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Sedimentary Rock

Sedimentary Rock

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Sedimentary rocks are types of rocks formed from a process known as sedimentation. These are rocks formed as a result of deposition of substances and materials at the surface and the crust of the earth. These depositions are then molded together courtesy of changes in the environment to form sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock gets its name from the idea that the rocks are formed in different sediments. Sedimentation involves many processes, but basically all the process involves weathering of sediments over periods of time.

Sedimentary rocks are in different layers thus making them hydrous solids unlike the other classes of rocks. The study of sedimentary rock is known as sedimentology and it is a very important aspect of geology, and geography. Sedimentary rocks are widely distributed across the earth surfaces, despite the ready availability it is the least available of all rock classes.

Sedimentary rocks are classified into different types, but classification can be done in two different ways. Sedimentary rocks can either be classified based on the manner of formation or based on the composition of the rock. Based on the manner of formation, sedimentary rocks are classified into three major types which are (1) Clastic sedimentary rocks, (2) Chemical sedimentary rocks (3) Organic sedimentary rocks. The Clastic sedimentary rocks are sedimentary rocks formed from the direct effect of weather conditions on debris examples of such rocks are shale, breccias, sandstones e.t.c. The chemical sedimentary rocks are rocks formed as a result of chemical reactions example of such is limestone. The organic sedimentary rocks are sedimentary rocks that are formed when organic materials combine together in the presence of weathering to form solids, example of such is coal.

The classification based on compositions and mineralogy includes, saliciclastic sedimentary rocks, evaporite sedimentary rocks, iron constituted sedimentary rocks, carbonate sedimentary rocks, siliceous sedimentary rocks, phosphate constituted sedimentary rocks, and organic compound constituted sedimentary rocks. Classifications in this manner are much wider and address the direct chemical compositions of the sedimentary rocks, but it also causes ambiguity and confusion.

Sedimentary rocks preserve fossils of extinct animals and plant thereby giving us a way of proving the existence of the extinct living things. Sedimentary rocks help in providing basic information about the weather conditions of environments in which such rocks were discovered. Some sedimentary rocks also act as a source of fuel for machinery operations as in the case of coral.

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