Tectonic and Depositional Controls on Syn-Rift Carbonate Platform Sedimentation
Published:January 01, 2008
Steven L. Dorobek, 2008. "Tectonic and Depositional Controls on Syn-Rift Carbonate Platform Sedimentation", Controls on Carbonate Platform and Reef Development, Jeff Lukasik, J.A. (Toni) Simo
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All scales of tectonic deformation influence the location, sizes, shapes, and internal stratigraphy of carbonate platforms that form in active rift settings. Normal and oblique-slip faults bound the tectono-geomorphologic features that are typically found across rift settings. These fault-bounded structural elements can provide substrates for shallow-water carbonate platforms if they are submerged to shallow water depths. Thus, the incremental and long-term growth of tectonic structures, and interactions between surface processes and carbonate depositional systems that develop around or on top of these structures, determines nearly all stratigraphic aspects of syn-rift carbonate platforms.Isolated carbonate platforms are the most common type...
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Controls on Carbonate Platform and Reef Development
Carbonate platforms and reefs emerge, grow and die in response to intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms forced primarily by tectonics, oceanography, climate, ecology and eustasy. These mechanisms, or controls, create the physical, biological and chemical signals accountable for the myriad of carbonate depositional responses that, together, form the complex depositional systems present in the modern and ancient settings. If we are to fully comprehend these systems, it is critical to ascertain which controls ultimately govern the “life cycle” of carbonate platforms and reefs and understand how these signals are recorded and preserved. Deciphering which signals produce a dominant sedimentological response from the plethora of physical and biological information generated from superimposed regional to global-scale controls is critical to achieving this goal. With this understanding, it may be possible to extract common time- and space-independent depositional responses to specific mechanisms that may, ultimately, be used in a productive sense. Extensive research on a wide variety of carbonate platform and reefal systems in the past few decades has provided the foundation and understanding necessary to take carbonate research to a new level. With assistance from rapidly advancing computer software and an increasing use of cross-disciplinary integration, carbonate research is shifting from description and morphological analysis towards a science that is more focused on the assessment of process and genetic relationships. The aim of this special publication is to present a cross section of recent research that shows this evolution from a variety of perspectives and scales using examples distributed throughout the Phanerozoic.