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These links and readings are provided to support the Applied Sedimentology module at the University of Derby, and are in addition to the classes, and the course and practical notes available from the University of Derby web site. Topics are not necessarily given in exactly the same order as in the course.

Textbook references are to:

TUCKER, M.E. 2001. Sedimentary Petrology: an introduction to the origin of sedimentary rocks. 3rd edition. Blackwell Scientific Publications.


Introduction to Sedimentology

Reading reading
  • Tucker, chapter 1

Online lectures, tutorials & reading


Important note: the online resources throughout this course are from various different sources, and may differ in style. Some were written specifically for this course; most are at remote sites, often in North America.

  • What is sedimentology? Here are some definitions:

    "The scientific study of sedimentary rocks and of the processes by which they were formed; the description, classification, origin and interpretation of sediments" (Glossary of Geology, AGI, 1974)

    "Sedimentology is that branch of geology concerned with understanding the characteristics of sedimentary rocks originally deposited in sedimentary basins".

    One of the most important approaches in describing and interpreting sedimentary rocks is to take a holistic view:

    • Obtain as many different types of information as possible before synthesizing them to make an interpretation.
    • Avoid basing your interpretation on just one kind of information.
    • For example, although the practical in the first week concentrates on sediment grain size, this should never be used in isolation to interpret depositional environments.

    The following list shows descriptive features which are commonly available from outcrop studies, and which should be used in combination to interpret processes and then environment:

    • sediment texture (grain size, sorting, grain shape, grain surface texture, support, packing....)
    • sediment composition (mineralogy, fossil content...)
    • bedding and sedimentary structures
    • trace fossils
    • geometry of the sedimentary body
    • nature of the base of the sedimentary body
  Lectures and Tutorials
  • Siliciclastic rocks overview (pdf file)
    Work your way through this lecture from the University of British Columbia. Much of this is useful revision.

Virtual field trips

Virtual field trips
  • The Sideling Hill road cut - A gentle introduction to a nice example of sedimentology in the field
  • Once you have followed this virtual field trip, think about its content and presentation. What is missing? Remember that the more kinds of sedimentological data we acquire, the more detailed our interpretation is likely to be. What observations would you have made in the field, which are missing from this virtual field trip?


sedimentology home

This page is maintained by Roger Suthren. Last updated 22 November, 2021 9:05