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Sequence Stratigraphy and Sea-Level Changes in Cretaceous Time

  • Nicholas Christie-Blick
Chapter
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 304)

Abstract

Working Group 1 will concentrate on the record and origin of sedimentary cyclicity in the Cretaceous at time scales of 1–10 m.y., especially on the role of eustasy in the formation of unconformity-bounded depositional sequences. The advantage of the sequence-stratigraphic approach is that unlike transgressions and regressions of the shoreline or changes in paleobathymetry, the development of prominent sequence boundaries is relatively insensitive to sediment supply, and major boundaries of eustatic origin ought to correlate or nearly correlate globally. Practical applications of the research stem from insights about the distribution of resources such as petroleum and coal.

Sequence boundaries are identified in seismic reflection profiles, well logs and cores, and outcrop from evidence for offlap within underlying strata and a downward shift in coastal onlap in overlying strata. Within sequences, stratigraphic position, strata geometry and facies arrangements can be used to define three systems tracts: lowstand (and shelf-margin), transgressive and highstand. Unconformity-bounded depositional sequences are also composed of higher-order sequences or parasequences, which typically shoal upwards and are bounded above and below by marine flooding surfaces.

The short-term focus of the Working Group is to establish the timing of eustatic change during the mid-Cretaceous, approximately between the Aptian and Santonian Stages, an interval that contains six of the eleven most prominent sequence boundaries widely recognized in the Cretaceous. Longer-term objectives are to extend the analysis to the entire Cretaceous and to place constraints on the amplitudes of sea-level change.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Christie-Blick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesLamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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