<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Dismiss
Skip Navigation

3.13: Lithification of Sedimentary Rocks

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
Atoms Practice
Estimated3 minsto complete
%
Progress
Practice Lithification of Sedimentary Rocks
 
 
 
MEMORY METER
This indicates how strong in your memory this concept is
Practice
Progress
Estimated3 minsto complete
%
Estimated3 minsto complete
%
Practice Now
MEMORY METER
This indicates how strong in your memory this concept is
Turn In

What steps led to this rock formation?

What do you see? The rock is a sandstone, so first there were rocks that weathered and eroded. The cross-bedding indicates that the sand was deposited in a dune. The sand was then buried deeply enough that it turned into rock. This lesson will explore how something like sand could become a rock.

Sedimentary Rock Formation

Accumulated sediments harden into rock by lithification, as illustrated in the Figure below. Two important steps are needed for sediments to lithify.

  1. Sediments are squeezed together by the weight of overlying sediments on top of them. This is called compaction. Cemented, non-organic sediments become clastic rocks. If organic material is included, they are bioclastic rocks.
  2. Fluids fill in the spaces between the loose particles of sediment and crystallize to create a rock by cementation.

The sediment size in clastic sedimentary rocks varies greatly (see Table in Sedimentary Rocks III: Classification).

This cliff is made of sandstone. Sands were deposited and then lithified.

Vocabulary

  • bioclastic: Sedimentary rock that forms from pieces of living organisms.
  • cementation: When fluids deposit ions to create a cement that hardens loose sediments.
  • clastic: Contains fragments or clasts of preexisting rock; sedimentary rock made of clasts.
  • compaction: When sediments are squeezed together by the weight of sediments and rocks on top of them.
  • lithification: The creation of rock from sediments.

Summary

  • Sedimentary rocks are made of fragments of older rocks or pieces of organisms.
  • Compaction and cementation lead to lithification of sedimentary rocks.
  • Compaction is the squeezing of sediments by the weight of the rocks and sediments above them. Cementation is when cement from fluids bind sediments together.

Practice

Use this resource to answer the questions that follow.

1. Explain how sedimentary rocks form.

2. What is a conglomerate?

3. Explain how limestone forms.

4. Why are sedimentary rocks important?

Review

1. How does compaction lead to lithification?

2. How does cementation lead to lithification?

3. What is the difference between clastic and bioclastic sedimentary rocks?

    Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

    Color Highlighted Text Notes
    Please to create your own Highlights / Notes
    Show More

    Vocabulary

    bioclastic

    Sedimentary rock that forms from pieces of living organisms.

    cementation

    When fluids deposit ions to create a cement that hardens loose sediments.

    clastic

    Contains fragments or clasts of preexisting rock; sedimentary rock made of clasts.

    compaction

    When sediments are squeezed together by the weight of sediments and rocks on top of them.

    lithification

    The creation of rock from sediments.

    Image Attributions

    Show Hide Details
    Description
    Difficulty Level:
    At Grade
    Grades:
    Date Created:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Last Modified:
    Aug 01, 2016
    Files can only be attached to the latest version of Modality
    Please wait...
    Please wait...
    Image Detail
    Sizes: Medium | Original
     
    SCI.ESC.234.2.L.1
    Here
    Add Note
    Please to create your own Highlights / Notes