GEL 109: Sediments and Strata

Sample Sedimentary Structures and Bedforms

Dawn Sumner

This page has a growing set of photos of sedimentary structures, both modern and ancient. Many of the photos have explanations or questions associated with them. They are designed to suppliment the text book, which I feel has too few photos. I recommend looking at these with the text in hand to compare the description of how stratification types form to actual structures. One of your first observations will probably be that the real world is much more complex than the text book descriptions!

The photos are arranged by sedimentary structure type and depositional environment. Each topic below connects to another page with thumbnail photos that are linked to larger photos. Many of the photos appear on more than one page because they show multiple features.

Sedimentary Structures

Wind Transported Bedforms and Cross Stratification
Subaqueous Ripples and Cross Lamination
Subaqueous Bedforms and Cross Stratification
Beach Stratification
Mud Cracks
Sole Marks, Burrows, and Misc.
Soft Sediment Deformation

Sedimentary Environments

Slope Failure and Erosion (Chapter 6)
Glacial Environments (Chapter 7)
Aeolian Environments (Chapter 8)
Arid Environments (Chapter 8)
Fluvial Environments (Chapter 9)
Shoreline Environments (Chapter 13)
Offshore Marine Environments (Chapters 14, 15)
Carbonates (This page currently only contains links to photos of organisms on other pages.)

Videos (Links open a new window)


Vortex between two ripple crests
Antidunes forming in a very fast flow
Computer Animations of how bedforms relate to cross stratification and comparisons of animations and real bedform examples, both from Ruben and Carter at the USGS. These are great!

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