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Sandstone is an arenaceous sedimentary rock composed mainly of feldspar and quartz and varies in colour (in a similar way to sand), through grey, yellow, red, and white. Sandstones are often relatively soft and easy to work which therefore make them a common building and paving material.
The principle mechanism for the formation of sandstone is by the sedimentation of grains out of a fluid, such as a river, lake or sea. The environment of deposition is crucial in determining the characteristics of the resulting sandstone, which on a finer scale include its grainsize, sorting, composition and on a larger scale include the rock geometry. Principal environments of deposition may be split between terrestrial and marine, as illustrated by the following broad groupings:
Types of sandstoneOnce the geological characteristics of a sandstone have been established, it can then be broadly divided between three groups:
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