For many years now, the classic notions of “layer cake” stratigraphy have been denigrated as representing an antiquated view of the geologic record. And, it would seem rightly so, for even the most casual observer of the modern Earth's surface knows the conditions are far from uniform across virtually any part of the globe. At worst, the “layer cake” view represents a throwback to a Neptunian “onion skin” view of Earth's history. The modern facies view of stratigraphy, emanating from the Germanic school of Armanz Gressly and Johannes Walther, among others, revolutionized geologists' view of the time-space relationships in strata....
Other|December 01, 2000
A Slice of the “Layer Cake”: The Paradox of “Frosting Continuity”
CARLTON E. BRETT
CARLTON E. BRETT
1Carl Brett, here pointing at billions of years of nothing along the great Proterozoic-Pennsylvanian break at Red Rocks, Colorado, is a devoted fan of unconformities, and Earth history, in general. Brett is currently Professor of Geology at the University of Cinncinati, having made a successful transition after 20 years on the Rochester Shale (Univerity of Rochester) downward to the Cincinnatian. Brett's interests are an equal blend of geology and organismal biology, and he is delighted to have taught and learned from dozens of excellent students in both areas. He has pursued studies of echinoderm paleobiology and systemics, ancient organism interactions, evolutionary paleontology, and taphonomy, as well as sequence stratigraphy and basin analysis.Brett's enthusiasm for fossils developed in a quantum jump as a result of moving the "granite state" of New Hampshire of western New York at age 10; his love of geologic history was fostered by undergraduate studies at SUNY Buffalo and PhD research at the University of Michigan. Brett, colleague Gordon Baird (SUNY College Fredonia), and their students, then spent more than three decades tracking mid-Paleozoic strata and fossils of the Appalacian foreland basin in New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and adjacent regions. Studies in this "natural laboratory" helped to develop the test notions of taphofacies, community tracking, epiboles, and coordinated stasis. Ultimately, though much of this research came down to the identification and field testing of patterns of facies and fossils in a tightly correlated stratographic framework. There is still much to be done in the northeast, but now days you more likely will find Carl on roadcuts and streams of the tristate area (Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana) investigating the local "layer cake," and testing the generality of ideas honed in Upstate New York. "E.O. Ulrich didn't get it all right–but neither did he get it all wrong. Correlation, above all, is the key" says Brett, a self proclaimed "neo-layer cakeist."Carl Brett, recipient of the Schuchert Award in 1990, is a fellow of Geological Society of America, and an Associate Editor of PALAIOS.
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PALAIOS (2000) 15 (6): 495-498.
03 Mar 2017
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CARLTON E. BRETT; A Slice of the “Layer Cake”: The Paradox of “Frosting Continuity”. PALAIOS ; 15 (6): 495–498. doi: https://doi.org/10.1669/0883-1351(2000)015<0495:ASOTLC>2.0.CO;2
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