Linear Structures

  • Paul Edwin Potter
  • F. J. Pettijohn


In the broadest sense, lineation is a descriptive, nongenetic term, for any kind of linear structure, on or within a rock (Cloos, 1946, p. 1). Our concern here, however, is the primary lineation of sedimentary rocks acquired during the depositional process or imposed on the sediment while it was still in the environment of deposition. Lineations are of several types and include the preferred linear arrangement of elongate skeletal elements, plant fragments, or nonspherical clasts of any kind. Such preferential arrangement of the framework elements of a deposit is usually called the depositional “fabric” Lineation includes also the various features which are found at the interface between beds such as the slide marks, produced by movement of one bed over another — in reality a species of slickensides, and the various groovings and striations of mudstones, preserved only as casts on the sole of the overlying sandstone bed. Various other asymmetric sole markings on sandstone beds also impart a lineation to the bedding surface. Included here are the striations and groovings on those surfaces which underlie till or tillite. These glacial striations are in one sense tectonic — i.e. they are produced by an overthrust (of glacial ice) but, inasmuch as they have been systematically mapped to reconstruct the pattern of ice-movement, they are indeed a paleocurrent structure. Also included are those internal linear structures observed when certain sandstones are split or parted along bedding planes. Such parting lineation is a very common feature of some sand facies.


Bedding Plane Turbidity Current Slump Structure Sole Marking Primary Sedimentary Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, P., 1960: The \Vealden environment: Anglo-Paris basin. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., London, Ser. B 242, 283–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beasley, H. C., 1908: Some markings, other than footprints, in the Keuper sandstones and marls. Proc. Liverpool Geol. Soc. 10, 262–275.Google Scholar
  3. Beasley, H. C., 1914: Some fossils from the Keuper sandstone of Alton, Staffordshire. Proc. Liverpool Geol. Soc. 12, 35–39.Google Scholar
  4. Birkenmaer, K., 1958: Oriented flowage casts and marks on the Carpathian Flysch and their relation to flute and groove casts. Acta Geol. Polon. 8, 117–118.Google Scholar
  5. Boxman, J., 1953: Lithology and petrology of the Stanley and Jackfork formations. J. Geol. 61, 152 170.Google Scholar
  6. Bouma, A., 1959a: Some data on turbidites from the Alps Maritimes (France). Geol. en Mijnbouw 21, 223 227.Google Scholar
  7. Bouma, A., 1959b: Flysch oligocene de Peira-Cava (Alpes-Maritimes, France). Eclogae Geol. Heiv. 51, 893–900.Google Scholar
  8. Chamberlin, T. C., 1888: Rock-scorings of the great ice invasions. 7th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Survey, p. 218–223.Google Scholar
  9. Clarke, J. M., 1917: Strand and undertow markings of Upper Devonian time as indications of the prevailing climate. N.Y. State Museum Bull. 196, 199 210Google Scholar
  10. CLoos, E., 1946: Lineation, a critical review and annotated bibliography. Geol. Soc. Amer. Mem. 18, 122 p.Google Scholar
  11. CLoos, H., 1938: Primäre Richtungen im Sedimenten der rheinischen Geosynkline. Geol. Rundschau 29, 357–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crowell, J. C., 1955: Directional-current structures from the Pre-alpine Flysch, Switzerland. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 66, 1351–1384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crowell, J. C., 1958: Sole markings of graded graywacke beds: a discussion. J. Geol. 66, 333–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cummins, W. A., 1957: The Denbigh grits; Wenlock greywackes in Wales. Geol. Mag. 94, 433–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cummins, W. A., 1958: Some sedimentary structures from the Lower Keuper sandstones. Liverpool, Manchester Geol. J. 2, 37–43.Google Scholar
  16. Cummins, W. A., 1959: The Lower Ludlow Grits in Wales. Liverpool, Manchester Geol. J. 2, 68–179.Google Scholar
  17. Hott jr., R. Il., and J. K. Howard, 1962: Convolute lamination in non-graded sequences. J. Geol. 70, 114–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ireimanis, A., 1956: Steep Rock boulder train. Proc. Geol. Assoc. Can. 8, 28–7Google Scholar
  19. Unbar, C. O., and J. Rodgers, 1957: Principles of stratigraphy. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 356 p.Google Scholar
  20. Dzulynski, ST., M. Ksiazkiewrcz and Px. H. Kuenen, 1959: Turbidites in fysch of the Polish Carpathian Mountains. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 70, 1089–1118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dzulynskr, ST., and A. Rauomski, 1955: Origin of groove casts in the light of turbidity current hypothesis. Acta. Geol. Polon. 5, 47–56.Google Scholar
  22. Dzulynskr, ST., and J. E., Sanders, 1959: Bottom marks on firm lutite substratum underlying turbidite beds (abstract). Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 70, 1594.Google Scholar
  23. Dzulynskr, ST., and A. Slaczka, 1959: Directional structures and sedimentation of the Krosno beds (Carpathian flysch). Ann. Soc. géol. Pologne 28, 205 260.Google Scholar
  24. Dzulynskr, ST., and A. Slaczka, 1960: Sole markings produced by fish bones acting as tools. Ann. soc. géol. Pologne 30, 249–255.Google Scholar
  25. Frakes, L. A., 1961: Sedimentary structures of the Upper Devonian of central Pennsylvania. Proc. Peoria Acad. Sci. 35, 116–123.Google Scholar
  26. Freludenberg, W., 1934: Die Gärich-Berekhemerschen Wülste. Z. deut. geol. Ges. 86, 59.Google Scholar
  27. Fucus, Tu., 1895: Studien über Fucoiden und Hieroglyphen. Denkschr. Akad. AViss. \Vien, Math.-nat. Kl. 62, 369–448.Google Scholar
  28. Gilbert, G. K., 1905: Crescentic gouges on glaciated surfaces. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 17, 303–316.Google Scholar
  29. Glaessner, P., 1958: Sedimentary flow structures on bedding planes. J. Geol. 66, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grossoevm, V. A., 1946: On the significance and methods of study of hieroglyphs (on the material of the Caucasian Flysch). Acad. Sci., U.S.S.R., B., Ser. Geol., No. 2, 111–120.Google Scholar
  31. Grossoevm, V. A., 1955: Experiment in the creation of a terminology for the morphological description of hieroglyphics. Geol. Prospecting Inst. 3 (6), 314–325Google Scholar
  32. Gürich, G., 1933: Schrägschichtungsbögen und zapfenförmige Fliellwülste im „Flagstone` von Pretoria und ähnliche Vorkommnisse im Auartzit von Kuhis, S.W.A., dem Schilfsandstein von Maulbronn u.a. Z. deut. geol. Ges. 85, 652–654.Google Scholar
  33. Haas, E. Ten, 1957: Tectonic utility of oriented resedimentation structures. Geol. en Mijnbouw, n.s. 19, 33–35.Google Scholar
  34. Haas, E. Ten, 1959: Graded beds of the northern Apennines. Ph.D. thesis, Rijks University, Groningen, 102 p.Google Scholar
  35. Häntzschel, W., 1935: Fossile Schrägschichtungs-Bogen, „Fließwülste“ und Rieselmarken aus dem Nama-Transvaal System (Süd-Afrika) und ihre rezenten Gegenstücke. Senckenbergiana 17, 167–177.Google Scholar
  36. Hall, J., 1943: Geology of New York, pt. IV, Survey of the 4th District. Albany: Carroll and Cook. 683 p.Google Scholar
  37. Hall, J., 1843: On wave lines and casts of mud furrows (Abstract): Am. J. Sci. 45, 148–149Google Scholar
  38. Hall, J., 1843: Remarks upon casts of mud furrows, wave lines, and other markings upon rocks of the New York system. Rept. Assoc. Amer. Geologists and Naturalists, p. 422–423.Google Scholar
  39. Hall, K. J., 1959: Flute-and groove-casts in the Prealpine Flysch, Switzerland. Am. J. Sci. 257, 529–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hall, K. J., 1960: Paleocurrent structures and paleogeography of the ultrahelvetic Flysch basins, Switzerland. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 71, 577–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Johnson, K. E., 1962: Paleocurrent study of the Tesnus formation, Marathon Basin, Texas. J. Sediment. Petrol. 32, 781–792.Google Scholar
  42. Kelling, G., 1959: Ripple-mark in the Rhinns of Gallaway. Trans. Edinburgh Geol. Soc. 17, 117–132.Google Scholar
  43. Kelling, G., and E. K. Walton, 1961: Flow structures in sedimentary rocks: a discussion. J. Geol. 69, 224.Google Scholar
  44. Kingma, J. T., 1958: The Tongaporutuan sedimentation in central IIawkes Bay. New Zealand J. Geol. and Geophys. 1, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Knill, J. L., 1959: Paleocurrents and sedimentary facies of the Dalradian meta-sediments of the Craignish-Kilmelfort District. Proc. Geol. Assoc. 70, 277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kopsteln, F. P. H. W., 1954: Graded bedding of the Harlech Dome. Ph.D. thesis, Rijks University, Groningen, 97 p.Google Scholar
  47. Krejci-Graf, J., 1932: Definition der Begriffe Marken, Spuren, Fährten, Bauten, Hieroglyphen und Fucoiden. Senckenbergiana 14, 19–39.Google Scholar
  48. Ksiazkiewicz, M., 1952: Graded and laminated bedding in the Carpathian flysch. Ann. soc. géol. Pologne 22, 399–449.Google Scholar
  49. Ksiazkiewicz, M., 1961: On some sedimentary structures of the Carpathian flysch. Ann. soc. géol. Pologne 31, 37–46.Google Scholar
  50. Kuenen, PH. H., 1953: Graded bedding, with observations on lower Paleozoic rocks of Britain. Verhandel. Koninkl. Ned. Akad. Wetenschap. Afdel. Natuurk. 20, 1–47.Google Scholar
  51. Kuenen, PH. H., 1957: Sole markings of graded graywacke beds. J. Geol. 65, 231–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kuenen, PH. H., 1958: Problems concerning source and transport of flysch sediments. Geol. en Mijnbouw, n.s. 20, 329–339.Google Scholar
  53. Kuenen, PH. H., and A. Carozzi, 1953: Turbidity currents and sliding in geosynclinal basins in the Alps. J. Geol. 61, 363–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kuenen, PH. H., A. Faure-Muret, M. Lanteaume and P. Fallot, 1957: Observations sur les flysche des Alpes-Maritimes françaises et italiennes. Bull.soc. géol. France, 7, 11–26Google Scholar
  55. Kuenen, PH. H., and J. E. Prentice, 1957: Flow markings and load-casts. Geol. Mag. 94, 173–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kuenen, PH. H., and J. E. Sanders, 1956: Sedimentation phenomena in Kulm and Flözleeres graywackes, Sauerland and Oberharz, Germany. Am. J. Sci. 254, 649–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kulick, J., 1960: Driftmarken im Kulm des Edersee-Gebietes. Fortschr. Geol. Rheinld. u. Westf. 3, 289–296.Google Scholar
  58. Linck, O., 1956: Driftmarken von Schachtelhalm-Gewächsen aus der mittleren Keuper (Trias). Senckenbergiana Lethaea 37, 39–51.Google Scholar
  59. Lundegardh, P. H., and G. Lundqvist, 1959: Beskrivning till kartbladit Eskilstuna. Sveriges Geol. Undersökn., Ser. Aa, No. 200, 125.Google Scholar
  60. Marschalko, R., 1961: Sedimentologic investigation of marginal lithofacies in Flysch of central Carpathians. Geol. place (Bratislava) 60, 197–230.Google Scholar
  61. Marschalko, R., and A. Radomski, 1960: Preliminary results of investigations of current directions in the flysch basin of the central Carpathians. Ann. soc. géol. Pologne 30, 259–261.Google Scholar
  62. Mcbride, E. F., 1962: Flysch and associated beds of the Martinsburg formation (Ordovician), central Appalachians. J. Sediment. Petrol. 32, 39–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Mciver, N. L., 1961: Upper Devonian marine sedimentation in the central Appa-lachians. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, The Johns Hopkins University, 347 pGoogle Scholar
  64. Mckee, E. D., 1954: Stratigraphy and history of the Moenkopi formation of Triassic age. Geol. Soc. Am. Mem. 61, 133 p.Google Scholar
  65. Menard, H. W., 1955: Deep-sea channels, topography and sedimentation. Bull. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geologists 39, 236–255.Google Scholar
  66. Murphy, M. A., and S. O. Schlanger, 1962: Sedimentary structures in Ihlas and São Sebastiâo formations (Cretaceous), Recôncavo Basin, Brazil. Bull. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geologists 46, 457–477.Google Scholar
  67. Nederlof, M. H., 1959: Structure and sedimentology of the Upper Carboniferous of the upper Pisuerga Valleys, Cantabrian Mountains, Spain. Leidse Geol. Mededel. 24, 603–703.Google Scholar
  68. Pavoni, N., 1959: Rollmarken von Fischwirbeln aus den oligozänen Fischschiefern von Engi-Matt (Kt. Glarus). Eclogae Geol. Heiv. 52, 941–949.Google Scholar
  69. Peabody, F. E., 1947: Current crescents in the Triassic Moenkopi formation. J. Sediment. Petrol. 17, 73–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pickel, W., 1937: Stratigraphie und Sedimentanalyse des Kulms an der Edertalsperre. Z. deut. geol. Ges. 89, 233–280.Google Scholar
  71. Plessman, W. VON, 1961: Strömungsmarken in klastischen Sedimentenund ihre geologische Auswertung. Geol. Jahrb. 78, 503–566.Google Scholar
  72. Prentice, J. E., 1960: Flow structures in sedimentary rocks. J. Geol. 68, 217–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Prentice, J. E., 1961: Flow structures in sedimentary rocks: a reply. J. Geol. 69, 225Google Scholar
  74. Radomski, A., 1958: The sedimentological character of the Podhale flysch. Acta Geol. Polon. 8, 335–408.Google Scholar
  75. Reinemund, J. A., and W. Danilchik, 1958: Preliminary geologic map of the Waldron Quadrangle and adjacent areas, Scott County, Arkansas. U.S. Geol. Survey,,Oil and Gas Investigation Map OM 192.Google Scholar
  76. Rich, J. L., 1950: Flow markings, groovings, and intra-stratal crumplings as criteria for recognition of slope deposits with illustrations from Silurian rocks of Wales. Bull. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geologists 34, 717–741.Google Scholar
  77. Rich, J. L., 1951: Three critical environments of deposition, and criteria for recogni-tion of rocks deposited in each of them. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 62, 1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Richter, RUD., 1935: Marken und Spuren in Hunsrück-Schiefer. I. GeflieB-Marken. Senckenbergiana 17, 244–263.Google Scholar
  79. Rocklin, H., 1938: Strömungsmarken im unteren Muschelkalk des Saarlandes. Senckenbergiana 20, 94–114.Google Scholar
  80. Seilacher, A., 1960: Strömungsanzeichen im Hunsrückschiefer. Notizbl. hess. Landesamtes Bodenforsch. Wiesbaden 88, 88–106.Google Scholar
  81. Shrock, R. R., 1948: Sequence in layered rocks. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. 507 p.Google Scholar
  82. Sorby, H. C., 1856: On the physical geography of the Old Red Sandstone sea of the central district of Scotland. Edinburgh New Philosoph. J., n.s. 3, 112–122Google Scholar
  83. Stanley, D. J., 1961: Etudes sedimentologiques des gres d’Annot et leur equivalents lateraux. Inst. Français du Petrole, Ref. 6821, 158 p.Google Scholar
  84. Stanley, G. M., 1955: Origin of playa stone tracks, Racetrack Playa, Inyo County, California. Geol. Soc. Am. 66, 1329–1350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Stokes, W. L., 1947: Primary lineation in fluvial sandstones. J. Geol. 55, 52–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Strakhov, N. M., ed., 1958: Méthodes d’étude des roches sédimentaires. Ann. Serv.Info. Geol., Bur. Recherches géol. geophys. et Min., No. 35, 1, 542 p.Google Scholar
  87. Sutton, R. G., 1959: Use of flute casts in stratigraphic correlation. Bull. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geologists 43, 230–237.Google Scholar
  88. Teichmoller, R., 1960: Ein rezentes Analogon zu Driftmarken im Kulm des EderseeGebietes. Fortschr. Geol. Rheinld. u. Westf. 3, 297–300.Google Scholar
  89. Vassoevich, N. B., 1932: Some data allowing us to distinguish the overturned position of flysch sedimentary formations from the normal ones. Academy Sciences, U.S.S.R., Trudy Geol. Inst. 2, 47–63.Google Scholar
  90. Vassoevich, N. B., 1953: On some Flysch textures. Trans. Soc. geol. Lwow, ser. geol., 3, 17–85.Google Scholar
  91. Williams, H. S., 1881: Channel-fillings in the Upper Devonian shales. Am. J. Sci. 121, 318–320.Google Scholar
  92. Wood, A., and A. J. Smith, 1959: The sedimentation and sedimentary history of the Aberystwyth grits (Upper Llandoverian). Quart. J. Geol. Soc. London 114, 163–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Yeakel, L. S., 1959: Tuscarora, Juniata and Bald Eagle paleocurrents and paleography in the central Appalachians. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, The Johns Hopkins University, 454 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Edwin Potter
    • 1
  • F. J. Pettijohn
    • 2
  1. 1.Indiana UniversityUSA
  2. 2.The Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations