Abstract

This paper presents a computer model with two new main components that simulates the development of carbonate platforms. First, it uses a function for the decrease of carbonate production with depth that combines the photosynthetic growth of carbonate-producing organisms and the extinction of light with depth. Platform growth is simulated with a differential equation incorporating sea level. These processes therefore act continuously rather than in steps. Second, it attempts a more realistic approach to predicting carbonate-platform slopes by incorporating variation of slope angle with textural composition of the sediment. In this model, the angle at which slope sedimentation begins depends on the ratio between sediment produced on the platform interior (mud) and that produced on the platform margin (sand). The shape of the slope is represented by an exponential function that can be changed to accommodate the total amount of slope sediment. In the model, stratigraphic unconformities due to changing textural composition are produced on the fore-reef slopes.

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