Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Highlights—Cratonic Carbonate Condensation

Over Phanerozoic time scales, sedimentary records from the continental interior, or craton, tend to be thinner and less stratigraphically complete than coeval deposits from the continental margin, where subsidence allows marine basins to accumulate thick sedimentary records. Here, Brady tests whether the relationship between subsidence and stratigraphic completeness holds true at the finer temporal scales during which facies and cycles accumulate. The results of a quantitative comparison of Devonian carbonate records from the craton and continental margin suggest that, over this ~5 m.y. time period, the thin cratonic record is a result of low sedimentation rates and submarine omission, rather than minimal subsidence and increased potential for subaerial exposure. This study demonstrates how a quantitative approach can lead to new insights into important (non-)depositional processes and towards improved sampling strategies when comparing sedimentary records from distinct basins.

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