Grains: Rock Fragments (Lithic Fragments)
2015. "Grains: Rock Fragments (Lithic Fragments)", A Color Guide to the Petrography of Sandstones, Siltstones, Shales and Associated Rocks, Dana S. Ulmer-Scholle, Peter A. Scholle, Juergen Schieber, Robert J. Raine
Download citation file:
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.
Figures & Tables
A Color Guide to the Petrography of Sandstones, Siltstones, Shales and Associated Rocks
AAPG Memoir 109 is designed as a practical guide for students and professionals to learn the fundamentals of microscopic examination of sandstones, mudrocks, and associated rocks. With more than 1100 color illustrations, it covers the identification of grains, textures, and structures of clastic terrigenous rocks as well as their diagenetic alteration (compaction, cementation, dissolution, and replacement) and porosity reduction or enhancement. It also provides classification diagrams for formal description of those rocks and their porosity. Although the majority of the outcrop and subsurface examples come from the United States (35 states and Puerto Rico), there are representative photographs from 32 other countries, including many from the offshore areas. The foldout birefringence chart and an included DVD with Powerpoint files of all of the petrographic images provide additional aids for instructors and students.