Importance of sedimentary rocks
Sedimentary rocks provide a multitude of products which modern and ancient society has come to utilise.
- Art: marble, although a metamorphosed limestone, is an example of the use of sedimentary rocks in the pursuit of aesthetics and art
- Architectural uses: stone derived from sedimentary rocks is used for dimension stone and in architecture, notably slate, a meta-shale, for roofing, sandstone for load-bearing buttresses
- Ceramics and industrial materials: clay for pottery and ceramics including bricks; cement and lime derived from limestone.
- Economic geology: sedimentary rocks host large deposits of SEDEX ore deposits of lead-zinc-silver, large deposits of copper, deposits of gold, tungsten, Uranium, and many other precious minerals, gemstones and industrial minerals including heavy mineral sands ore deposits
- Energy: petroleum geology relies on the capacity of sedimentary rocks to generate deposits of petroleum oils. Coal and oil shale are found in sedimentary rocks. A large proportion of the world's uranium energy resources are hosted within sedimentary successions.
- Groundwater: sedimentary rocks contain a large proportion of the Earth's groundwater aquifers. Our understanding of the extent of these aquifers and how much water can be withdrawn from them depends critically on our knowledge of the rocks that hold them (the reservoir).