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Abstract

The focus of this course is on the use of primary sedimentary structures and stratification sequence as tools for interpretation of depositional environment of clastic sediments, emphasizing advances in understanding of the past 10 years that we judge to be important. Any treatment of this kind, limited to a 150-page text and a few hours of discussion, is bound to be limited in scope. Therefore, we prefer to pinpoint discussion on certain aspects where improvement in understanding has been clear or, in some cases, where particularly important and puzzling problems remain.

To accomplish our primary objective, several topics have been selected. Experimental flume studies of recent years, which supplement earlier work, are summarized in Chapter 2, with emphasis on work which extends the understanding of distribution of bed forms over increased ranges of grain size, flow depths, or velocity. We deem this important because such experiments stimulated the direction of recent interpretation approaches and continue to provide the link between many primary sedimentary structures and a hydrodynamic interpretation.

The summarization of experimental data in Chapter 2 is accomplished in a series of diagrams based on the variables of velocity, flow depth, and grain size. We believe that this is a simple yet correct way to present these data for geologic application. Through these diagrams, bed forms can be related to flow conditions. These bed forms are in turn related to characteristics of stratification, the commonly preserved record of flow, in Chapter 3. We have selected only a few common

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