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The nature of shallow-water carbonate lithofacies thickness distributions

Peter M. Burgess
The nature of shallow-water carbonate lithofacies thickness distributions
Geology (Boulder) (March 2008) 36 (3): 235-238


Carbonate lithofacies thickness distributions are of fundamental importance to understanding shallow-water carbonate deposystems because they record evidence of the lateral distribution and migration of lithofacies elements, as well as evidence for the various other intrinsic and extrinsic controls on stratal geometries and accumulation rates. Previous analyses of lithofacies thickness data led to the suggestion that exponential distributions are ubiquitous in the ancient record. This has been interpreted to indicate deposition by stochastic Poisson process lithofacies mosaics. To further investigate these ideas statistical analysis of 56 outcrop and core examples was performed. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to identify the degree to which measured lithofacies thicknesses are well represented by a theoretical exponential distribution. Results from this analysis show that 16 of the 56 examples can be confidently shown to be exponential, while 28 are very probably not exponential. This indicates that stochastic Poisson processes are a plausible explanation for many carbonate successions, but they do not explain all of those tested here, suggesting that other non-Poisson processes, either stochastic or deterministic in nature, or both, must also be important. Thus lithofacies planform geometries, and the processes controlling vertical stacking in ancient carbonate platform top deposystems, were likely more diverse than has been suggested, requiring significant further quantitative analysis and numerical forward modeling to properly understand.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 36
Serial Issue: 3
Title: The nature of shallow-water carbonate lithofacies thickness distributions
Author(s): Burgess, Peter M.
Affiliation: Shell International Exploration and Production, Rijswijk, Netherlands
Pages: 235-238
Published: 200803
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 8
Accession Number: 2008-072113
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2008058
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200819
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