5 June 2017

3D models of sedimentary structures

Posted by Callan Bentley

I’ve been busy making 3D models lately. Here are three ones united by a theme of being sand that was deposited relative to mud. In one case we have scouring to make flutes, in another case we have have localized sagging to make “ball & pillow” structures, and in the third case we have an extraordinary submarine landslide deposit. For two of them, the shale has been preferentially etched away, leaving only the sandstone. For one, the shale remains (but it’s breaking apart fast!).

In each case, you should be able to spin the models, zoom in and zoom out, and read the information in the annotations.

Here’s a 3D model of flute casts, from a slab on display on the campus of Penn State University:

Question for students: Which way was the current flowing?

A 3D model of load casts in the Hampshire Formation, Corridor H, West Virginia:

Question for students: Is this the top or the bottom of the bed?

And finally a 3D model of an outcrop of uppermost Devonian Spechty Kopf Diamictite on Corridor H, showing a mass transport deposit:

Question for students: Can you find a “jelly rolled” sandstone bed within this mess? What events are implied by this feature?