Standard conceptual models propose that stratal patterns in carbonate depositional sequences are controlled predominantly by relative sea-level oscillations, even during greenhouse periods when amplitudes of relative sea-level oscillations were small. However, numerical experiments with a two-dimensional forward model of carbonate systems suggest that variations in sediment-transport rate and carbonate productivity are capable of producing similar parasequence stacking patterns, without relative sea-level oscillations. This result suggests two alternative end-member models, one driven by relative sea-level change, the other driven by changes in transport rate and productivity controlled ultimately by climatic factors. Many carbonate systems may represent some combination of these end-member possibilities.

You do not currently have access to this article.