and might allow determination of likely protolith)
3. Mineralogy – mineral assemblage present


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> Foliated – exhibits a pervasive planar structure known as foliation which is due to the nearly
parallel alignment of minerals and/or compositional and mineralogical layering in the rock
> Non-foliated – no preferred mineral orientations; metamorphism leads to transformation of one
mineral to another

Resources from metamorphic rocks

1. Marble is used for statues and ornamental building stone.

2. Slate is used for roofing, flooring, billiard/pool tables, and blackboards.

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3. Talc is ground into powder.
4. Graphite is used in pencils and lubricants.
5. Garnet and corundum used as gemstones and abrasives.
6. Kyanite, andalusite, sillimanite used as raw materials in the ceramics industry.
7. Sulfide deposits (bornite, chalcopyrite, galena, pyrite, and sphalerite)
8. Iron and tin oxide deposits (hematite, magnetite and cassiterite)
9. Tungsten deposits (wolframite and scheelite)
10. Precious metal deposits (gold)

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