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Schlager W. Carbonate Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy
Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74235, U.S.A. , 2005, p. 208

Sedimentology and stratigraphy are neighbors yet distinctly separate entities within the earth sciences. Put in a nutshell, sedimentology searches for the common traits of sedimentary rocks regardless of age as it reconstructs environments and processes of deposition and erosion from the sediment record. Stratigraphy, by contrast, concentrates on changes with time, on measuring time and correlating coeval events. Sequence stratigraphy straddles the boundary between the two fields. It is a sedimentologic concept as it uses depositional anatomy to reconstruct environments and lateral facies change, and it is part of stratigraphy as it studies the vertical succession of sedimentary rocks and their succession and correlation.
This expose, dedicated to carbonate rocks, approaches sequence stratigraphy from its sedimentologic background. Carbonate sedimentation, in contrast to siliciclastic sedimentation, is largely goveed by chemistry and biota of the ocean and thus intimately tied to the ocean environment. Therefore, the presentation starts with essentials of physical and chemical oceanography and biology. It then proceeds to principles ofmarine carbonate production (and erosion) and the geometry of carbonate accumulations, using the concept of carbonate production systems, or factories, to illustrate the variations among carbonate rocks. Armed with the knowledge on production and accumulation, the text tus to carbonate facies; the sedimentologic part closes with an overview of the rhythms and events goveing carbonate deposition in time and space. Chapters 6 through 8 deal with sequence stratigraphy. This part starts with an overview of the standard model of sequence stratigraphy and then develops carbonate sequence stratigraphy on the basis of processes and principles presented in the sedimentologic part and using the three major carbonate factories as a template for discussion.
The book attempts to make progress by combining different specialties and different lines of reasoning, and by searching for principles underlying the bewildering diversity of carbonate rocks. I think the expose provides enough general background, in introductory chapters and appendices, to be easily digestible for sedimentologists and stratigraphers as well as earth scientists at large. The text does appeal to the reader’swillingness to engage in scientific discussion, however. It is not a cook book presenting recipes.
Many of the ideas expressed in the book developed in the stimulating environments of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, particularly the Comparative Sedimentology Laboratory founded by Robert Ginsburg, and the Sedimentology Section of the Earth Sciences Faculty at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. At both institutions, Industrial Associates Programs offered valuable feedback from geologists in industry. Another crucial sounding board were the participants of short courses I taught on the subject in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia between 1991 and 2003.
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