Sequence stratigraphy and architecture of the Late Pleistocene Lagniappe delta complex, northeast Gulf of Mexico
V. Kolla, P. Biondi, B. Long, R. Fillon, 2000. "Sequence stratigraphy and architecture of the Late Pleistocene Lagniappe delta complex, northeast Gulf of Mexico", Sedimentary Responses to Forced Regressions, D. Hunt, R. L. Gawthorpe
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During the last fourth-order glacial-interglacial cycle (e.g. post oxygen isotope stage 5) the Lagniappe Delta system located in the northeast Gulf of Mexico, prograded several tens of miles seaward along two main NE–SW and N–S trending fairways. The delta complex is underlain by a well-developed calcareous shale-rich condensed section that was deposited during isotope stage 5. The delta complex comprises many progradational lobes that were deposited during fifth-order sea-level falls and during the fourth-order maximum lowstand and early rise of sea level associated with isotope stages 4 to 2. Each significant fifth-order sea level fall developed a sequence boundary with an unconformity updip and a correlative conformity downdip on which a delta lobe was deposited. Autocyclic processes also lead to deposition of numerous lobes through lobe switching. During the maximum sea-level lowstand, deep erosion related to the development of an extensive incised valley system occurred across the top of the prograding wedges that were deposited during relative sea-level fall (the falling stage systems tract) and modified all of the previous updip unconformities. The base of the incised valley system, and its correlative downdip conformity, form the main fourth-order sequence boundary. It is on this surface that the last part of the delta complex was deposited during the maximum lowstand and early rise of sea-level. Thus, during the last fourth-order cycle, several fifth-order ‘initial’ sequence boundaries and one fourth-order ‘final’ sequence boundary were formed. Infilling of the incised valley system occurred mainly during the early and late rise of sea-level (isotope stages 2 and younger), prior to a major landward shift of deltaic sedimentation in response to the rapid eustatic rise in sea level during isotope stage 1.
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An increasing number of studies in recent years have demonstrated that significant progradation of shallow marine systems occurs under conditions of base-level fall. These new data are forcing many sedimentary geologists to critically re-evaluate many aspects of sequence stratigraphy relating to erosion and deposition during base-level (lake- or relative sea-level) fall, and the intrinsic link made between stratal geometries and base-level change. For the first time, this volume brings together a collection of articles that focus solely on forced regressions, providing a more complete picture of the development, formation, variability and preservation of the surfaces and deposits generated during base-level fall.
The results of the studies published here will be of interest to all geologists attempting to understand the relationship between changes in base-level and stratigraphy, and to all who use sequence stratigraphy as a method of stratigraphic correlation and interpretation at outcrop and in the subsurface.