The Geology of Stratigraphic Sequences

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, 1997 - Science - 433 pages
3 Reviews

Preface to Second Edition

It has been more than a decade since the appearance of the First Edition of this book. Much progress has been made, but some controversies remain.

The original idea of Sloss and of Vail (building on the early work of Blackwelder, Grabau, Ulrich, Levorsen and others) that the stratigraphic record could be subdivided into sequences and that these sequences store essential information about basin-forming and subsidence processes remains as powerful an idea as when it was first formulated. The definition and mapping of sequences has become a standard part of the basin analysis process. Subsurface methods make use of advanced seismic-reflection analysis methods, with three-dimensional seismic methods, and seismic geomorphology adding important new dimensions to the analysis. Several advanced textbooks have now appeared that deal with the recognition and definition of sequences and their interpretation in terms of the evolution of depositional systems, the recognition and correlation of bounding surfaces, and the interpretation of sequences in terms of changing accommodation and supply. This is not one of these books.

The main purpose of this book remains the same as it was for the first edition, that is, to situate sequences within the broader context of geological processes so that geoscientists might be better equipped to extract the maximum information from the record of sequences in a given basin or region. The following are the main themes of the book:

  1. Central to the concept of the sequence is the deductive model that sequences carry messages about the "pulse of the earth." In the early modern period of sequence stratigraphy (the late 1970s and 1980s) the model of global eustasy was predominant, and it was to offer a critique of that model that provided the impetus for developing the first edition of this book. Model-building has been central to the science of geology from the beginninga "it was certainly a preoccupation of such early masters of the science as Lyell, Chamberlin, Barrell and Ulrich. A historical evaluation of the contrasting deductive and inductive approaches to geology has been added to this edition of the book, in order to provide a background in methodology and a historical context.
  2. Standard sequence models have become very well described and understood for most depositional settings, and are the subject of several recent texts. Two chapters are provided in this edition in order to outline modern ideas, and to provide a framework of terminology and illustration for the remainder of the book.
  3. A major component of the first edition was devoted to a documentation and illustration of the main types of sequence in the geological record, ranging from those representing hundreds of millions of years of geological evolution to the high-frequency sequences formed by rapid cyclic processes lasting a few tens of thousands of years. Such documentation remains a major component of the book, and has been updated with new examples.
  4. The central core of the first edition was composed of a detailed description and evaluation of the major processes by which sequences are formed. This remains the central focus of the book and has been updated.
  5. Perhaps partly in response to this book, many geoscientists have recognized the complexity of the geological record, have adopted a rigorous inductive approach to their analyses and remain committed to a multi-process interpretation of their rocks. Such an approach can provide a rich array of ideas regarding regional tectonics and basin analysis. However, the original Vail model of global eustasy remains convincing to many, and a powerful guide to interpretation. This writer finds that much of the work in this area retains a flavour of "working backwards from the answer" that was already troubling twenty years ago. The practical, theoretical and methodological issues surrounding this still controversial area comprise a concluding section of the book. The philosophy and methodology that are the basis for the ongoing work to construct the geological time scale constitute an essential background to this discussion.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
3
The Current Status
9
14 Stratigraphic Terminology
11
2 Methods for Studying Sequence Stratigraphy
15
222 Fades Cycles
21
The Seismic Method
22
23 Methods for Assessing Regional and Global Changes in Sea Level Other Than Seismic Stratigraphy
30
232 Hypsometric Curves
31
11322 The Appalachian Foreland Basin
250
11323 Pyrenean and Himalayan Basins
251
1133 Rates of Uplift and Subsidence
252
1134 Discussion
254
114 Intraplate Stress
255
1142 InPlane Stress as a Control of Sequence Architecture
256
1143 InPlane Stress and Regional Histories of SeaLevel Change
259
115 Basement Control
263

233 Backstripping
33
234 SeaLevel Estimation from Paleoshorelines and Other Fixed Points
40
235 Documentation of MeterScale Cycles
43
24 Integrated TectonicStratigraphic Analysis
48
3 The Four Basic Types of Stratigraphic Cycle
49
32 The Supercontinent Cycle
51
33 Cycles with Episodicities of Tens of Millions of Years
52
34 Cycles with MillionYear Episodicities
53
35 Cycles with Episodicities of Less Than One Million Years
56
4 The Basic Sequence Model
57
43 Depositional Systems and Systems Tracts
59
44 Sequence Boundaries
65
45 Other Sequence Concepts
67
5 The Global Cycle Chart
71
II The Stratigraphic Framework
77
6 Cycles with Episodicities of Tens to Hundreds of Millions of Years
79
62 The Supercontinent Cycle
81
622 The Phanerozoic Record
83
63 Cycles with Episodicities of Tens of Millions of Years
85
632 Tectonostratigraphic Sequences
88
64 Main Conclusions
98
7 Cycles with MillionYear Episodicities
99
72 Foreland Basin of the North American Western Interior
101
73 Other Foreland Basins
108
74 Forearc Basins
115
75 Backarc Basins
120
76 Cyclothems and Mesothems
125
77 Carbonate Cycles of Platforms and Craton Margins
128
78 Evidence of Cyclicity in the Deep Oceans
137
79 Main Conclusions
138
8 Cycles with Episodicities of Less Than One Million Years
139
83 PreNeogene Marine Carbonate and Clastic Cycles
149
84 Late Paleozoic Cyclothems
157
85 Lacustrine Clastic and Chemical Rhythms
161
86 Clastic Cycles of Foreland Basins
167
87 Main Conclusions
180
III Mechanisms
183
9 LongTerm Eustasy and Epeirogeny
185
93 Cycles with Episodicities of Tens of Millions of Years
191
932 Dynamic Topography and Epeirogeny
198
94 Main Conclusions
199
10 Milankovitch Processes
201
102 The Nature of Milankovitch Processes
202
1022 Basic Climatology
203
1023 Variations with Time in Orbital Periodicities
205
1024 Isostasy and Geoid Changes
206
1026 The Sensitivity of the Earth to Glaciation
208
1027 Glacioeustasy in the Mesozoic?
210
1028 Nonglacial Milankovitch Cyclicity
211
103 The Cenozoic Record
214
104 Late Paleozoic Cyclothems
216
105 The EndOrdovician Glaciation
222
11 Tectonic Mechanisms
225
112 Rifting and Thermal Evolution of Divergent Plate Margins
228
1122 Some Results from the Analysis of Modern Data Sets
233
113 Tectonism on Convergent Plate Margins and in Collision Zones
238
1132 Tectonism Versus Eustasy in Foreland Basins
239
11321 The North American Western Interior Basin
243
116 Other Speculative Tectonic Hypotheses
264
117 Sediment Supply and the Importance of Big Rivers
265
118 Environmental Change
269
Why the Global Cycle Chart Should Be Abandoned
271
12 Time in Sequence Stratigraphy
273
123 Main Conclusions
279
13 Correlation and the Potential for Error
281
132 The New Paradigm of Geological Time?
282
of Stratigraphic Events Potential Sources of Uncertainty
284
1331 Identification of Sequence Boundaries
286
1333 Determination of the Biostratigraphic Framework
288
13332 Diachroneity of the Biostratigraphic Record
289
1334 The Value of Quantitative Biostratigraphic Methods
291
1335 Assessment of Relative Biostratigraphic Precision
293
1336 Correlation of Biozones with the Global Stage Framework
295
1337 Assignment of Absolute Ages
296
1338 Implications for the Exxon Global Cycle Chart
298
134 Correlating Regional Sequence Frameworks with the Global Cycle Chart
300
1342 A Rigorous Test of the Global Cycle Chart
302
1344 Discussion
306
14 SeaLevel Curves Compared
309
143 Other SeaLevel Curves
311
1431 Cretaceous SeaLevel Curves
314
1432 Jurassic SeaLevel Curves
316
1433 Why Does the Exxon Global Cycle Chart Contain So Many More Events Than Other SeaLevel Curves?
320
V Approaches to a Modern SequenceStratigraphic Framework
323
15 Elaboration of the Basic Sequence Model
325
1522 Systems Tracts and Sequence Boundaries
331
153 The Sequence Stratigraphy of Clastic Depositional Systems
337
1532 The Concept of the Bayline
341
1533 Deltas BeachBarrier Systems and Estuaries
343
1535 Slope and Rise Systems
355
154 The Sequence Stratigraphy of Carbonate Depositional Systems
357
1542 Carbonate Slopes
360
1543 Pelagic Carbonate Environments
361
16 Numerical and Graphical Modeling of Sequences
365
162 Model Design
366
163 Selected Examples of Model Results
369
164 Main Conclusions
372
VI Discussion and Conclusions
373
17 Implications for Petroleum Geology
375
1723 Choice of SequenceStratigraphic Models
376
1724 The Search for Mechanisms
377
173 Controversies in Practical Sequence Analysis
378
A Modified Approach to Sequence Analysis for Practicing Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists
382
174 Main Conclusions
384
18 Conclusions and Recommendations
385
1813 Cycles with Episodicities of Less Than One Million Years
386
1822 Milankovitch Processes
387
183 Chronostratigraphy and Correlation
389
1833 Comparison of SeaLevel Curves
390
1842 Numerical and Graphical Modeling of Stratigraphic Sequences
391
185 Implications for Petroleum Geology
392
1862 Conclusions
395
References
397
Author Index
423
Subject Index
429
Copyright

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Page 412 - JM (1977) Seismic stratigraphy and global changes of sea level, part 9. Seismic interpretation of clastic depositional facies.
Page 401 - Harris MT (1989) Eustatic controls on the stratigraphy and geometry of the Latemar buildup (middle Triassic), the Dolomites of northern Italy. In: Crevello PD, Wilson JL, Sarg JF, Read JF (eds) Controls on carbonate platform and basin development.
Page 412 - Saito Y (1991) Sequence stratigraphy on the shelf and upper slope in response to the latest PleistoceneHolocene sea-level changes off Sendai, northeast Japan. In: Macdonald DIM (ed) Sedimentation, tectonics and eustasy: sea-level changes at active margins.
Page 398 - WH, 1970. Geology of southeastern Canada. In: RJW Douglas (Editor), Geology and Economic Minerals of Canada. Geol. Surv. Can., Econ. Geol. Rep., 1 (5th ed.): 229-304.
Page 413 - Williams BPJ (1991) Volcano-tectonic control of offshore to tidal-flat regressive cycles from the Dunquin Group (Silurian) of southwest Ireland. In: Macdonald DIM (ed) Sedimentation, tectonics and eustasy: sea-level changes at active margins.
Page 413 - Watts, AB (1991) Simulation of foreland basin stratigraphy using a diffusion model of mountain belt uplift and erosion: an example from the Central Alps, Switzerland. Tectonics, 10, 599-620.
Page 405 - Evolution of a Callovian-Oxfordian carbonate margin in the Neuquen Basin of west-central Argentina: facies, architecture, depositional sequences and global sea-level changes L.

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