Closed lakes and oceans are stratigraphically distinct systems. However, closed-lake stratigraphy is often interpreted using conventional sequence stratigraphic concepts which were generated for marine settings. As a consequence, lacustrine stratigraphy has long been vexing and applied on an ad-hoc basis. To remedy this, we present a novel, unified sequence stratigraphic model for hydrologically closed (endorheic) basins: the Supply-Generated Sequence (SGS) Model. This model was generated to interpret our outcrop-based correlation—the largest to date at ∼ 30 km—across the Sunnyside Interval member of the middle Green River Formation in Nine Mile Canyon near Price, Utah, USA. The SGS model is based on the fundamental sedimentological and hydrodynamic differences between closed lakes and marine settings wherein the relationship between water discharge and sediment discharge is highly correlated. The SGS model divides packages of genetic lacustrine strata by bounding correlative surfaces, conformable or unconformable, separating facies and surfaces associated with low clastic supply (e.g., carbonates, mudstones, or exposure surfaces) from facies characteristic of relatively higher amounts of clastic supply (subaerial channelized sandstones, subaqueous siltstones, and pedogenic mudstones). We use the SGS model to correlate regional sequences at a higher resolution than previous interpretations and find the greatest amount of clastic deposition occurs during periods of lake-level rise, indicating that the SGSs are characteristically transgressive. Additionally, this model removes the implicit and explicit base-level assumptions of previous sequence stratigraphic models while being agnostic to the source of increased sediment discharge and therefore generalizable to other closed lacustrine settings. We use the high-resolution supply-generated sequences (meters thick) to argue for a climatic origin of the cyclic Sunnyside interval deposits based on sequence durations (40–50 kyr), and aligning sequences with recognized early Eocene transitory hyperthermal event timing and their associated climatic shifts across the region, increasing riverine discharge of sediment and water.

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