The dual questions of how marine strata are formed on continental shelves and slopes and how they stack into diagnostic sedimentary sequences have particular relevance to many pressing scientific and societal issues being studied today. The issues that confront scientists on these topics are complex and range from drainage basin dynamics to sediment transport theory to sea level histories. Indeed, many of the scientific concepts employed to understand coastal pollution, hydrocarbon and groundwater reservoirs, landslide hazards, and other similar issue-driven studies are deeply rooted in sediment transport and sedimentary sequence evolution. Development of threshold advances in the application of these disciplines often requires the use of new technologies, combined with innovative modeling in large multi-investigator programs [see, e.g., Nittrouer and Kravitz, 1995].
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