Sedimentary rocks cover the majority of the Earth's exposed continents (73% of the Earth's current land surface). These rocks are formed by deposition and subsequent cementation of material, either at the Earth's surface or in oceans, lakes and rivers. This material, or sediment, is derived from the products of weathering and erosion, transported and then deposited by water, wind or ice. Sedimentation may also take place on the sea-floor as aquatic creatures settle out of suspension or minerals are precipitated.

 

The study of sedimentary rocks is important for understanding a wide range of subjects related to the Earth's history, including palaeontology, palaeogeography and palaeoclimatology. Understanding sedimentary rocks is also important for civil engineering, natural resource extraction and water management. 

 

Explore the virtual outcrops below. They represent rocks that have been deposited in a variety of environments and settings, and cover a wide range of geological ages  

Amroth
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales
Bingie Bingie
New South Wales, Australia
Boyne Limestone
Moray, NE Scotland
Broadhaven
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales
Cape Liptrap
Victoria, Australia
Clashach Fault
Moray, NE Scotland
Clachtoll
NW Highlands, Scotland
Corbel
Alps, E France
Extensional boudin
Death Valley, USA
Glarus Thrust
Alps, E Switzerland
Kayenta Fm.
Utah, USA
Lothbeg
Sutherland, NE Scotland
Monkstone Point
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales
Norber erratic
Yorkshire Dales, UK
Otter Sandstone
Devon, SW England
Pedra do Segredo
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Portsoy folds
Moray, NE Scotland
Potato point
New South Wales, Australia
Saundersfoot
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales
Siccar point
Borders, SE Scotland
Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval veins
Alps, E France
Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval
Alps, E France
Split Point
Victoria, Australia
St Ann's
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales
Stackpole
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales
Stronchrubie
NW Highlands, Scotland
Swift Anticline, Montana
Sawtooth Range, USA
Swift Reservoir Spillway
Sawtooth Range, USA
Swift Reservoir dam cut
Sawtooth Range, USA
Swift detail
NW Montana, USA
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