Industrial Minerals and Resource Economics Section | Industrial Minerals and Resource Economics Staff
Sedimentary geology focuses on sedimentary rocks (e.g., limestone, shale, sandstone, coal) and the processes by which they were formed. It involves the description, classification, origin, and interpretation of sediments. The observational and analytical procedures used in sedimentary geology include geophysics, stratigraphy, paleontology, petrography, and chemical analyses.
Investigations of the sedimentary rocks of Illinois and adjacent regions provide important insight to the processes that led to the development of the state's abundant mineral resources including oil, gas, coal, groundwater, and industrial minerals and metals. This process-oriented approach allows for the extrapolation of information from well-understood ancient and modern analogues providing a high degree of predictability for subsurface conditions. These methods also provide fundamental information for earthquake hazards, groundwater protection, evaluation of selected construction sites, and disposal of various types of waste materials.
Event stratigraphy is a concept that has evolved in recent years from the recognition that, in many sedimentary successions, there are distinctive stratigraphic events, preserved either as marker beds (e.g.,i volcanic ash beds) or as discontinuities caused by regional or even global sea-level change. Study of these features can provide significant insight as to how and when sedimentary rocks were formed. Geologists are conducting research in sequence stratigraphy and K-bentonite investigations.
Updated 12/9/2009 SLD