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January 01, 2004


Stratigraphy is the science of rock strata (layers of sedimentary rocks), and it deals specifically with the character and attributes of strata. Sequence stratigraphy is the study of genetically related strata bounded by unconformities or their correlative conformities (Sheriff, 1991). Seismic stratigraphy is the study and interpretation of information obtained by seismic-reflection profiling to construct subsurface stratigraphic cross sections (Allaby and Allaby, 1999). Sheriff (1991) describes seismic stratigraphy as methods to determine from seismic evidence the nature and geologic history of sedimentary rocks and their depositional environment. Figure 1 shows an example of the stratigraphic boundaries that are defined by seismic data. Before looking at seismic interpretations, we shall visit sequence stratigraphy.

Sequence stratigraphy refers to sediment deposition controlled by four factors:

  1. subsidence of the crust as a result of tectonic and/or isostatic forces

  2. eustasy (the rise and fall of sea level)

  3. sediment influx from rivers and streams

  4. climate, especially as it relates to the development of carbonate reefs in tropical environments

In other words, we could view sequence stratigraphy as an attempt to relate sedimentation to sea levels, tectonics, sediment flow, and climate change.

But what is a sequence? We can think of a sequence as a relatively conformable section between sequence boundaries, which we describe below. A parasequence is a subunit of a sequence (Sheriff, 1991). A sechron is the time interval between the top and bottom boundaries. The boundaries and erosional surfaces are determined

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Geophysical Monograph Series

Fundamentals of Geophysical Interpretation

Laurence R. Lines
Laurence R. Lines
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Rachel T. Newrick
Rachel T. Newrick
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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January 01, 2004




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