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Book Chapter

Grains: Rock Fragments (Lithic Fragments)

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Published:
January 01, 2015

Abstract

Rock fragments (also called lithic fragments or composite grains) can be derived from a wide variety of lithotypes and commonly have source-specific textures and compositions that can be recognized in thin section. Because of their multicrystalline/granular nature, rock fragments tend to be more common in the coarser grain-size modes of clastic terrigenous rocks (although, under the right circumstances, they can even be seen in mudrocks). Given the composite character of lithic fragments, many petrographers use the Gazzi-Dickinson method of point counting to record the constituent crystals within the fragments, rather than counting the fragments as such (Ingersoll et al., 1984). Rock fragments should be very common in sediments, and they are in many deposits, but because of their multi-crystalline or multi-granular nature, many succumb to the effects of weathering, abrasion or later mechanical or chemical diagenesis. But because the surviving rock fragments yield some of the most direct evidence of contributions from igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary terranes, it is especially important that such grains be accurately identified.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

A Color Guide to the Petrography of Sandstones, Siltstones, Shales and Associated Rocks

Dana S. Ulmer-Scholle
Dana S. Ulmer-Scholle
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Peter A. Scholle
Peter A. Scholle
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Juergen Schieber
Juergen Schieber
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Robert J. Raine
Robert J. Raine
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
109
ISBN electronic:
9781629812731
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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