SDS Episode1 - The Formation of Sedimentary Rocks
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SDS Episode1 - The Formation of Sedimentary Rocks

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How do sedimentary rocks form?

How do sedimentary rocks form?

Let's travel through the canyon country of Utah and Arizona to find out.

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    SDS Episode1 - The Formation of Sedimentary Rocks SDS Episode1 - The Formation of Sedimentary Rocks Presentation Transcript

    • Get Your High School Diploma Online
      Science Discovery Series
      Olympus High School
      Jeff Taylor
      Science Instructor
    • Episode 1Sand Dunes and Sedimentary Rocks
      Paria Canyon, AZ
      How They Form
    • Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, UT
      Sandstone
      Sandstone are layers of sand-sized particles that are cemented together.
      The cement determines the strength of the sandstone.
      Sandstone can form from sand dunes, river or lake bottoms, or former beaches.
    • Great Sand Dunes NP, CO
      Sand Dunes
      Sand Dunes form where sand particles are blown in the wind and then pile up in a place where the wind slows.
      Rain trickles down to the bottom of the dunes.
      Minerals that dissolve in water cement the sand and solidifies the base.
    • Lithification
      Maui, HI
      These sand dunes have lithified when water seeped in and cemented the sand grains.
      Later, winds blew away the loose sand above.
    • Navajo Sandstone, Big Water, UT
      Sandstone
      Fossilized sand dunes can be determined by their cross-bedding.
      Cross-bedding are alternating layers that are tilted against each other.
    • The Dive, Grand Staircase-Escalante, UT
      Navajo Sandstone
      They formed in an ancient Sahara-like Desert some 75 million years ago
    • PlayasEvaporite Basins
      Carrizo Plain NM, CA
      Salts dissolve from rocks into rainwater
      Water gathers at the valley floor to form shallow lakes
      Hot summer evaporate the water, leaving just a flat salt layer
      This salt can be sodium chloride or a variety of alkaline substances like gypsum, calcite, or soda.
    • Gypsum Dunes
      White Sands NM, NM
      When evaporites from a dry lake are broken into small pieces and blown in the wind, they can pile up into dunes.
      At White Sands, NM the “sand” will dissolve in your mouth!
    • Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, UT
      Lake or Ocean Sandstones
      Sandstone layers that are completely horizontal are usually formed at the bottom of lakes or the ocean.
    • Lake and Ocean Settling
      When sediment flowing down a river meet a lake, they drop out and settle to the bottom to form a flat layer.
    • Lake Sediments
      Here, changing lake levels leave horizontal beds of sediments.
      When buried, they will compact into stone.
    • River Deposited Sandstones
    • Ripple Marks
      Ripple marks are a sign on an ancient stream or lake shore
    • Conglomerates
      Conglomerates are a mixture of rock sizes that form in rivers.
      Large rocks are cemented together with sand, mud, and salts.
    • Conglomerates forming today
      This stream bed is making a conglomerate layer for future aliens to discover
    • Mudcracks and Silt Layers
    • Red Sandstones
      Stained by iron oxide (rust) minerals
    • Soft Sandstones
      Some sandstones are so weakly cemented, that they “melt” when it rains and fall apart in your hands.
    • Blue Sandstones Stained by Copper
    • Various Minerals in the Rock
    • Siltstones
      Siltstones are similar to sandstone, but the grains are much finer.
      They form at the bottom of the ocean and lakes where very small particles settle to the bottom.
    • Clays and Mudstones
      In the ocean or lake bottoms where microscopic particles settle, mud and clays cement together for form layered rock.
      Mudstones are strong and well cemented.
      Clays tend to be weaker and easily crumble.
    • HoodoosConglomerate Capping Sandstone
      Hoodoo’s form where strong rock protects weaker rock underneath
    • Volcanic Ash
      Volcanic ash can settle onto the ground or into lakes to form sediments.
    • Bentonite Clays
      Bentonite clays form when volcanic ash from eruptions lands in water.
      This ash mixes with the mud and organic matter for form a weak, puffy layer, that is extremely sticky when wet.
    • More Bentonite Clay
    • Evaporites
      When lakes or shallow ocean areas evaporate, they leave their salts behind.
      These salts form layers of crystals.
    • Tufa
      When springs in a soda lake emerge, they deposit their minerals in large pillars.
    • Evaporite Basin
      Water drains down into the basin.
      The water evaporates, leaving salts behind
    • Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas
      When organic matter such as dead plants get buried in mud it can be preserved as layers of coal.
      Oil and Natural gas pockets can also form under these layers, typically with the help of heat underground.
    • Petrified Wood and Fossils
      Hard organic remains such as tree trunks, bones, and teeth can be fossilized as their natural minerals get replaced by other minerals.
    • Fossils
      The calcium and carbon of Petrified wood and fossil bones are often replaced by quartz or magnesium.
    • Limestone
      When the shells of clams, snails, or coral reefs are preserved in the ocean sediments, limestone forms.
      Limestone is made of Calcium Carbonate.
      Limestone is a sure sign that an area was tropical once.
    • Travertine
      Limestone dissolves in water.
      Where water trickles down into the layers, it eats away at the rock forming caves and sinkholes.
      When the water drips in the caves and evaporates, it leaves the limestone behind again forming Stalactites.
    • Limestone Continued…
      Since limestone dissolves in water, it forms steep and interesting landscapes due to erosion.
    • More Limestone features
    • More Limestone Features
    • Limestone
      Since Limestone is weak, it was often carved into for ancient tombs
    • Glacial Till
      Glaciers carve and pulverize rock into silt.
      This silt is transported by ice and melt water to the edge of the glacier.
      Here it forms layers that are easily broken.
    • Erosion
      Rivers and rain carve deep canyons into sedimentary rock.
    • Zion Canyon
      2000 feet deep sand dunes cut by the river
    • Sandstone Canyons
    • Grand Canyon
      5000 ft deep with alternating layers of limestone, sandstone, siltstones, and fossils going back over 1 billion years.
    • Slot Canyons
      Occasional torrents of water from flash floods can carve deep narrow canyons into sandstone.
      Some storms will flood this canyon with water 80 feet high!
    • From Rock to Rock
      Rivers deposit the sand from erosion in new locations to become new sandstone layers for future Geologists!
    • Erosion
      Rain, Ice, and Wind can combine to form some strange erosional features!
    • Arches
      Wind erosion is primarily responsible for natural arches.
      Ice and rain also play a role in weakening lower layers of rock.
    • Quiz – How did this form?
      Devil’s Golf Course
    • Tilting
      Plate movements can cause the layers be be thrust upwards, downwards, or twisted.