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PRINCIPLES OF

SEDIMENTOLOGY
Dr. Sugeng S Surjono
ssuryono@ugm.ac.id

Lab. Sedimentografi
Jurusan Teknik Geologi, Fakultas Teknik
Universitas Gadjah Mada

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Introduction
Definitions

Sedimentology = the study of the processes of


formation, transport and deposition of material which
accumulates as sediment in continental and marine
environments and eventually forms sedimentary rocks
Stratigraphy = the study of rocks to determine the
order and timing of events in Earth history
Sedimentary geology sedimentology +
stratigraphy
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SEDIMENTARY CICLES

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Sedimentary cicles
Weathering
(Erosion)
Transportation -Deposition
Lithification (diagenesis)

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Weathering
Physical Weathering
Frost wedging: caused by freezing and thawing of water in rock
fractures.
Alternate expansion and contraction of rock surfaces as a result of
diurnal changes in temperature
Release of overburden pressure owing to erosion to overlying strata
causes the development of rock fractures
Chemical Weathering
It involves changes that can alter both the chemical and
mineralogical composition of rocks. Minerals in the rocks are
attacked by water, oxygen and carbon dioxide of the atmosphere,
causing some component of the minerals to dissolve and be remove
in solution.

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Sedimentary cicles
Weathering
(Erosion)
Transportation
Deposition
Lithification (diagenesis)

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EROSI
Proses lepasnya suatu bagian batuan dari tubuh batuan induknya.
Bagian yang terlepas tersebut bisa merupakan bagian yang lapuk
ataupun yang masih segar, akibat benturan, hempasan, goresan
dan atau korosi
AGEN EROSI :
AIR MENGALIR
ANGIN BERTIUP
GLETSER YANG BERGERAK

HASIL EROSI :
Erosi menghasilkan material hancuran yang teronggok dekat
dengan batuan induknya : ENDAPAN KLASTIK
Endapan klastik dipindahkan dari tempat asalnya ke tempat lain
oleh proses yang disebut proses TRANSPORTASI
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Sedimentary cicles
Weathering
(Erosion)
Transportation - Deposition
Lithification (diagenesis)

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Sediment Transport
Transport media
Water/fluids
Overland flow, channel flow
Waves, tides, ocean currents

Air
Ice
Gravity
Rock falls (no transport medium involved)
Debris flows, turbidity currents (water
involved)

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Sediment transport
mechanism
Currents
Waves
Tides
Gravity

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Sediment transport
mechanism
Currents
Waves
Tides
Gravity

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Two types of flows: Laminar and turbulent flows


in laminar flow, water
particles are all moving
nearly parallel to each
other downflow

in turbulent flow, water


particles are moving
more chaotically, where
in local areas water
might be moving up,
down, in, out, or even
upstream

Highly turbulent water masses are referred to as eddies


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LAMINAR VS TURBULENT FLOW

Schematic representation of laminar vs turbulent fluid flow


a) Laminar flow over a smooth stream bed
b) Laminar flow over a spherical particle on a smooth bed
c) Turbulent flow over a smooth bed. The arrows indicate flow
paths of the fluid
Boggs, 1995

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Reynolds number (laminar vs. turbulent flow)


Re =

ul

u=flow velocity; l=characteristic length (flow depth); =kinematic


viscosity (dynamic viscosity/fluid density)

Turbulence is promoted by high flow velocities and flow


depths, and low viscosities (Re>2000); laminar flow
occurs when the reverse is the case (Re<500)
Air and water are nearly always turbulent

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Types of particle movements in a turbulent current

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Froude number (subcritical vs. supercritical flow)


Fr =

u
gd

u=flow velocity; d=flow depth; gd=celerity (wave velocity)

Flow velocities exceeding wave propagation velocities


(Fr>1) yield supercritical flow, lower velocities (Fr<1)
cause subcritical flow
A spatial transition from subcritical to supercritical flow
(or vice versa) is characterized by a hydraulic jump

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Stokes Law (settling velocity in a static fluid)


gD2 (g f )
vg =
18

vg=settling velocity; D=grain diameter; g=grain density;


f=fluid density; =dynamic viscosity

Stokes Law only applies to fine (<100 m), quartzdensity grains in water

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Stokes Law

Based on the equation and realize: a slight increase in


grain size leads to normal grading an increase in viscosity

and/or an increase in f can lead to a matrix-supported


deposit (i.e. large clasts appear to be floating in a matrix
of fine grained mud) as opposed to grain-supported
deposit where each large clast is resting on another large
clast.
Suspended Load vs. Bed Load: grains will stay in
suspension if the upward motion of water, due to
turbulence, is larger than the grain's settling velocity.
Therefore, the smaller or less dense grains will tend to by
carried in a flow up in suspension and settle down to the
bed, to become bedload, once the flow's turbulence
becomes less (i.e. the flow slows down).

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The Bernouilli effect is the reduction of pressure,


proportional to the increase of flow velocity as the flow
encounters an obstacle (sediment particle), leading to a
lift force and entrainment of the particle
Drag forces and lift forces act together to cause
entrainment of sediment grains
The boundary layer is that part of the flow influenced
by frictional effects

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Transport modes in a turbulent fluid


Coarse sediment (sand and gravel) moves on or very close to the
bed during transport : bedload.
Finer material (clay to silt) carried higher up in the main flow above
the bed makes up the suspended load
Types of bedload transport:

Traction (rolling over the


bed surface)

Saltation (jumping over


the bed surface)
Suspension (permanent
transport within the fluid)

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PARTICLE TRANSPORT BY FLUIDS


Hjulstrom Diagram : show the critical current velocity and sediment
erosion, transport and deposition (deduced experimentally from flows required to
move quartz grain on a plane bed at a water depth of 1 m

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Flow Competence: faster moving flows can


carry larger particles
Flow Capacity: faster moving flows can also
carry more particles

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Current ripples

Once movement of sand grains (<0.7 mm) occurs, current ripples are
formed as a result of boundary layer separation, commonly
accompanied by a separation vortex
Current ripples have a stoss side (erosion and transport) and lee side
(deposition), the latter with a slope of ~30 (angle of repose)
Current ripples only form under moderate flow velocities, with a grain
size <0.7 mm
Height: 0.53 cm; wavelength: 540 cm

Dunes

Dunes are distinctly larger than current ripples


There is a relationship between boundary-layer thickness (
flow depth in rivers) and the dimension of dunes
Dunes only form in grain sizes >0.2 mm
Sand waves constitute the largest category of subaqueous
dunes

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Current ripples (gelembur gelombang)

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Sediment transport mechanism


Currents
Waves
Tides
Gravity

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Waves

Waves are wind-generated oscillatory


motions of water
Wave height is dependent on wind
strength and fetch
The depth to which the oscillatory
motion due to wave action extends is
known as the wave base; shallow
water leads to breaking waves
Wave ripples are distinct from current
ripples due to their symmetry, and
include low-energy rolling grain ripples
and high-energy vortex ripples
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Tidal currents

Tides are formed by the


gravitational attraction of the Moon
and Sun on the Earth, combined
with the centrifugal force caused
by movement of the Earth around
the center of mass of the EarthMoon system
Semi-diurnal or diurnal tidal cycles
Neap-spring tidal cycles
Annual tidal cycles

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Ocean currents

The circulation of sea water in the worlds


oceans is driven by wind and contrasts in
density due to variable temperature and
salinity (thermohaline circulation),
combined with the Coriolis effect
Ocean currents transport clay and silt in
suspension, and sand as bed load, and
their effects are especially important in
deep waters, where storms and tides are
less important
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Sediment transport mechanism


Currents
Waves
Tides
Gravity

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PARTICLE TRANSPORT BY SEDIMENT GRAVITY FLOWS

Debris flows have a high (>50%) proportion of sediment to


water and can be both subaerial and subaqueous
Low Reynolds numbers

Turbidity currents have a higher proportion of water, are


always subaqueous, and move due to density contrasts
Higher Reynolds numbers

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Below left: Ideal Bouma Sequence. On right: Illustration of concept that with
increasing distance downflow, the lower parts of the Bouma Sequence are
not found.

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Diagenesis
diagenesis is any
chemical, physical, or
biological change
undergone by
sediments after its
initial deposition and
during and after its
lithification, exclusive
of surface alteration
(weathering) and
metamorphism.

sediment is covered by successive layer of younger sediment;


increased temperature and pressure leading to consolidation and
lithification of the sediment into sedimentary rocks

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Depositional environments

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Fluvial environments

Bedrock rivers essentially do not contribute to the stratigraphic


record, contrary to alluvial rivers
Alluvial fans are relatively steep (>1-2) cones consisting of
coarse-grained facies and constitute the most proximal fluvial
depositional environments (usually at the break of slope on the
edge of a floodplain)
Debris flows dominate on small and steep alluvial fans
Sheetfloods are common on larger and gentler alluvial fans

Ephemeral rivers are dry during a significant part of the year,


contrary to perennial rivers
Floodplains are the areas occupied by river channels, as well as
the surrounding, flat (overbank) areas that are subject to flooding
Discharge is confined to the channel until bankfull discharge is
reached; from that point on overbank flow can occur, submerging
the entire floodplain
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Fluvial environments

Channel patterns (fluvial styles) are commonly


classified as:

Braided rivers
Meandering rivers
Straight rivers
Anastomosing rivers

Fluvial style is primarily controlled by specific stream


power (W m-2) and grain size, but also by bank
stability and the amount of bed load
=

gQs
w

=fluid density; Q=discharge; s=slope (gradient); w=channel


width

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Fluvial environments

Bars are sandy or gravelly macroforms in channels


that are emergent, mostly unvegetated features at
low flow stage, and undergo submergence and rapid
modification during high discharge
Point bars form on inner banks and typically accrete
laterally, commonly resulting in lateral-accretion
surfaces; mid-channel or braid bars accrete both
laterally and downstream
Braided rivers are characterized by a dominance of
braid bars; meandering rivers primarily contain point
bars; in straight (and most anastomosing) rivers bars
are almost absent
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Fluvial environments

Channel belts consist of channel-bar and channel-fill


deposits; the proportion of the two generally decreases
markedly from braided rivers to straight or anastomosing
rivers
The geometry of a channel belt (width/thickness ratio) is a
function of the channel width and the degree of lateral
migration; values are typically much higher for braided
systems (>>100) than for straight or anastomosing
systems (<25)
Residual-channel deposits are predominantly muddy
(occasionally organic) deposits that accumulate in an
abandoned channel where flow velocities are extremely
small
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Fluvial environments

Overbank environments are dominated by


fine-grained facies (predominantly muds)
Natural-levee deposits are wedges of sediment
that form adjacent to the channel, dominated by
fine sand and silt exhibiting planar stratification or
(climbing) ripple cross stratification
Crevasse-splay deposits are usually cones of
sandy to silty facies with both coarsening-upward
and fining-upward successions, and are formed by
small, secondary channels during peak flow
Flood-basin deposits are the most distal facies,
consisting entirely of sediments deposited from
suspension, and are volumetrically very important
(mainly in low-energy fluvial settings)
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Fluvial environments

Paleosols (well drained conditions) and peats


(poorly drained conditions) occur frequently
in overbank environments and are important
indicators of variations of clastic aggradation
rates and the position relative to active
channels
Lacustrine deposits can be important in
overbank environments characterized by high
water tables, and are also found in distal
settings
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Fluvial environments

Avulsion is the sudden diversion of a channel to a


new location on the floodplain, leading to the
abandonment of a channel belt and the initiation of a
new one
Alluvial architecture refers to the threedimensional arrangement of channel-belt deposits
and overbank deposits in a fluvial succession
The nature of alluvial architecture (e.g., the
proportion of channel-belt to overbank deposits) is
dependent on fluvial style, aggradation rate, and the
frequency of avulsion

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Deltaic environments

Deltas form where a river enters a standing body of


water (ocean, sea, lake) and forms a thick deposit that
may or may not form protuberances
The delta plain is the subaerial part of a delta
(gradational upstream to a floodplain); the delta front
(delta slope and prodelta) is the subaqueous component
Delta plains are commonly characterized by distributaries
and flood basins (upper delta plain) or interdistributary
bays (lower delta plain), as well as numerous crevasse
splays
Upper delta plains contain facies assemblages that are
very similar to fluvial settings

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Deltaic environments

Mouth bars form at the upper edge of the


delta front, at the mouth of distributaries; they
are mostly sandy and tend to coarsen upwards
The delta slope is commonly 1-2 and consists
of finer (usually silty) facies; the most distal
prodelta is dominated by even finer sediment
Progradation (basinward building) of deltas
leads to coarsening-upward successions, and
progradation rates depend on sediment supply
and basin bathymetry (water depth)
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Deltaic environments

Delta morphology reflects the relative


importance of fluvial, tidal, and wave processes,
as well as gradient and sediment supply
River-dominated deltas occur in microtidal settings
with limited wave energy, where delta-lobe
progradation is significant and redistribution of mouth
bars is limited
Wave-dominated deltas are characterized by
mouth bars reworked into shore-parallel sand bodies
and beaches
Tide-dominated deltas exhibit tidal mudflats and
mouth bars that are reworked into elongate sand
bodies perpendicular to the shoreline
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Deltaic environments

Coarse-grained deltas are composed of gravelly


facies and form where alluvial fans or relatively
steep braided rivers enter a water body
Delta cycles are the result of repetitive switching
of delta lobes, comparable to avulsion in fluvial
environments; this leads to characteristic vertical
successions with progradational facies and
transgressive facies
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Coastal environments
Erosional coasts are commonly characterized by cliffs, whereas
constructional coasts can be formed by clastic, carbonate, or
evaporite facies
The morphology of constructional coasts is determined by sediment
supply, wave energy, and tidal range, as well as climate and sealevel history

Beaches form when sand or gravel is available and wave energy is


significant, and result in low-angle cross-stratified deposits and
cross strata formed by wave ripples
Beaches can either be connected directly to the land and form
strand plains or chenier plains (the latter consisting of beach
ridges separated by muds), or be separated by lagoons or tidal
basins (the latter consisting of tidal channels, tidal flats, and salt
marshes) and form either spits or barrier islands
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Coastal environments

Barrier islands are especially prolific in environments with a high


wave energy and a limited tidal range, that have experienced
transgression (relative sea-level rise)
The tidal inlets between barrier islands are sites of deep erosional
scour and are associated with flood-tidal deltas (lagoonal side) and
ebb-tidal deltas (seaward side)
Washovers can form during major storm events, and are found
elsewhere across barrier islands
Coastal dunes are common features associated with sandy beaches
Estuaries are semi-enclosed coastal water bodies where fluvial
and marine processes interact
Tide-dominated estuaries have tidal channels with bars and tidal
mudflats that contain tidal sedimentary structures (e.g., tidal bundles,
heterolithic stratification)
Wave-dominated estuaries are partly enclosed by a coastal barrier
and have well-developed bay-head deltas
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Coastal environments

Carbonate coastal environments can exhibit comparable


characteristics as clastic coasts (i.e., barriers and
lagoons), consisting of carbonate sands and muds,
respectively
Stromatolites (algal or bacterial mats) commonly form on
carbonate-rich tidal flats

Arid coastal environments are characterized by sabkhas


and salinas, coastal plains frequently inundated by
saline water and hypersaline lagoons, respectively,
where evaporites (notably anhydrite and gypsum) can
accumulate
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Shallow marine environments

Shallow seas can be subdivided into clastic and


carbonate-dominated systems, depending
mainly on sediment supply and climatic setting
Idealized models predict a general decrease of
grain size with water depth (i.e., away from the
shoreline); however, this simple picture is
complicated by a large number of factors (e.g.,
shelf bathymetry)

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Shallow marine environments

Storm-dominated clastic shelves ideally exhibit a


transition from predominantly wave-rippled sands in the
upper shoreface, to alternating sands and muds
(tempestites with hummocky cross stratification) in the
lower shoreface, to muddy facies below storm wave base
Tide-dominated clastic shelves may exhibit erosional
features, sand ribbons, and sand waves with decreasing
flow velocities, commonly associated with mud-draped
subaqueous dunes; tidal sand ridges (tens of m high, many
km across) are characteristic of shelves with a high supply
of sand
Bioturbation can obliterate many primary sedimentary
structures in shelf environments

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Shallow seas within the photic zone are the


premier carbonate factories
Carbonate platforms can cover continental
shelves or epicontinental seas, when the
conditions for carbonate production
(temperature, salinity, light conditions) are
favorable
Isolated platforms (atolls) are found in shallow
seas surrounded by deep water, like extinct
volcanoes
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Shallow marine environments

Carbonate ramps exhibit processes and characteristics


comparable to clastic shelves, with carbonate sands and
muds ultimately producing a seaward transition from
grainstone to mudstone, commonly with similar
sedimentary structures
Rimmed carbonate shelves consist of a coral reef or
carbonate sand barrier at some distance from the
mainland; the shelf lagoon can be up to many tens of
kilometers wide
Boundstones dominate the reef facies
Shelf lagoon facies are mostly fine-grained and ultimately lead to
the formation of mudstones and wackestones

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Deep marine environments

The continental slope is a major source of sediment for


the deep sea, and is a setting where slumps can occur
Debris flows and turbidity currents are the main
mechanisms of transport from the continental slope into
the deep sea; these processes can be triggered by
external forcing (e.g., an earthquake) or by the slope
reaching a critical state as a result of ongoing deposition
Debris-flow deposits and turbidites are often genetically
related
Turbidites can be both clastic (commonly leading to the
formation of wackes) or calcareous

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Deep marine environments

Submarine canyons at the shelf edge (commonly


related to deltas) are connected to submarine
fans on the ocean floor
Contrary to debris flows, turbidites exhibit a
distinct proximal to distal fining
Submarine fans share several characteristics with
deltas; they consist of a feeder channel that
divides into numerous distributary channels
bordered by natural levees and are subject to
avulsions
Proximal fan (trunk channel)
Medial fan (lobes)
Distal fan
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Basal Bouma-divisions have the highest


preservation potential updip; upper Boumadivisions are more common downdip
Turbidite lobes characterize the medial fan and
may exhibit the most complete Bouma
sequences
The Bouma-model is increasingly challenged,
because many turbidites do not conform to it
(e.g., high-concentration turbidites)
Contourites are formed by ocean currents and
commonly represent reworked turbidites
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Deep marine environments

Pelagic sediments primarily have a biogenic origin


Calcareous ooze (e.g., foraminifera) forms above the calcite
compensation depth (CCD) at ~4000 m depth
Siliceous ooze (e.g., radiolarians, diatoms) forms between
the CCD and ~6000 m depth where silica dissolves; it
lithifies into cherts

Hemipelagic sediments consist of fine-grained


(muddy) terrigenous material that is deposited from
suspension
Eolian dust is an important component (~50%) of
hemipelagic (and pelagic) facies
Black shales have a 1-15% organic-matter content and form
in anoxic bottom waters
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Facies and depositional environments

The facies concept refers to the sum of characteristics


of a sedimentary unit, commonly at a fairly small (cm-m)
scale

Lithology
Grain size
Sedimentary structures
Color
Composition
Biogenic content

Lithofacies (physical and chemical characteristics)


Biofacies (macrofossil content)
Ichnofacies (trace fossils)
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Facies analysis is the interpretation of strata in terms


of depositional environments (or depositional systems),
commonly based on a wide variety of observations
Facies associations constitute several facies that occur
in combination, and typically represent one depositional
environment (note that very few individual facies are
diagnostic for one specific setting!)
Facies successions (or facies sequences) are facies
associations with a characteristic vertical order
Walthers Law (1894) states that two different facies
found superimposed on one another and not separated
by an unconformity, must have been deposited adjacent
to each other at a given point in time
Sedimentary logs are one-dimensional representations
of vertical sedimentary successions
Facies models are schematic, three-dimensional
representations of specific depositional environments
that serve as norms for interpretation and prediction
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is it time for lunch??

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