Waples (2001) asserts that compaction of sediments occurs in a sequence of distinct steps, namely, (1) application of stress, (2) grain framework response, (3) increase in fluid pressure, and (4) fluid flow. The main thrust of Waples's (2001) argument is that fluid flow out of the rock (step 4) is the slowest step in the whole process; therefore, sediment permeability is the most important factor governing overpressure buildup or dissipation in clastic rocks.

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We would agree with Waples (2001) that sediment permeability is a critical control on overpressure; however, we do not accept Waples's (2001) conceptual model that compaction of...

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