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Sediment cycling on continental and oceanic crust

Shanan E. Peters and Jon M. Husson
Sediment cycling on continental and oceanic crust
Geology (Boulder) (April 2017) 45 (4): 323-326


Sedimentary rocks are often described as declining in quantity with increasing age due to the cumulative effects of crustal deformation and erosion. One important implication of such a model is that the geological record becomes progressively less voluminous and less complete with increasing age. Here we show that the predictions of a model in which the destruction of sedimentary rock is the predominant process signal are borne out only among sediments deposited on oceanic crust and among sediments deposited above sea level in non-marine environments. Most of the surviving volume of sedimentary rock ( approximately 75%) was deposited in and adjacent to shallow seas on continental crust and does not exhibit any steady decrease in quantity with increasing age. Instead, shallow marine sediments exhibit large fluctuations in quantity that were driven by shifting global tectonic boundary conditions, such as those that occur during the breakup and coalescence of supercontinents. The accumulation of sediments on the continents has not been uniform in rate, but it does record a primary signal of net growth that has many implications for the long-term evolution of Earth's surface environment.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Sediment cycling on continental and oceanic crust
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin at Madison, Department of Geoscience, Madison, WI, United States
Pages: 323-326
Published: 201704
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2017-025953
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2017095
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
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: 201716
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