Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sequence Stratigraphy of the Universe

For decades, controls on sequence stratigraphy have been a controversial topic: eustasy, tectonics, or sediment supply?  Part of the challenge in unraveling controls relates to the method’s numerous implicit or explicit assumptions (“Geomyths”), such that the most extreme critics suggest that some assumptions have no basis in reality in the world as we know it, and thus “invalidate” sequence stratigraphy. To explore this concept, Peter Burgess reviews implications of recent progress in study of quantum vacuums, a previously overlooked aspect of the cosmos, on deriving a self-consistent model of sequence stratigraphy that is generally applicable to the universe, leaving aside Earth-bound sequence stratigraphy as a case study. Beginning with the recognition that gravitational repulsion of virtual particles and antiparticles leads to a “gravitational charge” and a quantum vacuum, Burgess proves an earlier concept—fundamental dimensionless constants may in fact be neither fundamental nor constant (he is mum on dimensionality). These notions raise important sequence stratigraphic questions—can tectonics exist in zero gravity?  How does one account for virtual sediment?  What is “eustasy” or a lowstand in the absence of water-filled ocean basins, but water instead falls into black holes?  Although his analysis of the universal spectrum of forces in the universe leads him to derive an incontrovertible solution (or, at least one that is consistent with Google), he concludes by acknowledging the notion that the contribution represents “a serious analysis of a ridiculous subject, the opposite of the usual in sequence stratigraphy.” 

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