During transportation, which of the following methods will result in the best degree of sorting and which will result in the lowest degree of sorting? Consider the following examples: wind-blown deposits, beach deposits, and stream deposits. Each of these methods results in a different degree of sorting, depending on the amount of energy applied to the grains. The energy applied depends on the grain size and position in the stream, as well as the time that the grain was in the stream. In addition, abrasion reduces the size of grains, and also results in rounding, giving clues to the time that the grains spent in the transportation cycle.
Transporting small clasts
The easiest type of clasts to transport are small ones. They are much easier to handle than their larger counterparts, and as they are smaller, they will result in the best degree of sorting. Because they are easier to transport, they can travel long distances.
Small clasts can be used to study weathering, transport paths, and depositional processes. Their morphology is influenced by their parent lithology, which dictates their shape and susceptibility to rounding processes. Thin-bedded sandstones and shales, for example, tend to produce equant clasts.
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