The early years of process–response sedimentological research were strongly focused on deltas, for a variety of reasons. They were important for accumulation of oil, gas, and coal; they were environmentally sensitive; they were readily accessible to academic communities; and consequently they were intensely studied. This characterized the decades of the 1960s and 1970s. With the shift in emphasis towards predictive stratigraphy and the stacking of depositional systems, and away from the strati-graphic architecture of depositional systems themselves, research on deltas reached a plateau in the 1980s and early 1990s. Today, however, the widespread use of shallow- as well as deep-penetration seismic data, cores from subsurface reservoirs, vibracores from modern environments, sophisticated oceanographic tools, and numerical modeling has resulted in a rejuvenation in delta research. In addition, a global province that hitherto had received relatively little attention increasingly became a focus for research—the equatorial zone of Southeast Asia. It is the objective of this volume to bring to the fore a category of deltas with which many sedimentologists and stratigraphers are, at best, vaguely familiar. It is expected that this volume also will stimulate new research on tropical deltas by highlighting how their facies and stratigraphic architectures differ from mid- and high-latitude ones, by emphasizing their significance to the global sediment budget, and by stressing their uniqueness within a petroleum systems framework.
This special publication emphasizes the need for models intrinsic to tropical deltas of Southeast Asia to supplement the more conventional general models currently in vogue, based on past studies