Internally generated, or autogenic, terrestrial and marine sediment-transport dynamics can produce depositional patterns similar to those associated with climatic, tectonic, or sea level changes. A central challenge in accurately interpreting the sedimentary archive is determining what scales and types of deposits reflect autogenic controls on sedimentation in different environments. Autogenic sediment-transport dynamics commonly result from intermittent sediment storage in transient landforms, which produces episodic, spatially discontinuous sedimentation across a basin. The transition from localized, variable sedimentation to even, basin-wide sedimentation marks the shift from stochastic landscape dynamics to deterministic deposition responding to the long-term balance between sediment supply and the creation of space to accommodate sediment. This threshold can be measured in a wide variety of stratigraphic successions and has important bearing on whether climatic, tectonic, or sea level signals can be recognized in physical sedimentary deposits.
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Annual Reviews
Published: Aug 30, 2017
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