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Sequence Stratigraphy

Lithostratigraphy vs. chronostratigraphy

Backlap

An offlap geometry is displayed by those sedimentary units


(strata) whose upper ends are moved progressively toward the
sea and where the most recent leaves exposed part of the older
units on which it rests.

The concept of sediment accommodation space describes


the amount of space that is available for sediments to
fill, and it is measured by the distance between base
level and the depositional surface. It is the product of
relative sea level changes that, in turn, is function of eustasy
(absolute sea-level change) and vertical tectonic movements
(subsidence and uplift).

Fundamental parametres controlling the internal


architecture of depositional sequences:
1) Rate of change of accommodation space (eustacy + subsidence
or uplift)

2) Sediment supply (sedimentation rates)


3) Basin fisiography

Cicli di Milankovitch

Le interazioni gravitazionali della Terra con il Sole, la Luna e gli altri pianeti del sistema solare producono perturbazioni quasi
periodiche della forma dellorbita terrestre e nella pendenza dellasse di rotazione. Tali perturbazioni influiscono sulla distribuzione
globale, stagionale e latitudinaria del riscaldamento solare. Le oscillazioni climatiche imposte dai parametri orbitali sono registrate nel
record sedimentario attraverso cambi nelle caratteristiche dei sedimenti, delle comunit fossili e nelle caratteristiche chimiche.

0.04
0.03
0.02
0.01
0
200

400

600
Age (in kyr)

800

1000

1200

precession / eccentricity

0.05
obliquity

eccentricity

0.06

Precession - Eccentricity -1200 to 0 kyr (La90)

Obliquity from -1200 kyr to -0 kyr (La90)

Eccentricity from -1200 kyr to -0 kyr (La90)


0.07

25
24.5
24
23.5
23
22.5
22
21.5
0

200

400

600
Age (in kyr)

800

1000

1200

0.08
0.06
0.04
0.02
0
-0.02
-0.04
-0.06
-0.08
0

200

400

600
Age (in kyr)

800

1000

1200

A depositional sequence is defined as: A relatively


conformable succession of genetically related strata bounded by
subaerial unconformities or their correlative conformities. The
critical part of this definition is that sequences are bounded
above and below by subaerial unconformities, or by correlative
conformities, that is, surfaces that correlate updip to a subaerial
unconformity. A subaerial unconformity is a surface formed
through subaerial exposure and erosion, and includes features
formed by downcutting rivers, soil processes, and karst
processes.

Gli ordini fondamentali delle variazioni del livello del mare nel Fanerozoico (Fulthorpe, 1991)
Ordine

Durata

Ampiezza

1st

oltre 100 Ma

fino a 500 m

2nd

5-100 Ma

fino a 5000 m

3rd

1-5 Ma

fino a 200 m ?

Eustasia/tettonica

4th

0,3-0,6 Ma

fino a 30 m ?

Eustasia/tettonica

5th

circa 100 Ka

100-130 m

Glacio-eustasia (eccentricit dellorbita)

6th

circa 40 Ka

30-100 m

Glacio-eustasia (obliquit dellasse terrestre)

7th

circa 20 Ka

fino a circa 50 m

Glacio-eustasia (precessione)

<20 Ka

fino a circa 30 m

Eustasia/apporto sedimentario

infra-7th

Causa dominante
Variazione del volume dei bacini oceanici
Subsidenza termotettonica

Sequence Boundary

Lowstand Systems Tract


(basin floor fan)

Existing Depositional Models of Deep-Water Fans.

Johnson et al., 2001

Laingsburg Fan A
Unit 5

Unit 2

Unit 3

Stratigraphic Hierarchy Complexes. Fan 3 Karoo.


Storey

Complex: comprised of stacked storey sets, and identified by major stacking pattern shifts
Complex Boundary: represents a significant, regional avulsion surface

Storey Set
Complex

Tanqua lobe exposures


Slope to
shelf-edge
Unit 5
Fan 4

Fan 3

Laga Formation, Italy

Lowstand Systems Tract


(prograding lowstand wedge)

Transgressive Systems Tract

B each
b

B o tto m p ro file
a fte r s e a le v e l ris e

S e a le v e l
a fte r ris e

I n itia l s e a le v e l
S

I n itia l b o tto m p r o f ile


b

b=b
S=S

L im itin g d e p th
b e tw e e n p re d o m in a n t
n e a rs h o re a n d
o ffs h o re m a te ria l

M o v im e n to te o r ic o d e l p r o f ilo
d e llo s h o r e f a c e in r is p o s ta a u n
in n a lz a m e n to r e la tiv o d e l liv e llo
d e l m a r e d i m a g n itu d o S . M a n
m a n o c h e la s p ia g g ia s o tto p o s ta
a d e ro s io n e (d is ta n z a R ), il
m a te ria le rim o s s o (b ) s p o s ta to
o ff s h o r e a rie m p ir e il n u o v o
a c c o m m o d a tio n s p a c e g e n e r a to
n e lla p a r te in te r n a d e lla p ia tta fo r m a ( b ) .
Q u e s ta la le g g e d i B ru u n .

t3

S h o r e lin e

(a ) S e a -le v e l ris e

t2

S .L .3
S .L .2
S .L .1

t1
E ro sio n

R a v in e m e n t su rfa c e
O n la p w e d g e o f
tra n s g r e s s iv e s e d im e n ts

In c re a s in g
a c c o m m o d a tio n

t3

T2

t1

Transgressive surface of erosion (ravinement surface)

Sub

aeri
al

Unc
on

form

ity

Interfluves: Away from the incised


valleys the former highstand delta
and shelf become sub-aerially
exposed. This exposure leads to the
formation of extensive and distinctive
well-drained palaeosols
Directly overlain by a transgressive,
flooding surface (IFS)

Incised-valley Fill (TST)

Highstand Systems Tract

In c re a sin g
a c c o m m o d a tio n

t1

t2

S h o r e lin e

t3

(a ) S e a -le v e l rise
S .L .3
S .L .2
S .L .1
In c re a sin g
a c c o m m o d a tio n

Forced Regressive
Systems Tract
(or Falling Stage Systems Tract)

Fluvial and shoreface processes in


response to the forced regression of the
shoreline in a shelf-type setting
modified from Bruun (1962); Plint
(1988); Dominguez and Wanless
(1991)). The shoreface profile is
preserved during the forced regression
via a combination of coeval
sedimentation and erosion processes in
the upper and lower shoreface
respectively. The formation of the
regressive surface of marine erosion
requires the gradient of the sea floor to
be shallower than the shoreface
equilibrium profile. This is often the case
in shelf-type settings. In ramp settings,
where the gradient of the sea floor is
steeper than the shoreface equilibrium
profile, the offlapping shoreface
clinoforms may prograde without
erosion in the lower shoreface (Gilberttype deltas). Note that the regressive
surface of marine erosion may rework
the basal surface of forced regression.
The earliest
falling stage shoreface deposits are
gradationally based, where a
conformable basal surface of forced
regression is preserved.

t1

(b ) S e a -le v e l fa ll

S h o r e lin e

t2
S u b a e r ia l r e g r e s s iv e
su rfa c e o f e ro sio n
(se q u e n ce b o u n d a ry )

S .L .1
S .L .2
S .L .3

t3
In c re a sin g
a c c o m m o d a tio n

R e g re ssiv e s u rfa c e o f
m a r in e e r is io n D o w la p w e d g e o f
re g re ssiv e s h o re f a c e s e d im e n ts

E ro sio n

t1

t2
t3

Fluvial and shoreface processes in response to the forced regression of the shoreline in a shelf-type setting. The
shoreface profile is preserved during the forced regression via a combination of coeval sedimentation and erosion
processes in the upper and lower shoreface respectively. The formation of the regressive surface of marine
erosion requires the gradient of the sea floor to be shallower than the shoreface equilibrium profile. This is often
the case in shelf-type settings.

Sequence general
organization

Diagramma di Wheeler