Perspectives on Stratigraphic Simulation Models: Current Approaches and Future Opportunities
Published:January 01, 1999
W. Lynn Watney, Eugene C. Rankey, John Harbaugh, 1999. "Perspectives on Stratigraphic Simulation Models: Current Approaches and Future Opportunities", Numerical Experiments in Stratigraphy: Recent Advances in Stratigraphic and Sedimentologic Computer Simulations, John W. Harbaugh, W. Lynn Watney, Eugene C. Rankey, Rudy Slingerland, Robert H. Goldstein, Evan K. Franseen
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Computer stratigraphic simulation models provide a quantitative means to evaluate and understand complex interactions of sedimentary depositional systems. People in the geosciences are quickly advancing in their ability to acquire and interpret large data sets, resulting in major advances in understanding earth systems. Simulation is a natural outcome of these advances, as is the need to integrate and process this information. This volume provides a collection of 26 papers that describe and illustrate the application of some of the latest approaches to stratigraphic-sedimentologic modeling. This paper serves as an overview of these papers, classifies modeling, reviews current issues of modeling, and evaluates possible future modeling directions and opportunities.
We have recognized several different approaches to modeling and present a rational classification for these model types, illustrated here and in the volume by diverse examples. Despite varying philosophies and methodologies of their creators, most models consist of three essential components: (1) input, (2) engine, and (3) output. Our results suggest that models have a sound observational basis (input) and logical foundation (engine), both of which use ever-improving quantitative knowledge of geologic systems. Roles of modeling include: (1) encouraging accuracy and precision in data collection and process interpretation (Slingerland et al., 1994); (2) providing a means to quantitatively test interpretations of the roles of various driving mechanisms to produce sedimentary packages; (3) predicting or extrapolating results into areas of limited control; (4) affording mechanisms for enhanced multidisciplinary integration and communication; (5) gaining new insights to offer nonintuitive results regarding the interaction of parameters; and (6) helping focus future studies to resolve specific problems. The future of modeling is dependent upon fully using improved computational methods and machines, refining quantitative geologic observations and interpretations, and developing rigorous, quantitative approaches to testing, calibrating, verifying, and comparing models.
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Numerical Experiments in Stratigraphy: Recent Advances in Stratigraphic and Sedimentologic Computer Simulations
Numerical Experiments in Stratigraphy: Recent Advances in Stratigraphic and Sedimentologic Computer Simulations - This volume presents the results derived from a three-day workshop held at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, from May 15 through May 17, 1996. The objectives of the workshop were to document, characterize, demonstrate, and compare different computing procedures that have been utilized in simulating stratigraphic sequences. Both inverse and forward simulation modeling procedures are represented. The results of the workshop and the papers assembled here include: (1) an enhanced understanding of similarities and differences between models and modeling philosophies, (2) increased communication among modeling groups and geoscientists, (3) critical evaluation of applications and assessment of how models have been utilized, and (4) improvements and refinements in techniques for generating and describing model input and output.