Regional and global stratigraphic cycles

  • Andrew D. Miall


One of the achievements of modern sedimentology has been to demonstrate the almost ubiquitous presence of major lateral facies changes in sedimentary rocks, with the result that nobody uses lithostratigraphy nowadays as a basis for chronostratigraphic correlation. However, it has long been recognized that on a continental and even an intercontinental and global scale, there seem to have been a number of synchronous, correlatable stratigraphic events. These include the virtually worldwide basal Cambrian unconformity (Matthews and Cowie, 1979), major transgressive episodes in the Ordovician (McKerrow, 1979; Vail et al., 1977b) and the Cretaceous (Hallam, 1963; Hancock and Kauffman, 1979; Vail et al., 1977b), and the post-Cretaceous regression (Hallam, 1963). Glacial episodes of hemispherical or global scope have been recognized in the Early Proterozoic, latest Precambrian (Eocambrian), Late Ordovician and Early Carboniferous to mid-Permian (Crowell, 1978; Edwards, 1978; Harland, 1981). Other widespread cyclic events have been reported by Hallam (1978), Ager (1981) and many others. The Late Cretaceous transgression was first recognized as being exceptionally prominent by Suess. He suspected that it was only one of several such events in the Phanerozoic related to worldwide changes in sea level, and he named such movements “eustatic” (Suess, 1906).


Seismic Stratigraphy Order Cycle Michigan Basin Cyclic Sedimentation Stratigraphic Event 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew D. Miall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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