Sedimentary geology

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Sedimentary geology encompasses the subdisciplines of sedimentology and stratigraphy. The field addresses all aspects of research into sediments and sedimentation processes at all spatial and temporal scales, sedimentary systems and basin analysis, subsurface analysis of sedimentary sequences, diagenesis (processes involving biological, physical and chemical changes in sediment which may then culminate in lithification), chemical sedimentology and numerical modelling (analysis of stratification facies).

Sedimentology is the study of the production, composition, transport, and deposition of sediment.

Stratigraphy is the study of existing layers or rocks and minerals and the process of layering (stratification). The primary focuses are the process of sedimentation encompassing such dynamics as changes in sea level, tectonic activity, and climatic effects on the production of sediment (e.g. particulates carried in water runoff due to flooding) and material sequentially layered through volcanic activity. (see Geologic ages of earth history)

There are other subfields as well. Lithostratigraphy is the study of strata to determine the history of geological processes and events through lithology, using well logs, mineral composition and quantity, grain size, texture and color. Chronostratigraphy is the study of the ages of strata through comparison, and correlation of separated strata to elucidate their relative and absolute ages. Biostratigraphy employs the analysis of fossil plant and animals using principles of paleontology and stratigraphy to date and correlate strata using evidence as may be presented by such organisms as pollen and spores (Palynology), marine microfossils (e.g. diatoms, foraminifera, and nannofossils) to determine the absolute and relative age and the environment that existed during deposition of a particular formation.[1][2][3][4][5]

References

  1. University of Georgia Stratigraphy Lab
  2. USC Sequence Stratigraphy Web University of South Carolina, Dept. of Geology
  3. A numerical model of sediment-laden turbulent flow in an open channel National Research Council Canada
  4. Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary
  5. Glossary of meteorology American Meteorlogical Society

Sources