Abstract

One method of testing the concept of sequence stratigraphy is to compare it to Quaternary sediments in which chronology, stratigraphic relations, and facies geometry are more clearly understood than in older rocks. Rapid deposition rates during Quaternary glacial-eustatic cycles in large deltaic depocenters generate sequences comparable to those in the ancient stratigraphic record. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, the late Wisconsinan-Holocene Mississippi River has deposited a Type 1 sequence that includes lowstand, transgressive, and high-stand systems tracts. Characteristics of modern Mississippi River sedimentary environments support the methodology used in sequence analysis, but the short time taken for sequence generation here raises important questions about sequence time scales, correlation, and driving mechanisms.

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