Prediction of Margin Stratigraphy

  1. Charles A. Nittrouer,
  2. James A. Austin,
  3. Michael E. Field,
  4. Joseph H. Kravitz,
  5. James P. M. Syvitski and
  6. Patricia L. Wiberg
  1. James P. M. Syvitski1,
  2. Lincoln F. Pratson2,
  3. Patricia L. Wiberg3,
  4. Michael S. Steckler4,
  5. Marcelo H. García5,
  6. W. Rockwell Geyer6,
  7. Courtney K. Harris7,
  8. Eric W. H. Hutton1,
  9. Jasim Imran8,
  10. Homa J. Lee9,
  11. Mark D. Morehead10 and
  12. Gary Parker11

Published Online: 25 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304398.ch9

Continental Margin Sedimentation: From Sediment Transport to Sequence Stratigraphy

Continental Margin Sedimentation: From Sediment Transport to Sequence Stratigraphy

How to Cite

Syvitski, J. P. M., Pratson, L. F., Wiberg, P. L., Steckler, M. S., García, M. H., Geyer, W. R., Harris, C. K., Hutton, E. W. H., Imran, J., Lee, H. J., Morehead, M. D. and Parker, G. (2007) Prediction of Margin Stratigraphy, in Continental Margin Sedimentation: From Sediment Transport to Sequence Stratigraphy (eds C. A. Nittrouer, J. A. Austin, M. E. Field, J. H. Kravitz, J. P. M. Syvitski and P. L. Wiberg), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304398.ch9

Author Information

  1. 1

    Environmental Computation and Imaging Facility, INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0450, USA

  2. 2

    Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Box 90230, Durham, NC 27708, USA

  3. 3

    Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA

  4. 4

    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA

  5. 5

    Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

  6. 6

    Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA

  7. 7

    Department of Physical Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, USA

  8. 8

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

  9. 9

    US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA

  10. 10

    Department of Civil Engineering, University of Idaho, Boise, ID 83702, USA

  11. 11

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 17 JUL 2007

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 37 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis

Series Editor Information

  1. School of Earth Sciences & Geography, Centre for Earth & Environmental Science Research, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405169349

Online ISBN: 9781444304398



  • margin stratigraphy prediction;
  • conservation of momentum - spatial balance of forces;
  • component SED-strat modules;
  • surface plumes from rivers;
  • layer-averaged hyperpycnal plume in Lagrangian form;
  • slope stability analysis;
  • SEDFLUX approach - ONR-sponsored STRATAFORM programme;
  • SEDFLUX application to seafloor morphology;
  • acoustic property for simulating seismic data - compressional or P-wave velocity;
  • seismic modelling


A new generation of predictive, process–response models provides insight about how sediment transport processes work to form and destroy strata, and to influence the developing architecture along continental margins. The spectrum of models considered in this paper includes short-term sedimentary processes (river discharge, surface plumes, hyperpycnal plumes, wave-current inter actions, subaqueous debris flows, turbidity currents), the filling of geological basins where tectonics and subsidence are important controls on sediment dispersal (slope stability, compaction, tectonics, sea-level fluctuations, subsidence), and acoustic models for comparison to seismic images. Recent efforts have coordinated individual modelling studies and catalysed Earth-surface research by:

1 empowering scientists with computing tools and knowledge from interlinked fields;

2 streamlining the process of hypothesis testing through linked surface dynamics models;

3 creating models tailored to specific settings, scientific problems and time-scales.

The extreme ranges of space- and time-scales that define Earth history demand an array of approaches, including model nesting, rather than a single monolithic modelling structure. Numerical models that simulate the development of landscapes and sedimentary architecture are the repositories of our understanding about basic physics and thermodynamics underlying the field of sedimentology.