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An Online Guide to Sequence Stratigraphy

The Accommodation Space Equation


Over long time scales (105 - 108 years), sediment accumulation is strongly controlled by changes in eustatic sea level, tectonic subsidence rates, and climatic effects on the production of sediment. everal of these factors are lin!ed to one another through the accommodation space e"uation. #his balance of terms is most easily e$plained for marine sediments, but can be modified easily to include terrestrial sedimentation. % number of processes can cause the surface of the oceans to move up or do&n relative to the center of the earth. #his distance from the sea surface to the center of the earth is eustatic sea level. 'n addition, the lithosphere can also move up or do&n relative to the center of the earth. (hanges in the distance from some arbitrarily chosen reference hori)on and the center of the earth are called uplift or subsidence. #he distance bet&een this reference hori)on and the sea surface is called relative sea level or accommodation space.

%commmodation space can be filled &ith sediments or &ater. #he distance bet&een the sediment*&ater interface and the sea surface is !no&n as &ater depth. #he accommodation space not filled &ith &ater is filled &ith sediment. #he rates of change of tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level, sediment thic!ness and &ater depth are lin!ed to one another through the accommodation space e"uation+ #,-. ,/

&here # is the rate of tectonic subsidence, - is the rate of eustatic sea-level rise, is the rate of sedimentation, and / is the rate of &ater depth increase (or deepening). #hese four variables are defined such that positive values correspond to tectonic subsidence and eustatic sea-level rise (factors that increase accommodation space) and sediment accumulation and &ater depth increase (factors that reflect filling of accommodation space). 0eversing the signs of these variables accommodates tectonic uplift, eustatic sea-level fall, erosion, and shallo&ing of &ater depth, respectively.

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#he accommodation space e"uation represents a simple volume balance, &ith the terms on the left controlling the amount of space that can be occupied by sediments or &ater and the terms on the right describing ho& much &ater or sediment fills the accommodation space. %s &ritten, the e"uation is an appro$imation. 'n reality, sediment thic!ness and &ater depth must be corrected for compaction of sediments and for the isostatic effects of ne&ly deposited sediment. #hrough section measurement, changes in sediment thic!ness can be !no&n, and through facies analysis, changes in &ater depth can be !no&n or appro$imated. 1o&ever, &ithout outside information, the rates of eustatic sea-level change and tectonic subsidence cannot be isolated, nor can their effects be distinguished from one another for a single outcrop. 'n other &ords, there is no uni"ue solution to this e"uation because it has t&o un!no&ns. #hus, it is impossible in most cases to ascribe &ater depth or sedimentation changes to eustasy or tectonics &ithout having regional control or outside information. 2ac!stripping is a method of analysis that iteratively solves the accommodation space to measure changes in relative sea level through time. %lthough as pointed out earlier that no uni"ue solution e$ists for this e"uation, solving it for relative sea level can provide useful insights into eustasy and tectonics. #hese data may then be used to date the timing of rifting and orogeny, to constrain estimates of lithospheric thic!ness, or to understand global (O3 cycles and global patterns of sedimentation.

Causes of Eustatic Sea-Level Change


(hanges in eustatic sea level arise from either changes in the volume of ocean basins or changes in the volume of &ater &ithin those basins. #he volume of ocean basins is controlled primarily by the rate of seafloor spreading and secondarily by sedimentation in ocean basins. 2ecause hot and young oceanic lithosphere is relatively buoyant, it floats higher on the asthenosphere and displaces oceanic &aters up&ards and onto continents. Older and colder oceanic lithosphere is denser, floats lo&er on the asthenosphere, and allo&s oceanic &aters to stay &ithin ocean basins. 4ong-term (103 !.y. - 105 !.y.) changes in the global rate of seafloor spreading can change the global average age and density of oceanic lithosphere, resulting in tens to a couple hundred meters of eustatic change. 5illing of ocean basins &ith sediments derived from continental &eathering is a relatively slo& and minor &ay of changing ocean basin volumes and is capable of meters to tens of meters of eustatic change over tens to hundreds of millions of years. #he three most important controls on the volume of sea&ater are glaciation, ocean temperature, and the volume of ground&ater. (ontinental and mountain glaciation is perhaps the most efficient and rapid means of storing and releasing ocean &ater. 6ue to %rchimede7s principle, ice caps over polar oceans do not affect eustatic sea level, so fro)en sea&ater must be placed on a landmass to lo&er eustatic sea-level. (ontinental glaciation is capable of driving high amplitude (10 - 100 m) and high fre"uency (1 - 100 !.y.) eustatic changes. 2ecause &ater e$pands at temperatures higher and lo&er than 8 degrees (, and because the depths of the oceans average around 5 !m, small changes in the temperature of sea&ater can lead to significant changes in ocean &ater volume. (hanges in &ater temperature can drive a fe& meters of eustatic change over short time scales (0.1 - 10 !.y.). Ocean &ater is continuously being recycled through continents as ground&ater and surface &ater, such as rivers and la!es. Over relatively short time scales (0.1 - 100 !.y.), changes in the amount of &ater se"uestered on the continents can cause up to a fe& meters of eustatic change.

Causes of Tectonic Subsidence


#ectonic subsidence is also called driving subsidence and is distinguished from the isostatic effects of sediment and &ater loads. #ectonic subsidence, as its name implies, is driven by tectonic forces that affect ho& continental lithosphere floats on the asthenosphere. #hree main mechanisms that affect this isostatic balance and therefore drive tectonic subsidence include stretching, cooling, and loading. tretching of continental lithosphere in most situations results in the replacement of relatively light continental lithosphere &ith denser asthenosphere. #he resulting stretched and thinned lithosphere sin!s, causing tectonic subsidence. tretching occurs in several types of sedimentary basins including rifts, aulacogens, bac!arc basins, and cratonic basins.

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(ooling commonly goes hand-in-hand &ith stretching. 6uring stretching, continental lithosphere is heated, becomes less dense, and tends to uplift from its decreased density (the net effect in a stretched and heated basin may result either in uplift or in subsidence). %s continental lithosphere cools, it becomes denser and subsides. (ooling subsidence decreases e$ponentially &ith time yet can cause a significant amount of subsidence hundreds of millions of years follo&ing initial cooling. (ooling subsidence is especially important on passive margins and in cratonic basins. #ectonic loading can also produce subsidence. #he additional &eight of tectonic loads such as accretionary &edges or fold and thrust belts causes continental lithosphere to sin!, leading to tectonic subsidence. 2ecause the lithosphere responds fle$urally, the subsidence occurs not only immediately underneath the load, but in broad region surrounding the load. #ectonic loading is particularly important in orogenic regions such as foreland basins.

Parasequences Expression
9arase"uences are defined as a relatively conformable succession of genetically related beds or bedsets bounded by marine flooding surfaces and their correlative surfaces. 'n addition to these defining characteristics, most parase"uences are asymmetical shallo&ing-up&ard sedimentary cycles.

2y genetically related, it is meant that all facies &ithin a parase"uence &ere deposited in lateral continuity to one another, that is, /alther7s 4a& holds true &ithin a parase"uence. o, for a typical siliciclastic &ave-dominated shoreline, a particular suite of facies should occur in a predictable order. % parase"uence that spanned all of these facies &ould begin &ith bioturbated offshore mudstones, pass through the storm beds of the transition )one or lo&er shoreface, continue through the trough crossbedding of the shoreface, pass up&ards into the sea&ard inclined laminae of the foreshore, and be capped by a bac!shore or coastal plain coal bed. 'n reality, a single parase"uence at a single outcrop rarely passes through all of these facies, but instead includes only a portion of this facies succession: ho&ever, all of the facies that do occur appear in the correct order as predicted by /alther7s 4a&. 5or e$ample, a typical sandy &avedominated parase"uence in an outcrop might include only offshore and transition )one facies, or only shoreface, foreshore, and coastal plain facies, but offshore facies &ould not be overlain by coastal plain facies &ithin a single parase"uence. % parase"uence along a deltaic coastline

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&ould sho& a similar coarsening-up&ard succession, although it &ould differ in the sedimentary structures developed.

% parase"uence developed on a muddy siliciclastic shoreline &ould have a different suite of facies, but they &ould also be arrayed vertically in a shallo&ing up&ard order and facies relationships &ould obey /alther7s 4a&. % typical muddy shoreline parase"uence &ould start &ith cross-bedded subtidal sands, continue &ith interbedded bioturbated mudstones and rippled sands of the intertidal, and pass up&ards into entirely bioturbated and possibly coaly mudstones of the supratidal. #he flooding surfaces that define the top and base of a parase"uence display abrupt contacts of relatively deeper-&ater facies lying directly on top of relatively shallo&-&ater facies. 0oc!s lying above and belo& a flooding surface commonly represent non-ad;acent facies, such as offshore shales directly overlying foreshore sands or basinal shales directly overlying mid-fan turbidites. #hus, /alther7s 4a& cannot be applied across flooding surfaces. <iven that many parase"uences are meters to tens of meters thic!, this radically reduces the scale at &hich /alther7s 4a& can be applied. (ases &here /alther7s 4a& has been applied to sections hundreds to thousands of meters thic! are nearly al&ays incorrect. 5looding surfaces may also e$hibit small scale erosion, usually of a meter or less. 5looding surfaces may be mantled by a transgressive lag composed of shells, shale intraclasts, calcareous nodules, or siliciclastic gravel: such lags are usually thin, less than a meter thic!. 5looding surfaces may display evidence of firmgrounds, such as Glossifungites ichnofacies, or hardgrounds that may be bored, encrusted, and possibly minerali)ed.

Origin and Scale


% parase"uence represents a single episode of progradation, that is, the sea&ard movement of a shoreline. #his sea&ard shoreline movement produces the familiar shallo&ing-up&ard succession seen &ithin parase"uences. #he shallo&ing-up&ard succession indicates that accommodation space is being filled more rapidly than it is being created, and some evidence suggests that in some cases, accommodation space is created only at flooding surfaces and not during the bul! of a parase"uence. 5looding surfaces represent a relative rise in sea level, such that accommodation space is being created at a faster rate than it is being filled &ith sediment. %lthough these rapid rises in

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accommodation space are commonly attributed to eustatic sea-level rise, some flooding surfaces are clearly attributable to earth"ua!e-induced subsidence or to delta s&itching or similar autocyclic mechanisms. cale is not part of the definition of a parase"uence. 1o&ever, parase"uences are commonly meters to tens of meters thic! and they commonly represent durations of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. =any authors confuse these typical scales &ith the definition of a parase"uence, and erroneously assume that any small cycle must be a parase"uence and that any long or thic! cycle cannot be a parase"uence. #his is not the case as some meter-thic! cycles clearly do not have a parase"uence structure and some hundred to thousand meter-thic! cycles do display a parase"uence structure.

Lateral and

ertical !elationships "ithin a Parasequence

One of the most po&erful aspects to recogni)ing parase"uences is understanding and applying the predictable vertical and lateral facies relationships &ithin parase"uences. %s stated earlier, facies reflect increasingly shallo&er environments up&ards &ithin a parase"uence. %lthough a complete vertical succession of facies can be compiled from a suite of parase"uences, most parase"uences &ill display only a portion of the entire shallo&ing-up&ard succession of facies.

figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990) 2ecause shallo& &ater facies &ithin a parase"uence &ill pinch out laterally in a do&ndip direction and deeper &ater facies &ithin a parase"uence &ill pinch out in an updip direction, the facies composition of a single parase"uence changes predictably updip and do&ndip. #hus, a single parase"uence &ill not be composed of the same facies every&here, but &ill be composed of deeper &ater facies do&ndip and shallo&er &ater facies updip, as &ould be e$pected. 2ecause parase"uence boundaries represent a primary depositional surface, that is, topography at the time of deposition, flooding surfaces &ill tend to be relatively flat but dip slightly sea&ard at angles typical of continental shelves. 5inally, parase"uence boundaries may become obscure in coastal plain settings and in deep marine settings because of a lac! of facies contrast necessary to ma!e flooding surfaces visible. 9arase"uence ets and tac!ing 9atterns 'n most cases, there &ill not be simply one parase"uence by itself, but there &ill be a series of parase"uences. ets of successive parase"uences may display consistent trends in thic!ness and facies composition and these sets may be progradational, aggradational, or retrogradational.

Progradational Stac#ing
'n a progradational set of parase"uences, each parase"uence builds out or advances some&hat farther sea&ard than the parase"uence before. 2ecause of this, each parase"uence contains a some&hat shallo&er set of facies than the parase"uence before. #his produces an overall

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shallo&ing-up&ard trend &ithin the entire parase"uence set and the set is referred to as a progradational parase"uence set or is said to display progradational stac!ing. 'n a single outcrop, a progradational parase"uence set can be recogni)ed by the progressive appearance of shallo&er-&ater facies up&ard in the parase"uence set as &ell as the progressive loss of deeper&ater facies up&ard in the parase"uence set. 5or e$ample, in a set of progradationally stac!ed parase"uences, perhaps all of the parase"uences contain shoreface and foreshore facies, but only the uppermost parase"uences may contain the coastal plain coal, and only the lo&ermost parase"uences may contain offshore and transition )one facies.

figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990) 'n a cross-section, a progradational parase"uence set can be recogni)ed by the sea&ard movement of a particular facies contact at an e"uivalent position in a parase"uence. 5or e$ample, the contact bet&een the shoreline sands and the coastal plain facies at the top of each parase"uence &ill appear to move farther basin&ard in each successive parase"uence. 4i!e&ise, the same contact at the base of each parase"uence &ill appear to move farther basin&ard in each successive parase"uence. 9rogradational stac!ing results &hen the long-term rate of accommodation is e$ceeded by the long-term rate of sedimentation. 'n this &ay, accommodation space is filled more rapidly than it is created, &ater depth becomes shallo&er, and facies increasingly move farther sea&ard over time. -ach parase"uence is shallo&ing-up&ard and is bounded by a flooding surface, across &hich &ater depth abruptly increases. 1o&ever, the shallo&ing gained in one parase"uence overshado&s any deepening across the underlying flooding surface, resulting in a net sea&ard movement of facies relative to the previous parase"uence.

Aggradational Stac#ing
'n an aggradational set of parse"uences, each parase"uence progrades to roughly the same position as the previous parase"uence. #hus, each parase"uence contains essentially the same suite of facies as the parase"uences above and belo&. #his lac! of overall facies change results in no net vertical trend in &ater depth. uch a set is called an aggradational parase"uence set or is said to display aggradational stac!ing. 'n a single outcrop, an aggradational parase"uence set can be recogni)ed by the similarity of facies composition in each successive parase"uence. >o ne& deeper or shallo&er &ater facies &ill tend to appear near the top or base of the parase"uence set.

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figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990) 'n a cross-section, an aggradational parase"uence set can be recogni)ed by the relative stability of any particular facies contact at an e"uivalent position in a parase"uence. 5or e$ample, the contact bet&een the shoreline sands and the coastal plain facies at the top of each parase"uence &ill appear to stay at essentially the same position in each successive parase"uence. 5acies contacts rarely remain at e$actly the same position, so aggradational parase"uence sets are commonly characteri)ed by relatively minor facies shifts that display no clear long-term trend. %ggradational stac!ing results &hen the long-term rate of accommodation closely matches the long-term rate of sedimentation. 'n this &ay, accommodation space is filled about as rapidly as it is created, &ater depth remains constant from one parase"uence to the ne$t, and facies sho& no net land&ard or sea&ard movement. %lthough each parase"uence is shallo&ing-up&ard and is bounded by a flooding surface, the shallo&ing in each parase"uence closely balances the deepening at the underlying flooding surface, resulting in no net shift of facies from one parase"uence to the ne$t.

!etrogradational Stac#ing
'n a retrogradational set of parase"uences, each parase"uence progrades less than the preceding parase"uence. #he result is that each parase"uence contains a deeper set of facies than the parase"uence belo&. #his net facies shift produces an overall deepening up&ard trend &ithin the entire parase"uence set and the set is referred to as retrogradational parase"uence set or is said to display retrogradational stac!ing. 0etrogradational stac!ing is also commonly called bac!stepping. 'n a single outcrop, a retrogradational parase"uence set can be recogni)ed by the progressive appearance of deeper &ater facies up&ards &ithin the parase"uence set as &ell as the progressive loss of shallo&er &ater facies up&ards in the parase"uence set. 5or e$ample, in a set of retrogradationally stac!ed parase"uences, offshore facies might be present in only the uppermost parse"uences, and coastal plain coals might be present in only the lo&ermost parase"uences.

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figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990) 'n a cross-section, a retrogradational parase"uence set can be recogni)ed by the land&ard movement of a particular facies contact at an e"uivalent position in a parase"uence. 5or e$ample, the contact bet&een the shoreline sands and the coastal plain facies at the top of each parase"uence &ill appear to move farther land&ard in each successive parase"uence. 0etrogradational stac!ing results &hen the long-term rate of accommodation e$ceeds the longterm rate of sedimentation. 'n this &ay, accommodation space is created more rapidly than it is filled, &ater depth becomes deeper, and facies increasingly move farther land&ard. %lthough each parase"uence is shallo&ing-up&ard, the amount of deepening at the flooding surface e$ceeds the amount of shallo&ing in the follo&ing parase"uence, producing a net overall deepening &ithin the parase"uence set.

Depositional Sequences
% depositional se"uence is defined as a relatively conformable succession of genetically related strata bounded by unconformities or their correlative conformities. 4i!e the definition of a parase"uence, this definition obscures many of the significant features of a depositional se"uence. /hat the definition does emphasi)e is that every se"uence is bounded above and belo& by unconformities, or by correlative conformities, surfaces that correlate updip to an unconformity. %n unconformity is some&hat narro&ly defined here as a surface formed through subaerial e$posure and erosion. 5urthermore, every depositional se"uence is the record of one cycle of relative sea level. 2ecause of this, depositional se"uences have a predictable internal structure consisting of ma;or stratal surfaces and systems tracts, &hich are suites of coe$isting depositional systems, such as coastal plains, continental shelves, and submarine fans. 'n vertical succession, all depositional se"uences are composed of the follo&ing elements in this order+ se"uence boundary, lo&stand systems tract, transgressive surface, transgressive systems tract, ma$imum flooding surface, highstand systems tract, and the follo&ing se"uence boundary.

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figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990)

Lo"stand S$stems Tract


#he lo&stand systems tract is the set of depositional systems active during the time of relatively lo& sea level follo&ing the formation of the se"uence boundary. 'f a distinct shelf-slope brea! e$ists and relative sea level has fallen sufficiently, the lo&stand systems tract may include t&o distinct parts, the lo&stand fan and the lo&stand &edge. #he lo&stand fan consists of a basin-floor submarine fan. #his fan may contain a series of feeder channels as &ell as distinct fan lobes. #he lo&stand fan typically displays aggradational stac!ing and is overlain by the lo&stand &edge. 6uring the time of lo&est relative sea levels on siliciclastic margins, rivers begin to incise into the e$posed shelf and this sediment is shunted directly off the shelf edge to feed submarine fans. #he lo&stand &edge consists of a progradational set of parase"uences building out from the pree$isting continental slope. 'n siliciclastic systems, the lo&stand &edge may be characteri)ed by shelf-edge deltas and shorelines. 'n systems lac!ing a distinct shelf-slope brea! or in cases &here relative sea level does not fall sufficiently, only a lo&stand &edge may form, &ith no lo&stand fan. 6uring the late lo&stand, relative sea level begins to rise slo&ly, allo&ing the incised valleys to flood and form estuaries. 0iver sediment is trapped in these estuaries and is prevented from reaching the shelf: this trapping becomes even more effective during the transgressive systems tract. 5ollo&ing the relative fall in sea level that produces the se"uence boundary, relative sea-level begins to bottom out and and eventually begins to rise slo&ly, but at a very slo& rate. #his slo& rate of accommodation coupled &ith relatively high supply of sediment results in the progradational stac!ing typical of the lo&stand &edge.

Transgressive S$stems Tract


#he transgressive systems tract consists of a retrogradational set of parase"uences. 't is underlain by the transgressive surface and overlain by the ma$imum flooding surface. %s in any retrogradational set of parase"uences, flooding surfaces &ithin the transgressive systems tract are unusually prominent and display strong facies contrasts and pronounced deepening. #hese flooding surfaces may display variable but commonly strong degrees of sediment starvation, discussed in more detail belo&. 2ecause the parase"uences bac!step, the transgressive systems tract displays an overall deepening-up&ard succession, although each component parase"uence is shallo&ing-up&ard. 'n siliciclastic systems, much sediment is trapped in estuaries, so the continental shelf is relatively starved of sediment during ma;or transgressions. % relatively

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minor amount of sand is re&or!ed along the shoreline and little sediment is transported to the outer continental shelf. (onse"uently, individual parase"uences of the # # are relatively thin nearshore sands &ith thinner offshore deposits and the # # as a &hole is therefore commonly "uite thin relative to other systems tracts. %s relative sealevel continues to rise, accommodation space is produced at a faster rate than it can fill &ith sediments, and a retrogradational set of parase"uences forms. %t each flooding surface in the transgressive systems tract, the short term relative rise in sea level adds to the long term rise in relative sea level to produce an unusually rapid rise and a highly pronounced flooding surface.

%ighstand S$stems Tract


#he highstand systems tract consists of an aggradational to progradational set of parase"uences that overlies the ma$imum flooding surface and that is overlain by the ne$t se"uence boundary. %s the parase"uences pass from aggradational to progradational stac!ing, the flooding surfaces are increasingly subdued at the e$pense of overall shallo&ing 'n siliciclastic systems, estuaries have either been filled &ith sediment by the beginning of the highstand systems tract or are finally filled in the earliest phases of the highstand systems tract. Once sediment is no longer trapped in estuaries, rivers are free to build sea&ard and form deltas. 'n portions of coastlines bet&een deltas, sandy &ave-dominated shoreline deposits may form. 6uring the highstand systems tract, the rate of relative sea level rise begins to slo& and relative sea level eventually begins to fall prior to the ne$t se"uence boundary. #hroughout the highstand systems tract ho&ever, accommodation space is created or destroyed at a relatively slo& rate. (oupled &ith the increased supply of sediment to the shelf as estuaries are filled, progradational stac!ing is increasingly favored over aggradational stac!ing. %s relative sealevel begins to fall, a ne& se"uence boundary begins to form: this se"uence boundary &ill begin to erode into the underlying highstand systems tract. %lthough the highstand systems tract is most prone to erosional removal during se"uence boundary formation, even lo&er systems tracts or entire se"uences may be removed during e$tremely lo& or long relative sea-level lo&stands.

Surfaces
Sequence &oundar$
#he se"uence boundary is an unconformity updip and a correlative conformity do&ndip. /here it is an unconformity, it is a surface of subaerial e$posure and erosion: ho&ever, the e$pression of those features in an individual outcrop may or may not be obvious. 'n places, an unconformity may be mar!ed by obvious erosion, such as a ma;or incised channel or a bevelling of structurally tilted underlying strata. 0egionally, unconformities may display up to tens or sometimes hundreds of meters of relief. 'n siliciclastic systems, this relief is generated principally by do&ncutting rivers. 'n the undissected regions bet&een rivers, called interfluves, paleosols may mar! an unconformity, and their presence may be indicated by caliche nodules or rooted hori)ons. 6o&ndip at its correlative conformity, a se"uence boundary is commonly mar!ed by an abrupt basin&ard shift in facies. #his abrupt shift is called a forced regression by some &or!ers to distinguish it from a normal regression in &hich a shoreline moves sea&ard simply due to sedimentation. %n abrupt basin&ard shift of facies is manifested in an outcrop by an abrupt shallo&ing, such as shoreface sediments directly overlying offshore sediments or mid-fan turbidites directly overlying basinal shales. %s facies above and belo& such a basin&ard shift in facies commonly represent non-ad;acent environments, this surface is abrupt and /alther7s 4a& cannot be applied across it. =inor submarine erosion may be associated &ith this abrupt basin&ard shift of facies. 5arther do&ndip, the correlative conformity may display no obvious

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facies contrast or other unusual features: the position of the se"uence boundary in these cases can only be appro$imated. e"uence boundaries are generated by a relative fall in sea level. %s this is a relative fall in sea level, it may be produced by changes in the rate of tectonic subsidence or by changes in the rate of eustatic rise, as long as those changes result in a net loss of accommodation space. -arly models of se"uence boundary formation argued that the se"uence boundary formed at the time of ma$imum rate of fall, but subse"uent models suggest that the age of the se"uence boundary can range in age from the time of ma$imum rate of fall to the time of eustatic lo&stand.

Transgressive Surface
#he lo&stand systems tract is commonly capped by a prominent flooding surface called the transgressive surface. #he transgressive surface represents the first ma;or flooding surface to follo& the se"uence boundary and is usually distinct from the relatively minor flooding surfaces that separate parase"uences in the lo&stand systems tract. #he transgressive surface may be accompanied by significant stratigraphic condensation, particularly in nearshore settings, &hich may be starved of sediment because of sediment storage in ne&ly formed estuaries. #ypical features indicating condensation are discussed in more detail belo&. 5ollo&ing the relatively lo& rates of accommodation during the lo&stand systems tracts, relative sea level begins to rise at an increasing rate. /hen this long-term rise is coupled &ith the shortterm rise that forms a parase"uence boundary, a ma;or flooding surface is formed. #he first of the series of these flooding surfaces is called the transgressive surface. 'n updip areas characteri)ed by subaerial e$posure and erosion during the lo&stand systems tract, the transgressive surface and se"uence boundary are merged into a single surface. uch situations are common in slo&ly subsiding regions such as in cratonic regions and the land&ard areas of passive margins.

'aximum (looding Surface


#he ma$imum flooding surface caps the transgressive systems tract and mar!s the turnaround from retrogradational stac!ing in the transgressive systems tract to aggradational or progradational stac!ing in the early highstand systems tract. #he ma$imum flooding surface represents the last of the significant flooding surfaces found in the transgressive systems tract and is commonly characteri)ed by e$tensive condensation and the &idest land&ard e$tent of the marine condensed facies. (ondensation, that is, the preservation of relatively long geologic timespans in a relatively thin layer of sediment, can be indicated by many sedimentary features. (ondensation or slo& net deposition allo&s more time for diagenetic reactions to proceed, so condensed sections are commonly enriched in normally rare authigenic minerals such as glauconite, phosphate, pyrite, and siderite. (arbonate cementation is allo&ed more time to proceed and hardgrounds may form, and these may be subse"uently minerali)ed &ith iron, manganese, and phosphorite crusts, as &ell as become bored or encrusted by organisms. #he slo& accumulation of sediment allo&s more s!eletal material to accumulate and condensed sections may be indicated by unusually fossiliferous hori)ons or shell beds. 4i!e&ise, slo& rates of sediment accumulation allo& burro&ing organisms more time to re&or! a given pac!age of sediment, so burro&ed surfaces are common in condensed sections. lo& rates of accumulation allo& normally rare materials li!e micrometeorites and volcanic ashes to accumulate in greater abundances. hales at condensed sections are commonly radiogenic as a result of increased scavenging of radioactive elements from the &ater column: such 7hot shales7 display a strong positive response on gamma ray logs. ediment starvation is not the only process leading to slo& accumulation rates, and many condensed sections are characteri)ed by sediment bypassing, in &hich sediment is either moving through the system as suspended load or as bedload. /hen sediment moves through as

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bedload but fails to accumulate significantly, the condensed section is commonly characteri)ed by numerous internal erosion surfaces and can have a "uite complicated internal stratigraphy. 'n outcrop, the ma$imum flooding surface is recogni)able by the deepest &ater deposits &ithin a se"uence. 'n cross section, the ma$imum flooding surface is mar!ed by the farthest land&ard e$tent of deep-&ater facies. 'n distal areas &here the transgressive systems tract is absent, the ma$imum flooding surface may merge &ith the transgressive surface. -arly models of se"uence stratigraphy argued that the ma$imum flooding surface coincides roughly &ith the most rapid relative rate of sea level rise, after &hich sea level rise begins to slo&. ubse"uent models have demonstrated that the ma$imum flooding surface corresponds more closely in time &ith the highest stand of eustatic sea level, rather than the time of ma$imum rate of rise.

Type 1 and Type 2 Sequences


>ot all relative falls in sea level occur at a fast enough rate to e$pose the continental shelf. 5or e$ample, during a eustatic fall, a rapidly subsiding margin may still e$perience a relative rise in sea level, provided the rate of eustatic fall is less than the rate of subsidence. -arly seismic studies recogni)ed t&o types of se"uences reflecting the case of sea-level fall belo& the shelfslope brea! (type 1) and the case &here sea level does not fall belo& this brea! (type 3). %lthough there has been much subse"uent confusion about the application of these t&o types to outcrop studies, their definitions have been modified such that a type 1 se"uence no& refers to one in &hich there is a relative fall in sea level belo& the position of the present shoreline and a type 3 se"uence refers to a se"uence in &hich the relative fall in sea level does not force a shift in the position of the shoreline. #ype 1 se"uences &ere discussed above in the preceeding sections: type 3 se"uences are discussed belo&.

figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990) #ype 3 se"uences (sho&n belo&) are similar to type 1 se"uences (sho&n above) in nearly all regards e$cept for the e$tent of the se"uence-bounding unconformity and its e$pression in the marine realm. 'n addition, the t&o se"uences differ in the name of the systems tract lying above the se"uence boundary but belo& the transgressive surface .

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figure adapted from Van Wagoner et al. (1990) 'n a type 3 se"uence, the e$tent of the se"uence-bounding unconformity can reach sea&ard only to the position of the previous shoreline, but no further. 'n other &ords, none of the marine areas of the previous highstand are subaerially e$posed during a type 3 se"uence boundary. ?pdip of these areas, the se"uence bounding unconformity is e$pressed as for a type 1 se"uence, but no incised valley forms as sealevel does not fall far enough for incision. 'n the marine realm, no basin&ard shift of facies occurs as in a type 1 se"uence, and the type 3 se"uence boundary is characteri)ed only by a slight change in stac!ing patterns from increasingly progradational in the underlying highstand to decreasingly progradational (possibly aggradational) above the se"uence boundary. 6etecting this subtle transition in marine sections may be difficult to impossible and many type 3 se"uence boundaries probably go undetected. #he shelf margin systems tract in a type 3 se"uence is e"uivalent in stratigraphic position to the lo&stand systems tract of a type 1 se"uence. %s stated above, the shelf margin systems tract is characteri)ed by aggradational stac!ing. 4i!e the lo&stand systems tract, the shelf margin systems tract is capped by the transgressive surface. 'n general, far more type 1 se"uences have been reported than type 3 se"uences, possibly in part reflecting their comparative difficulty or ease of detection. ome &or!ers have gone so far as to "uestion the e$istence of any type 3 se"uences. (hronostratigraphic %pplications =any of se"uence stratigraphic surfaces can serve as useful time-mar!ers. 9arase"uence boundaries are commonly useful correlation hori)ons in local studies. 2ecause individual parase"uences may loo! so similar, long-distance correlation of parase"uence boundaries is prone to error and must be chec!ed &ith other means of correlation. 5or depositional se"uences, the transgressive surface and ma$imum flooding surface can also be useful correlation mar!ers, at least &ithin a basin. 2ecause the transgressive and ma$imum flooding surfaces are defined by changes in stac!ing patterns (from progradational to retrogradational and from retrogradational to progradational, respectively), they are sensitive to regional changes in sediment supply and long-term accommodation driven by differences in subsidence rate. (onse"uently, correlation of these t&o surfaces over long distances becomes increasingly less reliable. #he se"uence boundary has attracted the most attention as a potentially correlatable and chronostratigraphically significant surface. 2y chronostratigraphically significant, it is meant that all roc!s overlying the se"uence boundary are younger than all roc!s belo& the se"uence boundary, throughout its e$tent. %lthough this is true along a cross-section parallel to depositional dip, it is less certain along stri!e or in different sedimentary basins. (learly, tectonically produced se"uence boundaries &ill be of different ages in different basins. -arly studies suggested that eustatically generated se"uence boundaries coincide &ith time of

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ma$imum rate of fall in eustatic sea level and are therefore chronostratigraphically significant. 1o&ever, more recent studies suggest that the timing of the se"uence boundary can vary from the time of ma$imum rate of fall to the time of the lo&est position of eustatic sea level. 'n particular, faster tectonic subsidence rates and higher rates of sediment supply may cause the timing of the se"uence boundary to be delayed. 'f these modeling results are correct, then the se"uence boundary could differ in age by as much as 1*8 of the duration of a eustatic cycle. <lossary Accommodation. %nother term for relative sea-level. (an be thought of as the space in &hich sediments can fill, defined at its base by the top of the lithosphere and at its top by the ocean surface. Basinward Shift in acies. /hen vie&ed in cross-section, a shifting of all facies to&ards the center of a basin. >ote that this is a lateral shift in facies, such that in vertical succession, a basin&ard shift in facies is characteri)ed by a shift to shallo& facies (and not a vertical shift to more basin&ard or deeper-&ater facies). Bed. 4ayer of sedimentary roc!s or sediments bounded above and belo& by bedding surfaces. 2edding surfaces are produced during periods of nondeposition or abrupt changes in depositional conditions, including erosion. 2edding surfaces are synchronous &hen traced laterally: therefore, beds are time-stratigraphic units. ee (ampbell, 1@AB ( edimentology 8+B3A) for more information. Bedset. #&o or more superposed beds characteri)ed by the same composition, te$ture, and sedimentary structures. #hus, a bedset forms the record of deposition in an environment characteri)ed by a certain set of depositional processes. 'n this &ay, bedsets are &hat define sedimentary facies. -"uivalent to =cCee and /eir7s coset, as applied to cross-stratification. ee (ampbell, 1@AB ( edimentology 8+B-3A) for more information. !ondensation. lo& net rates of sediment accumulation. tratigraphic condensation can occur not only through a cessation in the supply of sediment at the site of accumulation, but also in cases &here the supply of sediment to a site is balanced by the rate of removal of sediment from that site. /here net sediment accumulation rates are slo&, a variety of unusual sedimentologic features may form, including burro&ed hori)ons, accumulations of shells, authigenic minerals (such as phosphate, pyrite, siderite, glauconite, etc.), early cementation and hardgrounds, and enrichment in normally rare sedimentary components, such as volcanic ash and micrometeorites. !onformity. 2edding surface separating younger from older strata, along &hich there is no evidence of subaerial or submarine erosion or nondeposition and along &hich there is no evidence of a significant hiatus. ?nconformities (se"uence boundaries) and flooding surfaces (parase"uence boundary) &ill pass laterally into correlative conformities, most commonly in deeper marine sediments. "ustatic Sea #e$el. <lobal sea level, &hich changes in response to changes in the volume of ocean &ater and the volume of ocean basins. looding Surface. hortened term for a marine flooding surface. %ighstand Systems Tract. ystems tract overlying a ma$imum flooding surface, overlain by a se"uence boundary, and characteri)ed by an aggradational to progradational parase"uence set. %igh& requency !ycle. % term applied to a cycle of fourth order or higher, that is, having a period of less than 1 million years. 9arase"uences and se"uences can each be considered highfre"uency cycles &hen their period is less than 1 million years.

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'sostatic Su(sidence. Dertical movements of the lithosphere as a result of increased &eight on the lithosphere from sediments, &ater, or ice. 'sostatic subsidence is a fraction of the thic!ness of accumulated material. 5or e$ample, 100 meters of sediment &ill drive about EE meters of subsidence (or less, depending on the rigidity of the lithosphere). #owstand Systems Tract. ystems tract overlying a type 1 se"uence boundary, overlain by a transgressive surface, and characteri)ed by a progradational to aggradational parase"uence set. )arine looding Surface. urface separating younger from older strata, across &hich there is evidence of an abrupt increase in &ater depth. urface may also display evidence of minor submarine erosion. 5orms in response to an increase in &ater depth. )a*imum looding Surface. =arine flooding surface separating the underlying transgressive systems tract from the overlying highstand systems tract. #his surface also mar!s the deepest &ater facies &ithin a se"uence. #his flooding surface lies at the turnaround from retrogradational to progradational parase"uence stac!ing, although this turnaround may be gradational and characteri)ed by aggradational stac!ing. 'n this case, a single surface defining the point of ma$imum flooding may not be identifiable, and a ma$imum flooding )one is recogni)ed instead. #he ma$imum flooding surface commonly, but not al&ays, displays evidence of condensation or slo& deposition, such as burro&ing, hardgrounds, minerali)ation, and fossil accumulations. 2ecause other flooding surfaces can have evidence of condensation (in some cases, more than the ma$imum flooding surface), condensation alone should not be used to define the ma$imum flooding surface. )eter&Scale !ycle. % term applied to a cycle &ith a thic!ness of a couple of meters or less. 9arase"uences and se"uences can each be considered meter-scale cycles &hen they are thinner than a couple of meters. +arasequence. 0elatively conformable (that is, containing no ma;or unconformities), genetically related succession of beds or bedsets bounded by marine-flooding surfaces or their correlative surfaces. 9arase"uences are typically shallo&ing-up&ard cycles. +arasequence Boundary. % marine flooding surface. +arasequence Set. uccession of genetically related parase"uences that form a distinctive stac!ing pattern, and typically bounded by ma;or marine flooding surfaces and their correlative surfaces. 9arase"uence set boundaries may coincide &ith se"uence boundaries in some cases. ee progradational, aggradational and retrogradational parase"uence sets. +eritidal. %ll of those depositional environments associated &ith tidal flats, including those ranging from the highest spring tides to some&hat belo& the lo&est tides. ,elati$e Sea #e$el. #he local sum of global sea level and tectonic subsidence. 4ocally, a rise in eustatic sea level and an increase in subsidence rates &ill have the same effect on accommodation. 4i!e&ise, a fall in eustatic sea level and tectonic uplift &ill have the same effect on accommodation. 2ecause of the e$treme difficulty in teasing apart the effects of tectonic subsidence and eustatic sea level in regional or local studies, se"uence stratigraphy no& generally emphasi)es relative changes in sea level, as opposed to its earlier emphasis on eustatic sea level. Sequence. 0elatively conformable (that is, containing no ma;or unconformities), genetically related succession of strata bounded by unconformities or their correlative conformities. Sequence Boundary. 5orm in response to relative falls in sea level. Sequence Stratigraphy. #he study of genetically related facies &ithin a frame&or! of chronostratigraphically significant surfaces.

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Shelf )argin Systems Tract. ystems tract overlying a type 3 se"uence boundary, overlain by a transgressive surface, and characteri)ed by a progradational to aggradational parase"uence set. /ithout regional seismic control, most shelf margin systems tracts may be unrecogni)able as such and may be inadvertently lumped &ith the underlying highstand systems tract as part of one uninterrupted progradational parase"uence set. 'f this occurs, the overlying transgressive surface may be erroneously inferred to also be a type 1 se"uence boundary. Systems Tract. 4in!age of contemporaneous depositional systems, &hich are threedimensional assemblages of lithofacies. 5or e$ample, a systems tract might consist of fluvial, deltaic, and hemipelagic depositional systems. ystems tracts are defined by their position &ithin se"uences and by the stac!ing pattern of successive parase"uences. -ach se"uence consists of three systems tract in a particular order. 5or a type 1 se"uence, these are the lo&stand, transgressive, and highstand systems tracts. 5or a type 3 se"uence, these are the shelf margin, transgressive, and highstand systems tracts. Tectonic Su(sidence. Dertical movements of the lithosphere, in the absence of any effects from changes in the &eight of overlying sediments or &ater. %lso called driving subsidence. #ectonic subsidence is generated primarily by cooling, stretching, loading (by thrust sheets, for e$ample), and lateral compression of the lithosphere. Transgressi$e Surface. =arine flooding surface separating the underlying lo&stand systems tract from the overlying transgressive systems tract. #ypically, this is the first ma;or flooding surface follo&ing the lo&stand systems tract. 'n depositionally updip areas, the transgressive surface is commonly merged &ith the se"uence boundary, &ith all of the time represented by the missing lo&stand systems tract contained &ithin the unconformity. #he transgressive surface, li!e all of the ma;or flooding surfaces &ithin the transgressive systems tract, may display evidence of stratigraphic condensation or slo& net deposition, such as burro&ed surfaces, hardgrounds, minerali)ation, and fossil accumulations. Transgressi$e Systems Tract. ystems tract overlying a transgressive surface, overlain by a ma$imum flooding surface, and characteri)ed by a retrogradational parase"uence set. Type 1 Sequence Boundary. (haracteri)ed by subaerial e$posure and associated erosion from do&ncutting streams, a basin&ard shift in facies, a do&n&ard shift in coastal onlap, and onlap of overlying strata. 5orms &hen the rate of sea-level fall e$ceeds the rate of subsidence at the depositional shoreline brea! (usually at base level or at sea level). >ote that this means that if such changes can be observed in outcrop and the underlying strata are marine, then the boundary is a type 1 se"uence boundary. Type 2 Sequence Boundary. (haracteri)ed by subaerial e$posure and a do&n&ard shift in onlap land&ard of the depositional shoreline brea! (usually at base level or at sea level). Overlying strata onlap this surface. #ype 3 se"uence boundaries lac! subaerial erosion associated &ith the do&ncutting of streams and lac! a basin&ard shift in facies. 5orms &hen the rate of sea-level fall is less than the rate of subsidence at the depositional shoreline brea!. >ote that the lac! of a basin&ard shift in facies and the lac! of a relative fall in sea level at the depositional shoreline brea! means that there are essentially no criteria by &hich to recogni)e a type 3 se"uence boundary in outcrop. -nconformity. urface separating younger from older strata, along &hich there is evidence of subaerial erosional truncation or subaerial e$posure or correlative submarine erosion in some areas, indicating a significant hiatus. 5orms in response to a relative fall in sea level. >ote that this is a much more restrictive definition of unconformity than is commonly used or used in earlier &or!s on se"uence stratigraphy (e.g., =itchum, 1@BB). .alther/s #aw states that F...only those facies and facies areas can be superimposed, &ithout a brea!, that can be observed beside each other at the present timeF (=iddleton translation from <erman). %t a /altherian contact, one facies passes gradationally into an overlying facies, and those t&o facies represent sedimentary environments that &ere originally ad;acent to one another.

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.ater Depth. #he distance bet&een the sediment surface and the ocean surface. /ater depth is reflected in sedimentary facies. % very large number of studies that purport to describe sealevel changes (both eustatic and relative) are actually only describing changes in &ater depth. #he effects of isostatic subsidence and compaction must be removed from &ater depth to calculate relative sea level. #his is typically done through bac!stripping. #o calculate eustatic sea level, the rate of tectonic subsidence must then be subtracted from the relative sea-level term.

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http+**&&&.ulg.ac.be*geolsed*sedim*complGsedim.htm '>#0O6?(#'O>

'. "ncha0nement $ertical des milieu* de d1p2t3 1l1ments d/analyse s1quentielle

7il est indispensable de pouvoir reconnaHtre les divers milieu$ du domaine marin par l7interprItation des faciJs, il n7est pas moins important de comprendre leur enchaHnement vertical et latIral dans le temps et l7espace. (ette connaissance s7avJre indispensable K la comprIhension de l7Ivolution d7un bassin (aspect dynami"ue). 6ans l7ensemble des sIries sIdimentaires, la succession des termes lithologi"ues ou faciJs caractIrise l7Ivolution des milieu$ de dIpLt. (ette Ivolution verticale prIsente des coupures FnaturellesF, dIfinissant des sI"uences. (ha"ue sI"uence est caractIrisIe par ses limites, son contenu (faciJs) et la nature et le sens de ses variations (5ig. '.1). ?ne autre caractIristi"ue importante des sI"uences est leur emboHtement K plusieurs Ichelles d7observation (caractJre fractal)+ ceci a donnI lieu K une hiIrarchisation des sI"uences avec la dIfinition de sI"uences d7ordre 1, 3, E, 8,... d7Ipaisseur dIcroissante et de frI"uence croissante. -nfin, ;e voudrais rappeler "ue l7on doit voir en %. 4ombard, naguJre professeur K l7?42, un prIcurseur dans le domaine de l7Itude des sI"uences et des corrIlations stratigraphi"ues basIes sur leur identification+ la sI"uostratigraphie (cf. -rrera, 1@BA).

5ig. '.1+ schImatisation d7une sI"uence IlImentaire rIgressive classi"ue. -M?->(- -# ->D'0O>>-=-># (%02O>%#47identification des sI"uences en environnement carbonatI doit Ntre faite dJs le levI de terrain. (7est lors du banc par banc "ue se rIvJlent les divers types de surfaces remar"uables+ fonds durcis, limites Irosives, changement brutal de faciJs "ui soulignent en gInIral les limites de sI"uences. %prJs l7e$amen pItrographi"ue et la dIfinition des faciJs et microfaciJs, l7e$amen de la Fcourbe lithologi"ueF aide aussi K l7identification des sI"uences. 4a courbe lithologi"ue (ette courbe reflJte la succession verticale des diffIrents faciJs ou termes lithologi"ues ou microfaciJs d7une coupe. -lle est construite trJs simplement de l7une des faOons suivantes+ - en regard de cha"ue banc ou unitI faciItale, on trace un trait de l7Ipaisseur de ce banc ou unitI avec comme abcisse le type de (micro)faciJs (5ig. '.3%): - en regard du point d7Ichantillonnage, on porte un point correspondant au microfaciJs identifiI en lame mince: les diffIrents points sont ensuite reliIs par une courbe (5ig. '.32): - on peut aussi matIrialiser les microfaciJs par des batonnets: ceci permet d7affecter une variable supplImentaire au type de trait (pointillI, plein, etc.) (5ig. '.3(). 5ig. '.3+ plusieurs reprIsentations de la courbe des microfaciJs. 4a techni"ue ( permet d7affecter une variable supplImentaire au type de trait. (ette courbe, "u7elle soit constituIe de segments de droite comme dans le premier cas ou "u7elle relie des points comme dans le second constitue la courbe lithologi"ue de la sIrie ItudiIe. 47Itude de cette courbe permet de (1) mettre en Ividence les coupures sIdimentaires (en fait les Ivolutions sIdimentologi"ues pour les"uelles la loi de /alther (18@8) n7est pas respectIe+ on voit se succIder deu$ faciJs "ui ne coe$istent pas latIralement dans le domaine de sIdimentation, e$+ calcaire argileu$ K brachiopodes succIdant K du calcaire algo-laminaire, etc.)

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et (3) de mettre clairement en Ividence le sens de l7Ivolution des faciJs+ tendance K se rapprocher (rIgression) ou K s7Iloigner (transgression) de la ligne de rivage. On parlera dans ce cas de sI"uences respectivement rIgressives et transgressives. 4ors de la construction de la courbe lithologi"ue, l7ordre des faciJs sur l7a$e $ n7est pas arbitraire+ si l7on dIsire comparer les courbes lithologi"ues de deu$ coupes contemporaines mais de faciJs diffIrent ou si l7on entend Itudier le sens des variations de faciJs au sein des sI"uences, il faut impIrativement "ue l7ordre des faciJs soit choisi en fonction d7une mNme logi"ue. (ette logi"ue peut Ntre la granulomItrie (la pesanteur), c7est la cas de la FsIrie virtuelle gInIraleF de 4ombard, avec les termes suivants+ calcaires-argiles-silts-sables-conglomIrats, mais elle peut aussi, par l7intermIdiaire d7une interprItation actualiste reposant sur la loi de /alther, Ntre celle de la succession des faciJs au sein d7un modJle de plate-forme (par e$emple les =5, voir plus haut). 'l est Igalement possible d7utiliser la notion de Fmultiples sIries naturellesF proposIe par 6elfaud (1@B3, p. 5@5)+ F(ha"ue formation ou cha"ue type de sIdiment a sa sIrie naturelle propre "ui doit Ntre Itablie indIpendamment des thIories gInIti"ues, en considIrant uni"uement l7ordre rIel de succession des faciJs dans la nature, en faisant abstraction le plus possible des modifications diagInIti"uesF. (et Fordre rIelF peut Ntre dIfini de la maniJre suivante+ dans toute sIrie sIdimentaire, l7ordre naturel des termes lithologi"ues est celui "ui est statisti"uement le plus frI"uemment rIalisI. 6iverses mIthodes statisti"ues peuvent aider K mettre en Ividence un tel ordre. #ypes de sI"uences 4es sI"uences peuvent Ntre caractIrisIes par le sens d7Ivolution des faciJs "ui les constituent+ il e$iste ainsi, nous l7avons vu, des sI"uences rIgressives et transgressives. uivant l7environnement de dIpLt, ces sI"uences rIgressives et transgressives sont Ividemment constituIes de successions de faciJs diffIrents. On trouve dans la littIrature un certain nombre de sI"uences Fclassi"uesF, par e$emple+ sI"uences pIritidales, sI"uences d7arriJre-rIcif, etc. On caractIrise souvent ces sI"uences par une e$pression soulignant la variation d7un paramJtre sIdimentologi"ue+ Fcoarsening up&ardF, Fthic!ening up&ardF, Ffining up&ardF, etc. >otons "ue les turbidites et les tempestites constituent Igalement des sI"uences, mais dont la mise en place a un caractJre instantanI par rapport K l7histoire du milieu de dIpLt+ ces sI"uences n7enregistrent donc pas d7Ivolution temporelle de l7environnement. i l7on envisage l7Ivolution des sI"uences au sein d7un corps sIdimentaire, tou;ours par rapport K la palIoligne de rivage, il est possible de distinguer trois types de successions (5ig. '.E)+ - des successions rItrogradantes (rItrogradation) oP les sI"uences sont en translation vers le domaine continental. (es successions sont caractIrisIes gInIralement par un amincissement progressif et l7occurence de plus en plus frI"uente de faciJs distau$: - des successions progradantes (progradation) oP les sI"uences sont en translation vers le bassin. (es successions sont caractIrisIes par un Ipaississement progressif et l7augmentation des faciJs pro$imau$: - des successions aggradantes (aggradation) oP les sI"uences sont en empilement vertical, en position relative dIplacIe soit vers le continent, soit vers le bassin. 5ig. '.E+ successions progradante, rItrogradante et aggradante par rapport K la palIoligne de rivage. (orrIlations sI"uentielles 9ar rapport au$ corrIlations lithostratigraphi"ues, les corrIlations sI"uentielles (sI"uostratigraphi"ues) ont l7immense avantage de s7affranchir des faciJs et de reprIsenter des lignes temps valables K l7Ichelle d7un bassin. -ncore faut-il s7assurer "ue les sI"uences "ue l7on observe rIsultent de phInomJnes rIgionau$ et non locau$+ des sI"uences de comblement d7un

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chenal par e$emple ne sont pas des phInomJnes K l7Ichelle d7un bassin. >ous verrons ci-dessous "ue ce problJme de Fl7Ichelle des causesF se pose pour la dIfinition des FparasI"uencesF. 9our fi$er les idIes sur un e$emple concret, il suffit de penser au$ diverses sI"uences gInIrIes par une rIgression marine mineure+ - en milieu littoral, on aura par e$emple une succession du type boue lagonaire bioturbIe, surmontIe de laminites algaires (.sI"uence rIgressive, probablement de type Fthining up&ardF): - en plate-forme e$terne, on pourrait observer des sables bioclasti"ues K crinoQdes surmontIs de faciJs rIcifau$ (.sI"uence rIgressive, de type coarsening up&ard): - plus au large, on pourrait avoir des boues K organismes pIlagi"ues passant K des faciJs bioclasti"ues d7avant-rIcif (.sI"uence rIgressive, ici encore de type coarsening up&ard). On le voit, un mNme phInomJne a des consI"uences variIes sur l7Ivolution des sIdiments, en fonction du milieu de dIpart, mais partout, l7Ivolution se fait dans le mNme sens+ il s7agit d7une sI"uence rIgressive. 4a 5ig. '.8 schImatise les corrIlations sI"uentielles entre trois coupes IchelonnIes du littoral K la plate-forme e$terne. (hacune des sI"uences est rIgressive et la succession est progradante. 4a diffIrence entre les corrIlations lithostratigraphi"ues (diachrones) et les corrIlations sI"uentielles (synchrones) est Ividente. 'l faut noter "ue les corrIlations sI"uentielles sont facilitIes lors"ue l7on utilise des FmotifsF caractIristi"ues, par e$emple une sI"uence rIgressive suivie d7une sI"uence transgressive trJs affirmIe, etc. 5ig. '.8+ corrIlations sI"uentielles et diachronisme des faciJs. 67aprJs 9roust (1@@8). #0%#'<0%91'- -M?->#'-44<InIralitIs (d7aprJs <uillocheau) 4a stratigraphie sI"uentielle est une mIthode dont l7ob;ectif est celui de la stratigraphie au sens Ithymologi"ue du terme+ accIder au$ relations gIomItri"ues et chronologi"ues K l7intIrieur d7ensembles sIdimentaires. on propos est de dIfinir des unitIs sIdimentaires limitIes par des surfaces K valeur temporelle "ui correspondent K des pIriodes particuliJres de variations du niveau marin relatif. (es variations, pIriodi"ues ou non, sommes des mouvements eustati"ues, tectoni"ues (subsidence, dIformations intrapla"ues,...) et des flu$ sIdimentaires, ont des durIes variIes+ de la di)aine de milliers d7annIes K plusieurs di)aines de millions d7annIes. 4a stratigaphie sI"uentielle est rIsolument pluridisciplinaire et prIdictive (localisation, caractIristi"ues et modIlisation des diffIrents corps sIdimentaires). -lle reprIsente un outil permettant de reconnaHtre et de "uantifier les modalitIs de remplissage des bassins sIdimentaires. 4es concepts de la stratigraphie sI"uentielle, dIveloppIs K partir de la stratigraphie sismi"ue, ont ItI IlaborIs par un groupe de gIologues de la compagnie -$$on (Dail, 9osamentier, Rervey, Dan /agoner, =itchum, angree,...) dans la fin des annIes septante et publiIs en 1@88. >ature de l7enregistrement sIdimentaire 9lusieurs ordres de variations du niveau relatif de la mer, correspondant K autant d7ordres de sI"uences de dIpLts, sont enregistrIs dans les sIries sIdimentaires. -lles diffIrent (1) par leurs causes et donc (3) par leur durIe, leur caractJre pIriodi"ue et leur amplitude. On peut distinguer+ - les sI"uences K haute rIsolution, comprenant les parasI"uences (S sI"uences gInIti"ues de <uillocheau, mais voir remar"ue ci-dessous concernant les limites) et les groupements de parasI"uences (S groupements de sI"uences gInIti"ues). 4eur pIriode est gInIralement de 30 Ca, 100 Ca, environ 800 Ca, B00-@00 Ca. 4eur genJse correspondrait K des variations des

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paramJtres orbitau$ de la terre (cycles dits de =ilan!ovitch-2erger). 47origine des B00-@00 Ca reste nIanmoins inconnue: - les sI"uences apIriodi"ues de durIe supIrieure au million d7annIes+ FEe ordreF+ 1-5 =a: F3e ordreF+ E-15 =a, correspondant probablement K une combinaison de mouvements eustati"ues et tectoni"ues (subsidence rIgionale, dIformations intrapla"ues): F1e ordreF+ 10-50 =a. >otion d7accommodation+ contraintes stratigraphi"ues ?n des apports ma;eurs des concepts dIveloppIs par -$$on est la notion d7FaccommodationF. 'l s7agit de l7espace disponible K tout instant pour piIger, en domaine marin, les sIdiments. 4e paramJtre le plus fondamental est en rIalitI la vitesse de crIation ou de suppression de l7espace disponible ou potentiel d7accommodation, reprIsentI par la dIrivIe premiJre de la courbe de variation du niveau marin relatif. 4es points criti"ues sont, non pas les minima et ma$ima, mais les points d7infle$ion. %u point d7infle$ion de chute, la vitesse de crIation d7espace disponible est minimale. 'l peut Ntre minimal mais positif "uand la vitesse de subsidence est supIrieure K la vitesse de chute du niveau de la mer. 'l est nIgatif dans le cas contraire. 4a tendance du systJme littoral est K la progradation ma$imale avec simple transit ou Irosion en domaine continental. %u point d7infle$ion de montIe, la vitesse de crIation d7espace disponible est ma$imale. 4a tendance du systJme littoral est K la rItrogradation*aggradation verticale ma$imale. (es contraintes stratigraphi"ues sont valables "uel"ue soit la frI"uence de la variation du niveau marin relatif et donc "uel"ue soit l7ordre des sI"uences. 4es sI"uences haute rIsolution ou parasI"uences (30-800 Ca) 4es parasI"uences sont les plus petites sI"uences de dIpLts corrIlables K l7Ichelle d7un bassin sIdimentaire. 4eur Ipaisseur est comprise entre 1 et 10 m. 4eur durIe est variable et comprise entre 30 et @00 Ca. -lles sont dIfinies, en milieu marin entre deu$ surfaces de premiJre inondation ou surfaces de transgression (5ig. '.A). -lles sont proches des sI"uences gInIti"ues de <uillocheau, la diffIrence rIsidant dans les surfaces les dIlimitant "ui sont dans ce cas les surfaces d7inondation ma$imale. 4es parasI"uences sont les bri"ues IlImentaires de la stratigraphie+ c7est K cette Ichelle "u7est contrainte la gIomItrie des environnements sIdimentaires. 4es rJgles de variation d7accommodation sont Igalement applicables K cette Ichelle. 5ig. '.A+ schImatisation de concepts de la stratigraphie sI"uentielle. 4es sI"uences de dIpLt (Funconformity bounded-unitsF) de durIe supIrieure K 1 =a 4es sI"uences de dIpLt sont des unitIs stratigraphi"ues composIes d7une succession relativement conforme de strates gInIti"uement liIes et limitIes K leur sommet et K leur base par des discordances (FunconformitiesF) et leurs surfaces corrIlatives. 4eur Ipaisseur est dIcamItri"ue K pluridIcamItri"ue, leur durIe est comprise entre 1 et 5 =a (5igs. '.5, '.A). uivant les variations de potentiel d7accommodation, plusieurs types de surfaces remar"uables dIlimitant des corps de gIomItrie diffIrente (ce sont les FcortJges de dIpLtF ou Fsystems tractsF) peuvent Ntre dIfinis (5igs. '.5, '.A, '.B). 4a pIriode d7accommodation minimale (point d7infle$ion de chute) induit une surface d7Irosion en domaine continental (FunconformityF) et un dIplacement brutal des faciJs continentau$ vers la mer (Fdo&n&ard shiftF) (5ig. '.5.1 T 3). 4a surface de transgression ou de premiJre inondation (Fflooding surfaceF, 5 ) est le point d7inversion entre une tendance K la progradation et une tendance K la rItrogradation (5ig. '.5.E). 4a surface d7inondation ma$imale (Fma$imum flooding surfaceF, =5 ) est le point d7inversion entre une tendance K la rItrogradation et une tendance K la progradation (5ig. '.5.8). 4e prisme de bas niveau ou de bordure de plate-forme, progradant (Flo&stand systems tractF, Fshelf margin systems tractF) est compris entre l7FunconformityF et la surface de premiJre inondation

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(5ig. '.5.5). 4e cortJge transgressif, rItrogradant (Ftransgressive systems tractF) est dIlimitI par la surface de premiJre inondation et la surface d7inondation ma$imale. 4e prisme de haut niveau, aggradant puis progradant (Fhighstand systems tractF) est compris entre la surface d7inondation ma$imale et l7FunconformityF. <rUce au$ surfaces K valeur temporelle (FunconformityF et ma$imum d7inondation), le modJle de dIpLt ainsi construit permet d7associer simplement lithostratigraphie et chronostratigraphie. 4e modJle d7-$$on est donc un modJle simple "ui mar"ue une rIvolution conceptuelle. 'l a une valeur de guide mais il n7est pas une rIalitI universelle. -n particulier, il intJgre une marge passive+ la subsidence croHt avec la profondeur: le profil de dIpLt est simple+ il n7intJgre ni barriJre, ni domaine marin restreint et surtout, il n7a pas encore ItI vraiment validI sur les systJmes carbonatIs.

5ig. '.5+ reprIsentation schImati"ue du modJle de stratigraphie sI"uentielle d7-$$on. 4e prisme de bordure de plate-forme se dIveloppe K la place du prisme de bas niveau "uand la chute de niveau marin ne dInoie pas la plate-forme.

5ig. '.A+ variations du niveau marin, surfaces remar"uables et cortJges de dIpLt dans le modJle d7-$$on. 47identification des diffIrents ordres de sI"uences emboHtIes (7est une des difficultIs fondamentales de la stratigraphie sI"uentielle. 4a solution passe par l7Itude des modalitIs d7empilement des parasI"uences (le Fstac!ing patternF). 4e principe est de repIrer sur la courbe lithologi"ue les plus petits cycles de dIplacement des milieu$ de sIdimentation (cycles transgression-rIgression)+ ils correspondent probablement au$ parasI"uences. 4es lissages successifs de cette courbe permettent de faire apparaHtre les sI"uences d7ordre infIrieur. 4es surfaces remar"uables sont dIfinies de la maniJre suivante+ - surface d7inondation ma$imale+ c7est la surface correspondant au$ milieu$ les plus profonds ou les plus proches du domaine marin: - surface de transgression ou de premiJre inondation+ surface situIe au-dessus des milieu$ les moins profonds ou situIs le plus prJs de la terre: - FunconformityF+ accIlIration de la migration des milieu$ vers la mer (en domaine marin, accIlIration de la diminution de profondeur). ur une coupe verticale, plusieurs ordres de sI"uences emboHtIes peuvent gInIralement Ntre mis en Ividence. 4es corrIlations se font sur base des surfaces d7inondation ma$imale de mNme ordre. 47intIrNt de cette mIthode est double+ - elle est rIsolument sIdimentologi"ue et sa fiabilitI est dIpendante de la prIcision de la )onation de milieu utilisIe (prIcision de la sIrie virtuelle). -lle ne prIsage pas de la nature d7une surface en fonction de son e$pression lithologi"ue (par e$emple toute surface d7Irosion est une unconformity). (7est la position d7une surface dans une Ivolution verticale de milieu "ui permet de "ualifier cette surface: - elle permet une calibration en temps des sI"uences de dIpLts. -n effet, les parasI"uences tombent gInIralement dans une des gammes de frI"uence des cycles de =ilan!ovitch, 30, 100, 800 Ca. elon la position de la parasI"uence dans le rapport d7emboHtement des cycles de =ilan!ovitch (1+5+8), il est possible de connaHtre leur frI"uence et donc, par dInombrement, de connaHtre la durIe des sI"uences d7ordre infIrieur. ?ne autre mIthode est fournie par l7interprItation des diagrammes de 5ischer (F5ischer plotF). (ette mIthode (5ischer, 1@A8) permet de dIterminer la sI"uence de dIpLt de Ee ordre et d7en

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suivre les variations en fonction du temps. 4a courbe de 5ischer (5ig. '.B) reprIsente l7Ipaisseur cumulative des cycles (a$e vertical) en fonction du temps (a$e hori)ontal). (ette mIthode impli"ue nIcessairement "ue cha"ue cycle reprIsente un intervalle de temps constant et "ue la sIrie de cycles analysIe s7est dIposIe pour une mNme valeur de la subsidence. 4a ligne "ui relie la base de la section stratigraphi"ue au temps )Iro correspond alors au vecteur de la subsidence moyenne. 4es cycles individuels sont reportIs en fonction de leur niveau stratigraphi"ue audessus de ce vecteur de subsidence. 47interprItation des courbes de 5ischer donne alors les variations de l7espace d7accommodation en fonction du temps. 4a succession des cycles Ipais, correspondant K une pente positive, reflJte donc une augmentation de l7espace d7accommodation induite par une IlIvation du niveau marin relatif, tandis "ue l7empilement de cycles peu Ipais, en pente nIgative, reflJte au contraire une rIduction de cet espace lors d7une diminution relative du niveau marin. 47interprItation de ces courbes doit Ntre cependant menIe avec grande prIcaution, surtout "uand il s7agit de cycles mi$tes subtidau$ et pIritidau$. 47Ipaisseur des cycles subtidau$ s7avJre en effet contrLlIe par le tau$ de sIdimentation plutLt "ue par l7espace d7accommodation au contraire des cycles pIritidau$. 4a courbe de 5ischer souligne alors les variations apparentes du niveau marin engendrIes par des variations de la profondeur d7eau liIes au tau$ de sIdimentation plutLt "u7au$ variations de l7espace d7accommodation. %fin d7Iviter toute mauvaise interprItation, il convient donc de tenir compte dans cha"ue cas de la composition des cycles par rapport au$ variations "ue prIsente la pente de la courbe de 5ischer. 5igure '.B+ %+ construction d7un diagramme de 5ischer. 2+ diagramme de 5ischer de la coupe de /ellin, d7aprJs Casimi, 1@@E. (+ sI"uences de Ee ordre dans le 6Ivonien moyen du bord sud du ynclinorium de 6inant. 4es sI"uences E- 10 dIfinies dans la coupe de /ellin ont ItI reportIes sur la courbe de Ee ordre. 67aprJs Casimi, 1@@E. 4e cortJge rIgressif 9lusieurs chercheurs, dont 9lint T >ummedal (3000) ont mis en Ividence l7e$istence d7un cortJge supplImentaire+ le cortJge rIgressif (Ffalling stage systems tractF, 5 #), enregistrant des dIpLts pendant une phase de baisse du niveau marin (FrIgression forcIeF). (e cortJge est en fait le pendant du cortJge transgressif et s7intercale entre le cortJge de haut niveau et le cortJge de bas niveau. i l7on compare le schIma Fclassi"ueF d7-$$on (5ig. '.5) et le modJle de 9lint T >ummedal (5ig. '.8), on constate "ue le cortJge rIgressif reprend une partie des dIpLts du cortJge de haut niveau (depuis le dIbut de la chute du niveau marin ;us"u7au Fdo&n&ard shiftF) et une partie des dIpLts du cortJge de bas niveau (du Fdo&n&ard shiftF au point le plus bas du niveau marin). (omme pour les autres cortJges, l7identification du cortJge rIgressif est basIe sur sa position dans la sI"uence de dIpLt, le mode d7empilement des sI"uences d7ordre infIrieur et la gIomItrie des corps sIdimentaires. 4e cortJge rIgressif est le seul cortJge dont les unitIs successives s7avancent de moins en moins loin vers le continent (FofflappingF): sa base correspond en prati"ue K la premiJre sI"uence d7ordre infIrieur "ui montre une surface d7Irosion marine K sa base: son sommet correspond K la surface d7Imersion ma;eure (limite de sI"uence) sur la"uelle se dIpose le prisme de bas niveau. 5ig. '.8+ intIgration du cortJge rIgressif (F(0F ou F5 sI"uentielle. 67aprJs 9lint T >ummedal (3000). #F) dans le modJle de stratigraphie

?ne alternative au modJle de stratigraphie sI"uentielle d7-$$on+ le systJme de . 5erry . 5erry a ItudiI (1@@1) le bassin mIso)oQ"ue du sud-est de la 5rance "ui permet des corrIlations lithologi"ues et biostratigraphi"ues fines entre des plates-formes carbonatIes (Rura) et des faciJs subpIlagi"ues (fosse vocontienne). 'l considJre "ue le modJle d7-$$on souffre de deu$ faiblesses principales+ (1) ce modJle impli"ue "ue les oscillations K haute frI"uence responsables des parasI"uences sont tou;ours d7amplitude faible par rapport au$ oscillations re"uises pour les cycles de Ee ordre et (3) il

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appli"ue au$ cycles de Ee ordre la dynami"ue sIdimentaire valable pour les cycles glacioeustati"ues K haute frI"uence et forte amplitude du Muaternaire. -n fait, la "uestion cache un problJme fondamental "ui a trait au dIcouplage possible des mIcanismes de contrLle des cycles sIdimentaires au$ diffIrentes Ichelles+ les relations de cause K effet entre climat, tectoni"ue et variations du niveau marin peuvent n7Ntre pas les mNmes selon le niveau hiIrarchi"ue des cycles. 5erry sIpare donc nettement les mIcanismes responsables des parasI"uences et les mIcanismes K l7origine des sI"uences de Ee ordre. 'l observe cependant une relation entre les deu$ gammes de phInomJnes+ durant les cortJges de bas niveau, l7oscillation K haute frI"uence (parasI"uences) a une amplitude faible: par contre, durant les cortJges transgressifs, cette oscillation a une amplitude beaucoup plus forte. 'l envisage donc (5ig. '.@), l7hypothJse d7une amplification momentanIe de l7oscillation K haute frI"uence du niveau marin au moment de l7ennoyage des plates-formes (ceci e$pli"uant l7e$istence parado$ale de forts abaissements du niveau marin avec Imersions rIpItIes dans les cortJges transgressifs ItudiIs). 'l suggJre "ue les transgressions K l7Ichelle du Ee ordre sont le rIsultat de bouleversements tectoni"ues pIriodi"ues. =ais ces bouleversements, par l7intermIdiaire d7une plus grande activitI volcani"ue associIe, agiraient indirectement sur le climat pour amplifier l7amplitude des oscillations glacio-eustati"ues K haute frI"uence. 5erry remar"ue aussi "ue les carbonates de plate-forme constituent non pas des prismes progradants de haut niveau marin mais bien des prismes de bordure de plate-forme. <rUce K de bonnes corrIlations biostratigraphi"ues, il montre "ue les ensembles les plus calcaires de la sIrie de bassin sont les I"uivalents temporels de ces prismes de bordure de plate-forme. (eci est tout K fait diffIrent pour les cycles K haute frI"uence (parasI"uences) oP le fonctionnement connu pour le Muaternaire s7appli"ue (plates-formes carbonatIes fonctionnelles en pIriode de haut niveau marin avec e$portation de matIriel carbonatI vers le bassin). -n rIsumI, le calcaire n7a pas la mNme signification selon le niveau hiIrarchi"ue sI"uentiel. 6ans les parasI"uences, il a valeur de haut niveau marin: dans les sI"uences de Ee ordre, il a valeur de bas niveau marin. 5igure '.@+ modJle de correspondance entre sI"uences de plate-forme et de bassin en terme de variation du Ee ordre du niveau marin, selon . 5erry. 6es pistes pour l7interprItation des systJmes carbonatIs 1istori"uement, le modJle de stratigraphie sI"uentielle d7-$$on a ItI dIveloppI en environnement siliciclasti"ue. 47adaptation des concepts et mIthodes de la stratigraphie sI"uentielle K la plate-forme carbonatIe a ItI plus tardive et disons-le, plus laborieuse. (e n7est pas Itonnant, puis"u7K la logi"ue InergIti"ue s7a;oute toute la comple$itI du monde vivant. -n consI"uence, de nombreu$ problJmes sont restIs en suspens et n7ont pas encore trouvI de rIponse satisfaisante. 'l semble "ue les variations de l7accommodation revJtent une importance considIrable pour les systJmes carbonatIs, notamment par une forte influence sur l7Ivolution des IcosystJmes. %u sein des communautIs, les individus subissent des gradients de stress au cours des cycles de variation de l7accommodation avec des consI"uences sur la sIlection naturelle. 6es communautIs pionniJres tendent K se dIvelopper lors de l7augmentation de l7accommodation (avec production accrue de matiJre organi"ue), des communautIs clima$ se dIveloppent lors de sa diminution (avec production accrue de carbonate s"ueletti"ue). 4es rIcifs et constructions carbonatIes tendent ainsi K se dIvelopper au cours d7une diminution de l7accommodation K plus long terme, surimposIe K des cycles de frI"uence plus IlevIe. 4ors d7une augmentation de l7accommodation K plus long terme, le remplacement des IcosystJmes rIcifau$ par des communautIs pionniJres, de moindre diversitI, peut e$pli"uer des parado$es tels "ue l7ennoyage des plates-formes carbonatIes et la vulnIrabilitI des IcosystJmes matures. ?ne application de la stratigraphie sI"uentielle K la gIomItrie des atolls a ItI tentIe par 1andford T 4ouc!s (1@@E) (5ig. '.10).

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5ig. '.10. <IomItrie d7un atoll au cours d7un 4 #, # # et 1 #. 6urant le 4 #, un rIcif frangeant se dIveloppe et des phInomJnes !arsti"ues affectent la plate-forme interne. 6urant le # #, la croissance rIcifale ne peut I"uilibrer la hausse du niveau marin "u7en pIriphIrie de la plateforme et une couronne atollienne se dIveloppe: les sIdiments sont e$portIs sur les flancs sous le vent: des sIdiments fins se dIposent dans le lagon. 6urant le dIbut du 1 #, la diminution de l7accomodation provo"ue une augmentation de l7e$portation des sIdiments: ensuite, l7Imersion frI"uente de la plate-forme amJne une diminution de la productivitI. Mu7en penserV 47e$istence de controverses "uant K l7interprItation des sI"uences montre "ue la stratigraphie sI"uentielle est un domaine en dIveloppement "ui n7a pas encore atteint sa pleine maturitI. 'l s7agit cependant d7un outil trJs prometteur pour l7interprItation de l7Ivolution des bassins. on application doit Ntre effectuIe avec prudence, particuliJrement en ce "ui concerne les environnements carbonatIs. 9our en savoir plus http+**strata.geol.sc.edu* . 5erry, 1@@1. ?ne alternative au modJle de stratigraphie sI"uentielle d7-$$on+ la modulation tectono-climati"ue des cycles orbitau$. <Iologie alpine, mImoire hors-sIrie, 18, 8B-@@. 9. 1ome&ood, 1@@A. #he carbonate feedbac! system+ interaction bet&een stratigraphic accommodation, ecological succession and the carbonate factory. 2ull. oc. <Iol. 5rance, 1AB, A, B01-B15. (.0. 1andford T 0.<. 4ouc!s, 1@@E. (arbonate depositional se"uence and system tractsresponses of platform to relative sea-level change. 'n+ 0.<. 4ouc!s T R. . arg, eds., (arbonate se"uence stratigraphy, =em. %m. %ssoc. 9etrol. <eol., 5B, E-81. %. ')art T 6. Dachard, 1@@8. ubsidence tectoni"ue, eustatisme et contrLle des sI"uences dans les bassins namuriens et &estphaliens de l7-urope de l7ouest, de la (-' et des ? %. 2ull. oc. <Iol. 5rance, 1A5, 5, 8@@-518. %.<. 9lint T 6. >ummedal, 3000+ #he falling stage systems tract+ recognition and importance in se"uence stratigraphic analysis. 'n+ 6. 1unt T 0.4. <a&thorpe (eds.)+ edimentary response to forced regressions. <eol. oc. 4ondon p. 9ubl., 1B3, 1-1B. R->. 9roust, 1@@8. >otions IlImentaires de stratigraphie sI"uentielle illustrIes par un e$emple. %nn. oc. <Iol. >ord, E (3e sIrie), 5-35. R.(. Dan /agoner, 1./. 9osamentier, 0.1. =itchum, 9.0. Dail, R.5. arg, #. . 4outit, T R. 1ardenbol, 1@88. %n overvie& of the fundamentals of se"uence stratigraphy and !ey definition. 'n+ (.C. /ilgus, ed., ea-level changes-%n integrated approach. .-.9.=. p. 9ubl., 83, E@-85.

http://www.uga.edu/strata/sequence/seqStrat.html