Classification and Identification


 
~Strategies of Sedimentary Rock Classification and Identification~
 
Dozens of sedimentary rock classification schemes have been proposed over the decades.The diversity of classification schemes reflects, in part, the complication of sedimentary rocks, but also the fact that different classifications accomplish distinct objectives. For each group of sedimentary rocks (e.g. Clastic, Chemical, Biochemical, etc.) generalized strategies of classification exist that are modified for special purposes. 
 
A Basic Classification:
     Key - Pdf Version
This classification explores the total diversity of sedimentary rocks. It is a useful in learning to recognize and identify basic sedimentary rocks - without the technical details. The key provided (link to pdf) can be used to identify sedimentary rocks without understanding how these rocks are related to each other. 
     
The Simple Idea Model explores the processes of sedimentary rock formation and how these rocks are related.
Clastic Classification:
 
     QFL Ternary System
Clastic rocks form from weathering products that do not dissolve in water - clasts. Clastic rocks include Conglomerates, sandstones, and Shales. Classifications require the ability to identify clasts in the rock - Quartz, feldspar, and lithics (or QFL).
Carbonate Classification:
     Carbonate Key
The Basic Key discusses identification of Carbonates.Carbonates are classified by their constituents of allochems (fossils, Oolites, Pellets, and Intraclasts) instead of QFL. See Key to the left for detailed classification.
Chemical/Biochemical Classification:
     Chemical/Biochemical Key
Chemical and biochemical sedimentary rocks are formed from many different origins and their classification is usually one based on elimination of the proceeding sedimentary rock types.

 
Contributed by Lynn Fichter 
Monday, October 13, 2014
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