Laboratory 6
Sedimentary Environments
Classification Charts

Pamela J. W. Gore

Georgia Perimeter College

Copyright ã 1982-2004 Pamela J. W. Gore

 

Please print these charts in landscape mode rather than in portrait mode.

















Table 1

CONTINENTAL SEDIMENTARY ENVIRONMENTS

ALLUVIAL FAN

FLUVIAL

LACUSTRINE

DESERT (DUNES)

PALUDAL

Rock Type

Breccia, conglomerate, arkose

Conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, shale

Siltstone, shale, limestone, or evaporites (gypsum)

Quartz arenite (sandstone) or gypsum

Peat, coal, black shale, siltstone

Composition

Terrigenous

Terrigenous

Terrigenous, carbonate, or evaporite

Terrigenous or evaporite

Terrigenous

Color

Brown or red

Brown or red

Black, brown, gray, green

Yellow, red, tan, white

Black, gray, or brown

Grain Size

Clay to gravel

Clay to gravel (Fining upward)

Clay to silt or sand (Coarsening upward)

Sand

Clay to silt

Grain Shape

Angular

Rounded to angular

---

Rounded

---

Sorting

Poor

Variable

Variable

Good

Variable

Inorganic Sedimentary Structures

Cross-bedding and graded bedding

Asymmetrical ripples, cross-bedding, graded bedding, tool marks

Symmetrical ripples, lamination, cross-bedding, graded bedding, mudcracks, raindrop prints

Cross-bedding

Laminated to massive

Organic or Biogenic Sedimentary Structures

---

Tracks, trails,burrows

Tracks, trails, burrows, rare stromatolites

Tracks, trails

Root marks, burrows

Fossils

---

Rare freshwater shells, bones, plant fragments

Freshwater shells, fish, bones, plant fragments

---

Plant fossils, rare freshwater shells, bones, fish

 

 

Table 2

TRANSITIONAL SEDIMENTARY ENVIRONMENTS

DELTA

BARRIER BEACH

LAGOON

TIDAL FLAT

Rock Type

Sandstone, siltstone, shale, coal

Quartz arenite, coquina

Siltstone, shale, limestone, oolitic limestone or gypsum

Siltstone, shale, calcilutite, dolostone or gypsum

Composition

Terrigenous

Terrigenous or carbonate

Terrigenous, carbonate, or evaporite

Terrigenous, carbonate, or evaporite

Color

Brown, black, gray, green, red

White to tan

Dark gray to black

Gray, brown, tan

Grain Size

Clay to sand (Coarsening upward

Sand

Clay to silt

Clay to silt

Grain Shape

---

Rounded to angular

---

---

Sorting

Poor

Good

Poor

Variable

Inorganic Sedimentary Structures

Cross-bedding, graded bedding

Cross-bedding, symmetrical ripples

Lamination, ripples, cross-bedding

Lamination, mudcracks, ripples, cross-bedding

Organic or Biogenic Sedimentary Structures

Trails, burrows

Tracks, trails, burrows

Trails, burrows

Stromatolites, trails, tracks, burrows

Fossils

Plant fragments, shells

Marine shells

Marine shells

Marine shells


Table 3

MARINE SEDIMENTARY ENVIRONMENTS

REEF

CONTINENTAL SHELF

CONTINENTAL SLOPE AND RISE

ABYSSAL PLAIN

Rock Type

Fossiliferous limestone

Sandstone, shale, siltstone, fossiliferous limestone, oolitic limestone

Litharenite, siltstone, and shale (or limestone)

Shale, chert, micrite, chalk, diatomite

Composition

Carbonate

Terrigenous or carbonate

Terrigenous or carbonate

Terrigenous or carbonate

Color

Gray to white

Gray to brown

Gray, green, brown

Black, white red

Grain Size

Variable, frameworks, few to no grains

Clay to sand

Clay to sand

Clay

Grain Shape

---

---

---

---

Sorting

---

Poor to good

Poor

Good

Inorganic Sedimentary Structures

---

Lamination, cross-bedding

Graded bedding, cross-bedding, lamination, flute marks, tool marks (turbidites)

Lamination

Organic or Biogenic Sedimentary Structures

---

Trails, burrows

Trails, burrows

Trails, burrows

Fossils

Corals, marine shells

Marine shells

Marine shells, rare plant fragments

Marine shells (mostly microscopic)


Return to Contents

Go to Depositional Sedimentary Environments Lab and Exercises


This page created by Pamela J. W. Gore, pgore@gpc.edu
Georgia Perimeter College

July 14, 1998
Modified June 22, 1999
Modified December 12, 2003