Siltstone is a clastic sedimentary rock that is composed mostly of silt. It is a form of mudrock with a low clay mineral content, which can be distinguished from shale by its lack of fissility.
Although its permeability and porosity is relatively low, siltstone is sometimes a tight gas reservoir rock,an unconventional reservoir for natural gas that requires hydraulic fracturing for economic gas production.
Siltstone was prized in ancient Egypt for manufacturing statuary and cosmetic palettes. The siltstone quarried at Wadi Hammamat was a hard, fine-grained siltstone that resisted flaking and was almost ideal for such uses.
There is not complete agreement on the definition of siltstone. One definition is that siltstone is mudrock (clastic sedimentary rock containing at least 50% clay and silt) in which at least 2/3 of the clay and silt fraction is composed of silt-sized particles. Silt is defined as grains 2–62 μm in diameter, or 4 to 8 on the Krumbein phi (φ) scale. An alternate definition is that siltstone is any sedimentary rock containing 50% or more of silt-sized particles. Siltstones can be distinguished from claystone away from the laboratory by chewing a small sample; claystone feels smooth while siltstone feels gritty.
Siltstones differ significantly from sandstones due to their smaller pores and a higher propensity for containing a significant clay fraction. Although often mistaken for a shale, siltstone lacks the laminations and fissility along horizontal lines which are typical of shale.Siltstones may contain concretions. Unless the siltstone is fairly shaly, stratification is likely to be obscure and it tends to weather at oblique angles unrelated to bedding.
Siltstone is an unusual rock, in which most of the silt grains are made of quartz.The origin of quartz silt has been a topic of much research and debate. Some quartz silt likely has its origin in fine-grained foliated metamorphic rock, while much marine silt is likely biogenic, , but most quartz sediments come from granitic rocks in which quartz grains are much larger than quartz silt. Highly energetic processes are required to break these grains down to silt size. Among proposed mechanism are glacial grinding; weathering in cold, tectonically active mountain ranges; normal weathering, particularly in tropical regions; and formation in hot desert environments by salt weathering.
Siltstones form in relatively quiet depositional environments where fine particles can settle out of the transporting medium (air or water) and accumulate on the surface.They are found in turbidite sequences, in deltas, , in glacial deposits, and in miogeosynclinal settings.
Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized silicate grains. Sandstones make up about 20 to 25 percent of all sedimentary rocks.
Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock, composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. Shale is characterized by breaks along thin laminae or parallel layering or bedding less than one centimeter in thickness, called fissility. It is the most common sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of small particles and subsequent cementation of mineral or organic particles on the floor of oceans or other bodies of water at the Earth's surface. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause these particles to settle in place. The particles that form a sedimentary rock are called sediment, and may be composed of geological detritus (minerals) or biological detritus. Before being deposited, the geological detritus was formed by weathering and erosion from the source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers, which are called agents of denudation. Biological detritus was formed by bodies and parts of dead aquatic organisms, as well as their fecal mass, suspended in water and slowly piling up on the floor of water bodies. Sedimentation may also occur as dissolved minerals precipitate from water solution.
Tuff is a type of rock made of volcanic ash ejected from a vent during a volcanic eruption. Following ejection and deposition, the ash is lithified into a solid rock. Rock that contains greater than 75% ash is considered tuff, while rock containing 25% to 75% ash is described as tuffaceous.
Marl or marlstone is a carbonate-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and silt. The term was originally loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay and calcium carbonate, formed under freshwater conditions. These typically contain 35–65% clay and 65–35% carbonate. The term is today often used to describe indurated marine deposits and lacustrine (lake) sediments which more accurately should be named 'marlstone'.
Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay, whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar. Silt may occur as a soil or as sediment mixed in suspension with water and soil in a body of water such as a river. It may also exist as soil deposited at the bottom of a water body, like mudflows from landslides. Silt has a moderate specific area with a typically non-sticky, plastic feel. Silt usually has a floury feel when dry, and a slippery feel when wet. Silt can be visually observed with a hand lens, exhibiting a sparkly appearance. It also can be felt by the tongue as granular when placed on the front teeth.
Sedimentology encompasses the study of modern sediments such as sand, silt, and clay, and the processes that result in their formation, transport, deposition and diagenesis. Sedimentologists apply their understanding of modern processes to interpret geologic history through observations of sedimentary rocks and sedimentary structures.
The Permian Basin is a large sedimentary basin in the southwestern part of the United States. The basin contains the Mid-Continent Oil Field province. This sedimentary basin is located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. It reaches from just south of Lubbock, past Midland and Odessa, south nearly to the Rio Grande River in southern West Central Texas, and extending westward into the southeastern part of New Mexico. It is so named because it has one of the world's thickest deposits of rocks from the Permian geologic period. The greater Permian Basin comprises several component basins; of these, the Midland Basin is the largest, Delaware Basin is the second largest, and Marfa Basin is the smallest. The Permian Basin covers more than 86,000 square miles (220,000 km2), and extends across an area approximately 250 miles (400 km) wide and 300 miles (480 km) long.
Loess is a clastic, predominantly silt-sized sediment that is formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust. Ten percent of the Earth's land area is covered by loess or similar deposits.
A concretion is a hard, compact mass of matter formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between particles, and is found in sedimentary rock or soil. Concretions are often ovoid or spherical in shape, although irregular shapes also occur. The word 'concretion' is derived from the Latin con meaning 'together' and crescere meaning 'to grow'. Concretions form within layers of sedimentary strata that have already been deposited. They usually form early in the burial history of the sediment, before the rest of the sediment is hardened into rock. This concretionary cement often makes the concretion harder and more resistant to weathering than the host stratum.
Mudstone, a type of mudrock, is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. Mudstone is distinguished from shale by its lack of fissility.
Mudrocks are a class of fine grained siliciclastic sedimentary rocks. The varying types of mudrocks include: siltstone, claystone, mudstone, slate, and shale. Most of the particles of which the stone is composed are less than 0.0625 mm and are too small to study readily in the field. At first sight the rock types look quite similar; however, there are important differences in composition and nomenclature. There has been a great deal of disagreement involving the classification of mudrocks. There are a few important hurdles to classification, including:
Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals and rock. A clast is a fragment of geological detritus, chunks and smaller grains of rock broken off other rocks by physical weathering. Geologists use the term clastic with reference to sedimentary rocks as well as to particles in sediment transport whether in suspension or as bed load, and in sediment deposits.
The Ecca Group is the second of the main subdivisions of the Karoo Supergroup of geological strata in southern Africa. It mainly follows conformably after the Dwyka Group in some sections, but in some localities overlying unconformably over much older basement rocks. It underlies the Beaufort Group in all known outcrops and exposures. Based on stratigraphic position, lithostratigraphic correlation, palynological analyses, and other means of geological dating, the Ecca Group ranges between Early to earliest Middle Permian in age.
Syneresis cracks are a sedimentary structure developed by the shrinkage of sediment without desiccation – not to be confused with desiccation cracks. Syneresis is the expulsion of a liquid from a gel-like substance. Syneresis cracks are formed by the contraction of clay in response to changes in the salinity of a liquid surrounding a deposit. The cracks can occur, for example, in mudstones deposited between two beds of sandstone. The markings would have been formed subaqueously on the bedding surface and could resemble desiccation mudcracks, but are not continuous and vary in shape. They commonly occur in thin mudstones interbedded with sandstones, as positive relief on the bottom of the sandstone, or as negative relief on the top of the mudstone. Subaqueous shrinkage cracks can develop on and through a surface that has been continuously covered in water. Syneresis cracks in some shales and lime mudstones may initially be preserved as small cavities, which then usually fill with silt and sand from either the overlying or underlying beds and laminae. Usually there is no pattern to the cracks, and they do not connect to form geometric shapes. Rather they are discontinuous and shaped in one of the following categories:
Grain size is the diameter of individual grains of sediment, or the lithified particles in clastic rocks. The term may also be applied to other granular materials. This is different from the crystallite size, which refers to the size of a single crystal inside a particle or grain. A single grain can be composed of several crystals. Granular material can range from very small colloidal particles, through clay, silt, sand, gravel, and cobbles, to boulders.
Growth faults are syndepositional or syn-sedimentary extensional faults that initiate and evolve at the margins of continental plates. They extend parallel to passive margins that have high sediment supply. Their fault plane dips mostly toward the basin and has long-term continuous displacement. Figure one shows a growth fault with a concave upward fault plane that has high updip angle and flattened at its base into zone of detachment or décollement. This angle is continuously changing from nearly vertical in the updip area to nearly horizontal in the downdip area.
Provenance in geology, is the reconstruction of the origin of sediments. The Earth is a dynamic planet, and all rocks are subject to transition between the three main rock types: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. Rocks exposed to the surface are sooner or later broken down into sediments. Sediments are expected to be able to provide evidence of the erosional history of their parent source rocks. The purpose of provenance study is to restore the tectonic, paleo-geographic and paleo-climatic history.
The offshore Indus Basin is one of the two basins in offshore Pakistan, the other one being the offshore Makran Basin. The Murray Ridge separates the two basins. The offshore Indus basin is approximately 120 to 140 kilometers wide and has an areal extent of ~20,000 square km.
The Bokkeveld Group is the second of the three main subdivisions of the Cape Supergroup in South Africa. It overlies the Table Mountain Group and underlies the Witteberg Group. The Bokkeveld Group rocks are considered to range between Lower Devonian (Lochkovian) to Middle Devonian (Givetian) in age.
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