CARBONATE STRATIGRAPHY AND SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY: A 30-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE
Originally based on integrated 2-D subsurface geophysical data, true sequence stratigraphy can only be applied accurately in rock-based data sets where at least 2-D correlations can be defined along depositional dip. This is best accomplished in large-scale, continuous outcrops or in subsurface successions where core/log ties can be reliably made. In such settings, sequence stratigraphy is a powerful tool for defining temporal interrelationships among depositional surfaces, facies, and stratal bodies, and for elucidating sedimentation response to sealevel fall/rise accommodation cycles. However, in many settings e.g., conventional 1-D outcrops and poorly constrained subsurface data sets, meaningful application of sequence stratigraphic concepts is problematic at best. In these settings, the concepts of cycle stratigraphy, a much older paradigm, remain a powerful tool for interpreting carbonate successions and their temporal interrelationships.