2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM


DRUMMOND, Carl N., Department of Geosciences, Indiana Univ Purdue Univ Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 and WILKINSON, Bruce H., Department of Geological Sciences, Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, drummond@ipfw.edu

In 1971 Robert Ginsburg delivered a paper entitled “Landward movement of carbonate mud: New model for regressive cycles in carbonates” at the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in Houston, Texas. While the concepts presented at this talk were never developed by him into a formal manuscript, it is our contention that this abstract has played a critical role in the development of carbonate stratigraphy. Generally referred to as the “Autocyclic” model, Ginsburg's abstract has been cited in an astonishing 96 publications. Interestingly, the first reference to the abstract does not appear in the literature until 1981 yet it continues to be cited at a high rate. Of those 96 manuscripts, only 4 have themselves been cited more frequently than Ginsburg's 1971 abstract.

The impact of Ginsburg's abstract has spread widely throughout the field of carbonate stratigraphy. While the autocyclic model provides a mechanism for the formation of asymmetric regressive lithofacies transitions, it also speaks to the partitioning of time between depositional and non-depositional intervals. As such, it now serves as an inspirational foundation for ongoing efforts directed at developing a numerical model of time partitioning in carbonate successions using weak periodic modulation of a Poissonian distribution of depositional intervals. Recent advances in our understanding of carbonate deposition strongly suggest that neither allogenic nor autogenic end-member models adequately account for the rich complexity of modern and ancient carbonate depositional systems. Rather, the interaction between stochastic and periodic forcing, such as observed in systems displaying characteristics of stochastic resonance, provide perhaps a more accurate depositional simulation. Towards that end, we present preliminary results of numerical simulations of time partitioning.

On this occasion of celebration of Professor Ginsburg and his contributions to the fields of carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, it is only fitting that we acknowledge the vast impact his work has had on the research community's on-going dialog regarding the characteristics and origins of shallow water carbonate deposition.