Breccia

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Breccia (pronounced /ˈbrɛtʃiə/ or /ˈbrɛʃiə/, Italian: breach) is a rock composed of broken fragments of minerals or rock cemented together by a fine-grained matrix,[1] that can be either similar to or different from the composition of the fragments.

The word is a loan from Italian, and in that language indicates either loose gravel or stone made by cemented gravel. A breccia may have a variety of different origins, as indicated by the named types including sedimentary breccia, tectonic breccia, igneous breccia, impact breccia and hydrothermal breccia.

Contents

Types

Sedimentary

Sedimentary breccias are a type of clastic sedimentary rock which are composed of angular to subangular, randomly oriented clasts of other sedimentary rocks. They are formed by either submarine debris flows, avalanches, mud flow or mass flow in an aqueous medium. Technically, turbidites are a form of debris flow deposit and are a fine-grained peripheral deposit to a sedimentary breccia flow.

The other derivation of sedimentary breccia is as angular, poorly sorted, immature fragments of rocks in a finer grained groundmass which are produced by mass wasting. These are, in essence, lithified colluvium. Thick sequences of sedimentary (colluvial) breccias are generally formed next to fault scarps in grabens.

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