Clastic Sedimentary Rocks

Clastic deposition covers about 75% of the Earth’s surface and clastic sedimentary rocks can be categorized into 3 groups based on grain size. Table 1 demonstrates grain size and type of sedimentary rocks.

Table 1 – Grain Size and Sedimentary Rock


Fine Grained Sedimentary Rocks – Mudstone

Mudstone is a fine grain sedimentary rock and this is the most abundant type of sediments. Its grain size is less than 1//16 mm, so people cannot differentiate it with normal eyesight. Typical mudstones are siltstone, claystone and shale and the most common minerals are quartz, feldspar, calcite and clay. The fine grained rock can show the least about its formation because of a very small grain size. Mudstone is defined as sediment with a large component of clay sized material. Mudstone occurs due to slow settling from slow currents. This fine grain sediment is typically formed on blanketing ridges, continental shaves, seafloor, abyssal plain and in trenches. Continue reading

Clastic Sedimentary and Its Environments

Clastic sediment rocks are rocks which are formed from broken pieces of other pre-existing rocks by physical weathering. Then, rock particles are transported to lower lying areas. Mechanically eroded small pieces of rocks are usually formed in an angular shape because of a natural fracture point when erosion takes place initially.

When rock particles are transported, their shapes become rounded because of abrasion. Figure 1 demonstrates the shape of clastic particles. Furthermore, rock particles will be sorted due to conditions; for example, the flow rate of water transporting particles, size and weight of rocks, and the hardness of each rock. Eroded rock particles will be more rounded and well sorted as time progresses.  Figure 2 shows the definition of clastic particle sorting.

shape of clastic particle

Figure 1 – Shape of Clastic Particles

Figure 2 – Sorting of clastic sedimentary rocks

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