Spring 2023 - 4 Hours

Sedimentary Rocks in Utah

River discharging a plume of sediment into the ocean


This undergraduate course looks at modern sediments and the processes of formation, transport, deposition and diagenesis.

By examining sediments that are forming, moving, and depositing in the present day, we build an understanding of sedimentary features in the rock record were formed. This allows us to understand past environments. For instance, examining modern beaches, rivers, and dunes, allows us to understand their occurrence in the rock record.

Sedimentary rocks cover approximately three-quarters of the Earth's surface and are the best record of the Earth's history, so understanding sediments is crucial for understanding how Earth's current environments compare to environments found in Earth's past.

Schematic showing sphericity and rounding of sediment grains