Where is graywacke sandstone deposited?
Graywacke sandstone is a sedimentary rock that is made up mostly of sand-size grains that were rapidly deposited very near the source rock from which they were weathered. Graywacke is deposited in deep ocean water near volcanic mountain ranges, where underwater landslides and density currents called turbidites quickly transport sediment short distances into a subduction zone or ocean trench. This type of sandstone contains fewer grains made of quartz and more made of feldspars, volcanic rock fragments, as well as silt and clay than most sandstone. It is therefore also known as “dirty sandstone.” The volcanic rock fragments give graywacke a greenish-gray color.
What makes the beds in graywacke?
Graywacke sandstone deposits display flat-lying beds, each composed of sedimentary particles of different sizes. The sandstone beds can be from inches to many feet thick and are often separated by thin, dark shale beds. Each sandstone bed was formed during a single turbidite or submarine landslide event and was deposited over a short period of time from hours to days. The thin shale beds formed between turbidite events, when mud particles slowly settled to the sea floor, and may represent thousands of years. Turbidites display graded bedding, that is, the grain size decreases upwards in the bed. During a turbidite event, the larger and heavier grains settle out first. As the energy in the landslide event decreases, finer and finer particles settle out to the sea floor.