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Prediction of margin stratigraphy


, : Prediction of margin stratigraphy. Special Publication of the International Association of Sedimentologists 37(Pages 459-529

A new generation of predictive, process-response models provides insight about how sediment-transport processes work to form and destroy strata, and to influence the developing architecture along continental margins. The spectrum of models considered in this paper includes short-term sedimentary processes (river discharge, surface plumes, hyperpycnal plumes, wave-current interactions, subaqueous debris flows, turbidity currents), the filling of geological basins where tectonics and subsidence are important controls on sediment dispersal (slope stability, compaction, tectonics, sea-level fluctuations, subsidence), and acoustic models for comparison to seismic images. Recent efforts have coordinated individual modelling studies and catalysed Earth-surface research by: 1 empowering scientists with computing tools and knowledge from interlinked fields; 2 streamlining the process of hypothesis testing through linked surface dynamics models; 3 creating models tailored to specific settings, scientific problems and time-scales. The extreme ranges of space-and time-scales that define Earth history demand an array of approaches, including model nesting, rather than a single monolithic modelling structure. Numerical models that simulate the development of landscapes and sedimentary architecture are the repositories of our understanding about basic physics and thermodynamics underlying the field of sedimentology.

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