Sequence stratigraphic concepts applied to the identification of basin-filling rhythms in Precambrian successions

B. Krapez

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    81 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The new approaches to stratigraphy, that permit geodynamic interpretations of rock units during mapping, are beginning to be applied to Precambrian successions. Foremost among the new approaches is sequence stratigraphy. in its simplest form, the technique combines the mapping of facies and time-significant bedding surfaces. The primary surface is the unconformable sequence boundary, or its correlative conformity. However, sequence stratigraphy is not only the documentation of the vertical and internal other of rock units bounded by unconformities, but also the documentation of the hierarchical rank of those units because there are three ranks of unconformity-bounded sequences. First-order sequences (megasequences and megasequence sets) record global tectonic cycles. Second-order sequences (supersequences) record depositional basins or their tectonic stages. Third-order sequences (depositional sequences) are basin-filling rhythms. A depositional sequence, regardless of its provenance, geodynamic setting and contained depositional systems, is divided internally into sets of sedimentation units that additively have progradational, aggradational or retrogradational stacking patterns. These patterns record the relationships between the rate of sediment accumulation and the rate at which space was made available for sediment accumulation (or rate of creation of accommodation). Depositional sequences are therefore the non-random, but not necessarily periodic, cyclic linkage between sediment flux and accommodation, and are a reflection of geodynamic evolution. The importance of eustasy in sequence stratigraphy should be de-emphasised. Instead the role of the sequence approach in identifying basin-filling rhythms, whatever their cause, should be stressed. The adaptability of the technique is best viewed by using examples in which tectonic controls were dominant and chaotic responses evident. Despite the uniqueness of each basin-fill, sequence mapping reveals an order in stratigraphic style that is inherent to basin type, regardless of basin age. Greater acceptance of the sequence approach will add significantly to the revolution in Precambrian geology, because the technique can establish the conformity in stratigraphic style between, and within, the Phanerozoic and Precambrian rock records.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-380
    JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
    Volume43
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

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