Abstract

Sediments are delivered to basins or rises by a number of discrete processes or sets of processes working from several sources including terrigenous, biogenous, and hydrogenous which may deliver sediments continuously or discontinuously. The processes can be grouped in terms of the zone from which they move sediments directly to the deposition site. These include river and shore systems, shelf systems, canyon systems, slope systems, and the processes operating in the overlying water column. River and Canyon-centered processes work from point sources; shore, shelf and slope-centered processes deliver from linear sources; and the water mass-centered processes operate from area sources. These are the primary determinants of the patterns of sediments deposited from these sets. Of these sets of processes and their resulting products, the river-shore system and the canyon system are easily the best known. A new surge of interest has begun for the slope system, but the water mass process system and the resulting hemipelagic and pelagic sediments and sedimentary rocks have been only narrowly studied although they produce the most complete records of environmental (climatic) changes and provide the best correlation data. Another area of research yet to be broadly developed lies in the study of interactions between processes and process sets and in the factors that modulate process systems. How each of the major process groups work together and what synergistic effects come from those linkages offer productive areas of study. All of these should be examined to aid us in our primary goal of describing the Earth's history.

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