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Abstract

A detailed stratigraphy is an essential exploration tool. Stratigraphy can serve as a predictor of lithology prior to drilling. Effective prediction results from accurate regional geology. Regional geology may be thought of as a “momentary”, geologically speaking, view of an area's physiography and understanding the earth-changing processes operative at a given time. A compilation of these physiographic views in sequence with absolute dates in years yields a chronostratigraphy.

A legitimate question concerns how geologic time may be understood: is it a series of random events or are there cyclic events? Obviously, there are cyclic events, not totally random. The next logical question concerns the periodicity of the cycles and at what time spacing should they be viewed to be recognized. The Exxon/Vail chronostratigraphy (Vail et al., 1977, Haq et al., 1987, 1988, and Lowrie, 1986) reveal cycles that essentially are exponential: first order cycles have a duration of some (10)8 years or several multiples thereof; second order cycles have a duration of some (10)7 years or several multiples thereof; and third order cycles with a duration of some (10)6 years or several multiples thereof.

That the sedimentary cover of our planet is composed of different strata has been known since the days of Aristotle. The present desire is to assign absolute dates to the various layers. Such an effort requires an iterative approach combining the results of paleontology, magnetic stratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, and radiometric dates, Haq et, al., 1988.

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