Rhythms and Events in Carbonate Deposition
Shallow water carbonates rarely ever accumulate in a uniform, steady fashion. Rather, the record shows a hierarchy of rhythms on time scales of thousands to hundreds of millions of years. These rhythms are punctuated by singular events and overprinted by the unidirectional changes of organic evolution. Below we briefly discuss some of these patterns and processes. They fall outside the domain of classical sequence stratigraphy but we believe that the seismic stratigra-pher should be aware of them as they may well influence sediment production and sequence anatomy in reefs and carbonate platforms.
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Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy of Reefs and Carbonate Platforms: A Short Course
Classical sequence stratigraphy has been developed primarily from siliciclastic systems. Application of the concept to carbonates has not been as straightforward as expected even though the basic tenets of sequence stratigraphy are supposed to be applicable to all depositional systems. Rather than force carbonate platforms into the straightjacket of a concept derived from another sediment family, this publication takes a different tack, starting out from the premise that sequence stratigraphy is a modern and sophisticated version of lithostratigraphy. It reviews sedimentologic principles governing the large-scale anatomy of reefs and platforms; looks at sequences and systems tracts from a sedimentologic point of view; assesses the differences between siliciclastics and carbonates in their response to sea level; evaluates processes that compete with sea level for control on carbonate sequences; and presents a set of guidelines for application of sequence stratigraphy to reefs and carbonate platforms.