Geodynamics and Basin Studies

Sedimentology and facies analysis

Sedimentology is concerned with the identification of depositional processes and recognition of ancient sedimentary environments in the stratigraphic rock record.

Main content

The identification of various sedimentation processes from their deposits, or sedimentary facies, is crucial to the recognition and palaeogeographic reconstruction of ancient sedimentary environments. (Sedimentary facies are visually distinguishable descriptive varieties of sedimerntary deposits, with different facies indicating different modes of sediment deposition.)  For this purpose, sedimentology combines knowledge derived from studies of modern environments and laborartory experiments, and uses this knowledge to understand the origin of sedimentary rocks (ancient deposits). Stratigraphic analysis of facies successions gives insight into the depositional processes, palaeoenvironmental conditions and development history of sedimentary basins, and allows prediction of the geometry, lateral extent and spatial distrubution of sedimentary rock bodies, including hydrocarbon and water reservoirs.