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Fractal nature of stratigraphic sequences

Wolfgang Schlager
Fractal nature of stratigraphic sequences
Geology (Boulder) (March 2004) 32 (3): 185-188


Orders of stratigraphic sequences are being used loosely and with widely varying definitions. The orders seem to be subdivisions of convenience rather than an indication of natural structure. It is proposed that, at least at time scales of 10 (super 3) -10 (super 6) yr, sequences and systems tracts are scale-invariant fractal features in which units bounded by exposure surfaces and units bounded by flooding surfaces are about equally likely. Support for this conceptual model derives from the well-known facts that (1) sediment architecture is largely scale invariant over a wide range of scales in time and space; (2) first-order trends of sea-level movements and sedimentation rates are fractal on all geologically relevant time scales; and (3) detailed studies in carbonates indicate approximately equal abundance of flooding surfaces and demonstrable exposure surfaces among unit boundaries. Finally, traces of prograding shelf edges that step up and step down in response to sea-level changes are demonstrated in this study to have a fractal nature.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 32
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Fractal nature of stratigraphic sequences
Author(s): Schlager, Wolfgang
Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit, Earth and Life Sciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pages: 185-188
Published: 200403
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 42
Accession Number: 2004-028833
Categories: StratigraphySedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200409
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