l>Sedimentary RocksSedimentary Rocks

Igneous rocks are sometimes taken into consideration primary rocks due to the fact that they crystallize indigenous a liquid. In the case, sedimentary rocks are obtained rocks due to the fact that they are created from fragments of pre-existing rocks.

You are watching: Which process most likely formed a layer of the sedimentary rock gypsum

Formation that Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks room the product of 1) weathering that preexisting rocks, 2) transport that the weathering products, 3) deposition of the material, adhered to by 4) compaction, and also 5) cementation of the sediment to kind a rock. The last two steps are referred to as lithification.



When rocks (igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic) room at or close to the surface ar of the planet they room exposed come the procedures of weathering.

In mechanical weathering rocks are broken up into smaller pieces by frost-wedging (the freezing and thawing of water within cracks in the rock), root-wedging (tree and other plant roots growing into cracks), and abrasion led to by, for example, sand-blasting the a cliff challenge by blow sands in the dessert, or the scouring of water transported sand, gravel, and boulders ~ above the bedrock of a mountain stream. Mechanical weathering division rocks right into smaller and smaller pieces however without otherwise transforming the minerals.

In chemical weathering mineral are adjusted into new minerals and mineral byproducts. Part minerals choose halite and calcite may dissolve completely. Others, specifically silicate minerals, are altered by a chemical procedure called hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is the reaction of minerals in weakly acidic waters. Most organic surface waters space slightly acidic since carbon dioxide native the air disappear in the water. Few of the dissolved CO2 reacts v the water forming the chemical link carbonic acid.

Complete weathering that silicate rocks will certainly yield:

solid materials

1) clays

2) quartz sand (if the absent originally consisted of quartz)

dissolved materials

3) soluble silica

4) metal cations

Rock fragments will likewise remain wherein the rocks space not totally weathered.

Not just is quartz the most stable of the typical rock creating minerals in chemistry weathering, that is high hardness and lack of cleavage do it quite resistant to mechanically weathering. Quartz is itself an agent of mechanically weathering in the form of blowing dessert sand.


As the process of weathering proceeds the assets are carried off. The most necessary transporting certified dealer is water. Water dead or rolls particles in rivers, indigenous the the smallest suspended clay particles to the biggest boulders. Boulders and also smaller rock fragments continue to be broken up and chemically changed as lock tumble downstream. Water also carries liquified minerals, such together silica and also cations downstream and also in the groundwater. Other transporting agents encompass wind which blows dust and also sand, glaciers, which carry large amounts of gravel and vast boulders in enhancement to smaller particles, and mass wasting top top hillslopes. In enhancement to to decrease the fragment size, as sedimentary product is transported that is also sorted into comparable sized particles as a result of an altering energy (velocity) in the transporting medium (water or wind), and rounded by ongoing abrasion.


Sediments space transported only when there is enough energy in the carrying medium, because that example, once a present is flowing rapidly sufficient to bring a offered size the sedimentary particle. Steep mountain streams have the right to move large boulders during spring flood however these boulders will never be transported out into a placid lowland river. Therefore the largest sediments (boulders, cobbles, and also pebbles) which survive the weathering process, have tendency to be deposited near to your source, for example at the allude where a hill stream flows the end onto a sink floor. Sediments that a provided size are deposited whenever castle move into an atmosphere with insufficient power to move them. For example, silt lugged by a flooding flow will clear up out in the quiet backwaters outside the river financial institutions (perhaps enriching someone\"s farmland - when wrecking your home).

Sediments are deposited layer upon layer. The layers are deposited horizontally.

Sorting. Once a river encounters the ocean it begins to deposit its rely sediments. Significantly finer sediments are deposited moving away from the shoreline. All fine materials are winnowed out leaving sands in the wave-dominated beach and also nearshore environment. The sands stay in this high power environment. In deeper/calmer water silt settles out. In water deep enough not come be influenced by surface ar wave activity the clay portion begins to resolve out.

The liquified load in water will certainly precipitate out (crystallize) if it encounters a supersaturated environment. Gypsum, halite, and also other salts, precipitate out of seawater in arid areas, prefer the eastern Mediterranean, where evaporation is high (thus raising the salinity) and influx of new seawater is low.

Compaction and also Cementation

As sedimentation continues, the previously deposited sediments room laden with an enhancing overburden. They are compacted, reduce the obtainable pore an are and expelling much of the pore-water.

Dissolved minerals in the floor water precipitate (crystallize) native water in the pore spaces creating mineral crusts ~ above the sedimentary grains, progressively cementing the sediments, thus creating a rock. Calcite (calcium carbonate), silica, and also hematite (red iron oxide) space the most typical cementing agents. You might be acquainted with calcite (or lime) encrustation top top old plumbing fixtures, showerheads, and also inside hot water heaters.

Types of Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks may be split into three simple categories:

1) Clastic (detrital) sedimentary rocks space composed of the solid assets of weathering (gravel, sand, silt, and also clay) cemented with each other by the dissolved weathering products.

2) Biogenic (biochemical) sedimentary rocks are those created of materials created by the activity of living organisms such together coal (compacted undecayed plant matter) and many limestones which are comprised of the shells or other skeletal pieces from maritime organisms.

3) Chemically precipitated (chemical) sedimentary rocks room those such as halite and gypsum, and some limestones, which kind direct precipitation (crystallization) the the dissolved ions in the water.

Clastic Sedimentary Rocks

Clastic sedimentary rocks may first be classified follow to your grain size. Clay-sized particles space too little to it is in seen v a microscope. Rock formed from clay-size particles are dubbed shale. Silt-sized particles room visible v a microscope. Rock formed from these are called siltstone. Sand-sized grains room visible to the naked eye and selection from 1/16 mm come 2 mm. Sand is more subdivided into really fine, fine, medium, coarse, and an extremely coarse. Rock developed from this are referred to as sandstone. \"Gravel\"-sized grains selection from > 2 mm granules come very huge boulders. Rock containing these large size corpuscle are dubbed conglomerate and are typically really poorly sorted (e.g., they may contain, sand, gravel, and also boulders all in one rock). If the gravel particles are small weathered and are tho angular (un-rounded) the rock is referred to as breccia.

Biogenic Sedimentary Rocks

Carbonate Rocks (based top top CO3). While some carbonate rocks kind as straightforward chemical precipitates many carbonate rocks are the product of naval organisms such together molluscs and also corals. They precipitate calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3) or other similar carbonate minerals directly from the dissolved chemicals in the water to produce their shells. Limestone is the product. In ~ some later time (e.g.,. After ~ burial) calcite might be transformed into dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. Calcite will certainly react vigorously v dilute hydrochloric mountain (HCl). Powdered dolomite will certainly react sluggishly with HCl.

Coal is additionally formed by biological task but in this situation the material is organic matter from decaying plants that might accumulate if plant expansion is faster than the rate of decay. The organic matter will it is in buried and also compacted through layer top top layer of partially decayed plants, eventually ending up being coal.

Chemically precipitated Sedimentary Rocks

Where the dissolved ions encounter supersaturated problems they come the end of solution and combine together forming an orderly arrangement of atoms (that\"s right - minerals). They are claimed to precipitate - walk from the liquid, dissolved state to the solid crystal state. Rocks developed in this way include halite, gypsum, anhydrite, and some limestones. Layers of precipitation rocks are referred to as evaporite deposits because they typically form where evaporation is high in arid regions like the desert southwest and also in the east Mediterranean. Salt flats in the desert southwest and elsewhere contain large deposits that chemically precipitated layers that formed as feather runoff native the surrounding mountains lugged dissolved ions out ~ above the flats wherein the waters climate evaporated in the summer sun, leaving behind the salts.

Sedimentary Structures

Most sedimentary rocks contain internal layering called bedding or stratification. Stratification may range from a bed thickness of countless meters down to fine millimeter-size laminations. Bedding is generally horizontal or almost so.

See more: Which Statement Best Illustrates The Law Of Diminishing Returns?

Internal stratification in ~ a larger bed might be parallel or there might be cross-stratification caused by ripples, sand bars, and dune structures. Ripple marks, a few millimeters come centimeters in size, are usual features in water to adjust sediments. Big scale cross-bedding in sandstone, within horizontal great a couple of to numerous feet thick, shows deposition in sand dunes.

Ripple marks suggest deposition in a current. Assymetric ripples (one side steeper than the other) suggests a continual current direction together in streams. Symetric ripples suggest oscillating (waves) or weak currents.

Mudcracks are developed by dry of wet muds. Raindrop impression may likewise be preserved in sediments. They suggest deposition in a terrestrial setting.

Fossils are really important indications of depositional environment. Fossils incorporate preserved skeleton fragments, plant roots, etc., and also trace fossils such as burrows, footprints, sheet impressions, etc. Coral and many covering fossils indicate marine deposition. Leaves suggest terrestrial deposition.