Sedimentary Petrology and Sedimentology


The general objectives of this course are:

- to know the origins of sediments and to characterize the genetic conditions of deposition and formation of sedimentary rocks.

- to identify and characterize the processes of weathering and alteration , erosion, transport, deposition and diagenesis of sediments.

- to describe and characterize the sedimentary rocks and to know to apply the systematics of sedimentary rocks.

- to characterize and interpret sedimentary environments and sedimentation models.

- to know the economic importance of sedimentary geological resources.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Roque Legoinha, Paulo do Carmo de Sá Caetano


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



Prior frequency of the following courses is advised: General Geology, Topography and Field Geology, Stratigraphy and Paleontology.


BOGGS, Sam Jr. (2009). Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks (second edition). Cambridge University Press, 600 p.

COLLINSON, J. D. & THOMPSON, D. B. (1989). Sedimentary structures (2. ed.). Unwin Hyman, 207 p.

FLÜGEL, Erik (2004). Microfacies of carbonate rocks. Springer, 976 p.

MACKENZIE, W. S. & ADAMS, A. E. (1996). Atlas d''''''''''''''''iniciation à la pétrographie, avec 180 photos en couleurs de roches et minéraux en lames minces. Masson, 192 p.

NICHOLS, Gary (2009). Sedimentology and stratigraphy. Wiley-Blackwell, 419 p.

SCHOLLE, Peter A. (1979). A Color Illustrated Guide to Constituents, Textures, Cements, and Porosities of Sandstones and Associated Rocks: Tulsa, OK, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 28, 201 p.

SUGUIO K. (2003) - Geologia Sedimentar. Editora Edgard Blucher, 400p.

TUCKER, Maurice (ed.) (1988). Techniques in sedimentology. Blackwell, 416 p.

Teaching method

Different learning methods are used in this course:

- Tutorial teaching in theoretical sessions, supported by audiovisual media (PowerPoint), to which students have access from the course page (Clip platform).

- Practical sessions including observation of hand specimens and thin sections of sedimentary rocks.

- Field work with observation of outcrops and identification of sedimentary environments and models.

Evaluation method

Course evaluation is obtained by in 4 moments. Students perform both theoretical and practical tests (TP1 and TP2) corresponding to the subjects taught in class.

The 3rd evaluation moment consists of a group work  (GW) which corresponds to the presentation in the classroom of a topic distributed by the teacher.

The 4th assessment moment is the delivery of a field visit report (FVR) following the field trip.

The final classification (FC) of the course is obtained as follows:

FC = 0,3*TP1 + 0,3*TP2 + 0,20*GW + 0,20*FVR

Approval with FC> = 9,5/20

Frequency is obtained by the presence in at least 2/3 of the classes.

Subject matter

1. The origin of the sediments.

Rock weathering and alteration . Physical and chemical weathering. Rocks weathering products. Clay minerals; Physico-chemical properties of the clays.

Soil - soil concepts: agronomic, geological and geotechnical perspectives. Residual soils and alteration crusts.

Erosion, transport and deposition of sediments. Transport processes: water, wind, ice and gravity. Factors which affect the deposition of sediments.

Deposition and sedimentary structures. Primary  inorganic and biogenic sedimentary structures. Post-depositional structures and diagenesis. Major phases and diagenetic processes. Factors that control the diagenesis and the effects of diagenesis.

 2. Sedimentary rocks.

 Classification of sedimentary rocks. Observation, description, classification and identification of sedimentary rocks in hand samples. The triangular representation of sedimentary rocks.

 Detrital sedimentary rocks - genesis, characteristics, systematics and economic importance. Classes of rudites, arenites and lutites. Size analysis; Statistical parameters and sample characterization. Observation of sands with binocular magnifying glass - morphoscopy and morphometry.

 Non detrital sedimentary rocks - genesis, characteristics, systematics and economic importance. Classes of carbonates, siliceous rocks, ferruginous, evaporitic, phosphate and carbonaceous. Observation of thin sections of sedimentary rocks. Application of carbonate rockclassifications: Dunham (1962) Folk (1959) and Embry & Klovan (1971).

 Symbols used in the design of a sedimentary log.

3.  Sedimentary Environments

Sedimentology, historical aspects and key concepts. Environments and sedimentary facies, concepts and importance. Facies analysis methods and comparison to current environments. Identification of sedimentary environments: sedimentary characteristics (lithology, structures, fossils) and characteristic deposits.

4. General characteristics, controls (climatic, tectonic, eustatic), facies, types of deposit and geomorphological aspects of sedimentary environments:

          - Glacier

          - Eolian

          - Lacustrine

          - Fluvial (and alluvial)

          - Shallow marine  (clastic and carbonate platforms)

          - Deep marinho (turbidites, contornites and pelagic sediments)

          - Deltaic

          - Estuaries and lagoons

 5. Field trip. Observation of outcrops with rocks from sedimentary environments:

           a) Lagoon and reefal (Picheleiros)

           b) Continental, alluvial fan ("debris flow" and "sheet flow")

           c) High-energy coastal and subtidal (Creiro - Arrábida)

           d) Coastal and infralittoral, related to the development of a marine transgression (Foz da Fonte).


Programs where the course is taught: