A dynamic model is developed to simulate the sedimentary facies on the Northern California Shelf. In the model, dispersal mechanisms of small time scale are described by deterministic sediment-transport equations. However, at large time scale, the shelf dispersal system is described in probabilistic terms owing to its stochastic behavior. The probability of storm-bed generation is described by the bed generation potential, Pg, which is determined by the probability density distribution function of the local storms. The bed preservation potential, Pp, valued between 0 and 1, is a parameter that describes the probable truncation a storm bed that will be buried in a bed succession. The truncation depends on the erosion and deposition caused by subsequent random storms. By estimating the preservation potentials of all generated storm beds, the most probable storm-bed succession is predicted. The computations support the hypothesis that sedimentary facies are produced by the coupled mechanisms of progressive sorting and stratal condensation on continental margins.

You do not currently have access to this article.