In response to a previous article by Osborne and Swarbrick (1997), Bitzer (1999) and Osborne and Swarbrick (1999) have briefly debated the importance of sediment compressibility (grain response) in controlling overpressure. In an article that appeared too late for consideration by those authors, Waples and Couples (1998) showed that compaction can be viewed as a sequence of steps, including (1) application of stress through sediment accumulation, (2) response of the grain framework to the applied stress, (3) transfer of stress to the pore fluids and a simultaneous increase in fluid pressure, and (4) flow of fluid out of the...

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