Sequence Stratigraphy and Eustatic Sea Level
Michelle A. Kominz, Stephen F. Pekar, 2002. "Sequence Stratigraphy and Eustatic Sea Level", Sequence Stratigraphic Models for Exploration and Production: Evolving Methodology, Emerging Models and Application Histories, John M. Armentrout, Norman C. Rosen
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A number of the basic assumptions are made regarding the relationship between sequence stratigraphy, sequence architecture, water depth and sea-level change. Testing of these relationships is made particularly problematic as a result of the recent and prevalent assertion that it is impossible to obtain eustatic magnitudes from sequence stratigraphic data. While much qualitative data has been amassed to define and corroborate the sequence model, we consider the implications of rigorous quantitative estimates of eustasy, derived directly from sequence data.
Two-dimensional backstripping of strata in a sequence stratigraphic framework coupled with quantitative benthic foraminiferal biofacies analyses has yielded quantitative estimates of the geometry and water depths of ancient, prograding sequences at a sub-sequence level (Kominz and Pekar, 2001). The data set is from Oligocene strata beneath the New Jersey Coastal Plain. Borehole data, largely from Ocean Drilling Project Sites 150X and 174AX, provided excellent recovery for quantitative estimates of age, lithology, compaction, and benthic biofacies (Miller et al., 1994, 1996, 1997, and 1998).
Results indicate that in most cases sequence boundaries are associated with a downward shift in sea level as suggested by most sequence models. Maximum flooding surfaces generally occur at or near the maximum value of sea-level rise. Finally, there is no consistent relationship between clinoform breaks and water depth.