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Abstract: Integration as the Key to a Sequence Stratigraphic Interpretation of Tectonically Complex Areas

Sarah Prosser

Sequence stratigraphic studies claim to provide an integrated methodology for interpretation and prediction in sedimentary basins. They quote the combination of outcrop, seismic, well-log and biostratigraphic data sets as proof of a technique that does not exclude any one facet at the expense of another. This, supposedly, is the strength of the technique. However, the integration of data sets may have shadowed the importance of the integration of concepts and models of deposition, particularly in fault-bounded basins.

The results of a sequence stratigraphic study are usually presented in terms of changing stratigraphy resulting from changes in regional signatures (eustatic and tectonic). It is inferred that local and semi-regional effects are superfluous, and yet these may be the crucial factor in deriving a suitable model for interpretation and prediction of tectonically complex areas.

This talk aims to present studies from outcrop (Greece and Death Valley) and seismic (Barents Sea and Central Graben, North Sea) to illustrate how if not only various types of data set are integrated, but various concepts too, a common pattern to the evolution of rifted basins can be unravelled. This is not the same as that of the traditional sequence stratigraphic model, and yet seems more consistent for the study of extensional basins.

Different types of signature will interact, and the dominant control at one scale may be broken down into a different dominant factor at a different scale, e.g. low order 'tectonic systems tracts' may break down into high order systems tracts more typical of regional relative sea level systems tracts.

In conclusion an integration of models for sedimentation in extensional basins, with those more traditionally associated with sequence stratigraphy can produce a truly consistent and properly integrated technique for interpretation and prediction of basin fills.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France