Heterolithic bedding

Heterolithic bedding is a sedimentary structure made up of interbedded deposits of sand and mud. It is formed mainly in tidal flats but can also be formed in glacial environments. Examples from fluvial environments have been documented but are rare. Heterolithic bedding forms in response to alternations in sediment supply and tidal velocity. The fluctuations result in the interbedded layers of sand and mud. The rippled sand layer is formed during high tidal currents, while the mud is deposited during slack tide periods .The three main types of heterolithic bedding are flaser, wavy, and lenticular. Starved ripples and cross bedding with flasers can also be considered forms of heterolithic bedding. Differentiating of these various types of heterolithic bedding is based on the relative volume of mud and sand. This key determining factor is controlled by the timing, and duration of both the high tide, and slack tide depositional periods.


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