Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 24

Depositional

Environments,
Facies, Facies
Models and
Paleogeograpy

Depositional
Environments

Sediments accumulate in some environment of


deposition or depositional environments
These areas receive net deposition
Erosion may occur, but deposition dominates
Features of these depositional environments are
preserved in the rock record
Examples:

Sediment texture
Sedimentary structures (formed by processes in the
environment)
Fossils of organisms that lived in the environment

Ancient environments can be reconstructed


from the clues that are preserved in the
sedimentary rocks

Depositional
Environments

Classification

1. Continental : - Fluvial
Stream

Alluvial Fans, Braided


Meandering Stream

- Lacustrine
- Eolian
2. Transisional (Shorelines) : - Lobate (Delta)
- Linear : Clastics
Mix Clastic
Carbonate
Carbonates
3. Marine :
Reef
Shelf
Turbidite
Pelagic

Depositional
Environments

Facies

All the properties of a body of rock that allow


us to differentiate it from those above, below
or laterally adjacent to it
Properties include

Lithology rock type, including color, etc.


Composition mineral content
Texture grain size, sorting, roundness
Sedimentary structures
Fossils

Facies means aspect same Latin root as face


Overall appearance of a rock body
Facies are the products of depositional
environments
Examples:

Planar laminated fine quartz arenite facies


Bioturbated, poorly sorted muddy skeletal limestone facies
Cross-stratified arkosic conglomerate facies

Facies and Depositional


Environments
The facies concept refers to the sum of
characteristics of a sedimentary unit,
commonly at a fairly small (cm-m) scale
Lithology
Grain size
Sedimentary structures
Color
Composition
Biogenic content
Lithofacies (physical and chemical
characteristics)
Biofacies (macrofossil content)

Facies and Depositional


Environments
Facies analysis is the interpretation of strata in
terms of depositional environments (or
depositional systems), commonly based on a
wide variety of observations
Facies associations constitute several facies
that occur in combination, and typically represent
one depositional environment (note that very few
individual facies are diagnostic for one specific
setting!)
Facies successions (or facies sequences) are
facies associations with a characteristic vertical
order
Walthers Law (1894) states that two different
facies found superimposed on one another and

http://www.gpc.edu/~pgore/geology/historical_lab/environmentchart.htm

Facies Model

An idealized description of a facies


Constructed from modern
environments and ancient rocks
Serves as a
Norm for comparison
Framework for observation
Predictor of patterns

Facies Patterns

Groups of facies commonly show


patterns
Proximal Facies (near the source)
tend to be coarse grained
Distal Facies (far from source) tend
to be finer grained
This pattern is displayed upstream
and down in rivers and onshore to
offshore in coastal areas
Facies are arranged according to

Facies Changes

Transgressive and Regressive


systems can be identified by
observing facies and lithological
changes in rock/sediment

Transgressive sediments fine


upwards, represent deeper water
environments

Regressive- sediments coarsen


upwards, represents shallowing

Facies Migration

Facies migrate through space and time


Migration is in response to environmental
factors
Sediment supply
Sea level change
Tectonic (Subsidence or Up-lift)
Sedimentary Processes
Climate
Facies become stacked during migration
A single facies is likely to be different ages
in different locations

Walthers Law
of the Correlation of Facies

Only works where there are no unconformities


Only facies that were laterally adjacent during
deposition (result of laterally adjacent environments)
can be stacked vertically
Vertical arrangement of facies gives us information :

Distribution of environments
How environments migrated through space and time

Used as a basis to build facies maps or


paleogeographic maps
Accurate time correlation of facies is essential
Time lines provide framework for correlation

Bio-events
Volcanic ashes
Other thin, unique lithologies or marker beds

Representing Facies:
Stratigraphic Sections

Deltas
Marginal Marine Deposition

Ganges Delta, India

Mississippi Delta
(partial), USA

Mississippi Delta (partial),


USA
Drowning!

Niger Delta 3D Model

Modern Delta
Subenvironments