Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reviewer Comments

JSR reviewers are known for their thorough comments, yet at times, they are less penetrating and more…ummm…succinct.  Some recent examples include:

I am beginning to get the feeling that it would be easier to write the Abstract, Introduction, and Conclusions for the authors than continue the back and forth.”

Where to start.... To be blunt, this is one of the weakest manuscripts that I've reviewed, perhaps ever.”

Figure 3 is generally impenetrable to my poor grey cells.”

Without some other rationale, autocyclicity would be an equally plausible explanation (maybe tidal channel avulsion/abandonment, or a series of large storms).  If you’re not careful, you might bring Bruce Wilkinson out of retirement with this one…”

I am totally defeated by the JSR web page! I cannot figure out how to download or upload anything. I don't know who designed this web page but they ought to be flogged!”

In a confidential note to the editor: “My only question is whether it is really a JSR paper? That's why I submitted my rather dull [removed, for anonymity] paper to Sed. Geol. Anyway, that's for you to decide!”

“…the author may be guilty of overgeneralizing what is already , well... over generalized.”          

Naturally, I remain at your disposal for any inquiries or additional explanations about my review (specially for my english !!).”

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Highlights—Throwing the Book Cliffs at Cretaceous Correlations

Exposures of Upper Cretaceous strata in the Book Cliffs have played a key role in the formulation of modern sequence stratigraphic concepts, and yet correlations with time-equivalent strata in nearby regions remain uncertain. This study by Seymour and Fielding presents detailed correlations of the Upper Cretaceous stratigraphy between the Book Cliffs, the Wasatch Plateau, and the western Henry Mountains Syncline in Utah, with focus on facies stacking patterns, and changes in sediment dispersal directions at discrete stratigraphic horizons. Much of the Campanian succession can be characterized as a single, low-frequency (third order) depositional sequence, within which are nested high-frequency sequences.  Although every high-frequency sequence cannot be correlated regionally, four regionally continuous intervals of strata form the basis for the interpretation.  These new correlations, and the improved understanding of paleogeography that they allow, have the potential to inform basin-scale stratigraphic interpretations to a greater extent than has been hitherto possible.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Highlights—The Critters Did It: Bioirrigation and Bioinfiltration

Burrowing organisms markedly alter marine sediment, impacting biogeochemistry  (through changing organic and inorganic particulate matter), and permeability (forming open burrows).  This contribution by Herringshaw and McIlroy demonstrates a suite of lab experiments that reveal that burrowing organisms also transport clay particles into permeable sediment when they irrigate their burrows. Since many marine sediments are bioturbated, and most bioturbating organisms irrigate their burrows, this mechanism may represent an important means of transporting suspended clay material into sediment.  Because these clay minerals can clog pores, can form precursors to diagenetic clay mineral cements, and may introduce organic nutrients that affect microbial productivity, bioinfiltration may markedly impact porosity and permeability in bioturbated sedimentary rocks.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Highlights—The Secret’s in the Crust

Regional stresses can lead to re-activations in basement structures, which in turn have a profound influence on stratigraphic patterns.  In this contribution, Dix et al. describe the Middle-to-early Upper Ordovician Chazyan epicontinental platform succession developed landward of an arc-collision plate boundary peripheral to the ancient Quebec Embayment (northern Appalachians).  A comprehensive sedimentologic and stratigraphic data set from core, outcrop, and wireline sections from the platform interior reveal patterns that contrast with contemporaneous outer platform systems.  The interpretations illustrate how this regional platform aggraded, but was shaped by the developing foreland basin. These results are interpreted to be significant in that they illustrate how regional and platform-interior structurally controlled depositional surfaces can be an important influence on epicontinental aggradation, and these surfaces correspond to episodes of prominent tectonics along the convergent plate boundary, and that stratigraphic patterns well removed from the convergent margin may still record regional tectonic signatures.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Highlights—Sediment on the Shelf

Although they represent less than ~10% of the world ocean area, continental shelves are sedimentologically and biogeochemically important.  To understand dynamics of the present western continental shelf of India, Kurian et al. describe an extensive geochemical and isotopic data set from a range of settings. The results reveal spatial patterns in major elements and rare earth elements, Corg/N molar ratios, δ13C and δ15N values, trends interpreted in terms of sediment provenance.  These patterns reflect the variable physical and biochemical processes in the source regions and in the depositional setting, and may be reflected in ancient successions as well.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Highlights—Quantifying Sediment Heterogeneity

Understanding the nature and heterogeneity of sedimentary deposits represents a fundamental challenge in quantitative sedimentary geology and in many flow simulations.  In this paper, Meckel describes and applies a technique to generate high-resolution digital models of natural sedimentary deposits for quantitative analyses. The “traditional” technique of 2D sedimentary-relief peels of unconsolidated clastic deposits is combined with modern digital laser scanning and 3D microscopy techniques to capture and digitally represent spatially varying rock properties (e.g. permeability, threshold pressure) related to sedimentary fabrics at mm to m resolution.  The technique and analysis are broadly applicable, and expand capabilities for geologic studies that examine or apply concepts of representative sampling, upscaling, and fluid flow in heterogeneous media.