1Present address: Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA.
Sediment compaction rates and subsidence in deltaic plains: numerical constraints and stratigraphic influences
Article first published online: 15 JAN 2007
Volume 19, Issue 1, pages 19–31, January 2007
How to Cite
Meckel, T. A., Ten Brink, U. S. and Williams, S. J. (2007), Sediment compaction rates and subsidence in deltaic plains: numerical constraints and stratigraphic influences. Basin Research, 19: 19–31. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2006.00310.x
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 15 JAN 2007
- Manuscript received 29 May 2006; Manuscript accepted 28 November 2006
Natural sediment compaction in deltaic plains influences subsidence rates and the evolution of deltaic morphology. Determining compaction rates requires detailed knowledge of subsurface geotechnical properties and depositional history, neither of which is often readily available. To overcome this lack of knowledge, we numerically forward model the incremental sedimentation and compaction of stochastically generated stratigraphies with geotechnical properties typical of modern depositional environments in the Mississippi River delta plain. Using a Monte Carlo approach, the range of probable compaction rates for stratigraphies with compacted thicknesses <150 m and accumulation times <20 kyr. varies, but maximum values rarely exceed a few mm yr−1. The fastest compacting stratigraphies are composed primarily of peat and bar sand, whereas the slowest compacting stratigraphies are composed of prodelta mud and natural levee deposits. These results suggest that compaction rates can significantly influence vertical and lateral stratigraphic trends during deltaic evolution.