Stratification Sequences: Principles and Approaches to Interpretation
This chapter outlines some of our philosophy and approaches to making interpretations of ancient sedimentary environments. Some principles are broad, part of the general fabric of geological sciences. Other approaches are quite specific, aimed at organizing observational details into reliable vertical sequences. All should be reviewed and evaluated from time to time by any serious student of stratigraphy. The principles are:
Walther's Law of the superposition of strata.
These principles apply directly to sedimentology. They can be simply stated and are commonly reliable. Their value, and possible flaws, are discussed below.
Figures & Tables
These notes are for a course on the use of primary structures and stratification sequence as tools for interpretation of depositional environments. The emphasis is to provide a concise review of the factors that had led to the renaissance in clastic sedimentology during the decade leading up to 1975. The attempt is to provide an organized summary of both experimental studies and ideas on bed forms and primary sedimentary structures that was then relatively new and to show how this information could be applied to solving geologic problems. A second broad objective of the course is more philosophical, in that there is an attempt to outline some general approaches to interpretation and convey the goals of interpretation. The authors believe that there are a fairly small number of general depositional settings but that numerous environmental and process variables within each general setting lend considerable variation to the deposits themselves. The emphasis is at the scale of features and sequence that can commonly be observed in individual outcrops or cores. Interpretation begins with data collected at this level.