Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Mudrock – A Sedimentary Rock with Multiple Uses

Mudrock is one of the unique types of sedimentary rocks while there are many uses of the rock, it is highly understudied. These rocks are unique because of the extremely small particle sizes they have, which makes it difficult for experts to carry out extensive research on these rocks. They are composed of different materials, silica being the base material and then there are other components such as sulfides, iron oxides, etc. The interesting point being that even though not much is known about them, they constitute nearly 50% of the sediment geological rocks.
These rocks are made up of very fine sediments. In most of the cases, these sediments are created due to erosion. Over the years, these sediments are subjected to various natural phenomenon turning them into sedimentary rocks.

Types of Murdock’s

Mudrock has been influential in the growth and evolution of the human civilization at various stages. The first instance was associated with humans using mud bricks for construction. These bricks were used in the construction of the houses and even ovens for cooking. With usage, people realized the insulation capabilities of mud, which made mud bricks even more popular. Broadly, three classifications of mudrock have been evident to us. These are siltstone, claystone, and mudstone. While siltstones have a high composition of silt. Claystone, as the name suggests has more clay composition. Mudstone, on the other hand, is a mixture of the two.

Petroleum Source

Another significant contribution of mudrock to the human civilization is, as the preserver and container of our most precious fuel, petroleum. These rocks are known to be the containers of a majority of the petroleum sources globally. Black shale, a variety of the mudrock, is said to be the source rock for the petroleum. Many a time, rock might not be visible in the surrounding the petroleum source, but more often than not, it is the source. In addition, other varieties of the mudrock are not as porous and permeable. Hence, these serve as a good seal of petroleum and natural gas reservoirs.

Geological Significance

These rocks are of high geological significance, as they are great to study the fossils.  Moreover, they are also known to preserve a lot of history in them. The fine grains of the rock prevent easy erosion of dissolution of the fossil, thus preserving it for a long period of time. Many paleontologists look for specific signs in these rocks, in order to determine the climatic and living conditions during a given time period. These rocks can be termed as the timekeeper of the planet, as well.

Miscellaneous Significance

Other than the above-mentioned importance, these rocks are also known to be good bearers of important minerals, ores, and precious metals. Even with an engineering perspective, the mudrock is very significant. It is widely used in mines in order to stop the unwanted leakage of a fluid or the gas. This can be attributed to the non-porous nature of these rocks.
Types of Mudrock
Types of Mudrock
The astonishing fact is that even though, these rocks are so widespread and contribute so much to the existence of humans on the earth, they are not studied in depth. They definitely hold of a lot of answers to the historical questions, which are yet to be answered or even asked. With more emphasis, being put on these kinds of rocks, definitely more research and study will happen. It will definitely reveal more aspects about the mudrocks that most of the people are still unaware about. Only time will tell, how many hidden pieces of information, these rocks carry within them, as fossils, that can reveal so much about the life of humans in the past.


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