Hierarchical classifications are used in the field of clastic deep-marine sedimentary geology to assign spatial and temporal order to the sedimentary architecture of preserved deep-marine deposits and to genetically related modern landforms. Although such classifications aim to simplify the description of complex systems, the wide range of developed approaches limits the ease with which deep-marine architectural data derived from different sources can be reconciled and compared. This work systematically reviews and compares a selection of the most significant published hierarchical schemes for the description of deep-marine sedimentary architecture. A detailed account of each scheme is provided, outlining its aims, environmental contexts and methods of data collection, together with the diagnostic criteria used to discern each hierarchical order from observational standpoints (e.g., via facies associations, geometry, scale and bounding-surface relationships) and also on interpretational grounds (e.g., processes and sub-environments of deposition). The inconsistencies and pitfalls in the application of each scheme are also considered. The immediate goal of this review is to assist sedimentologists in their attempts to apply hierarchical classifications, both in the contexts in which the classifications were originally developed and in alternative settings. An additional goal is to assess the causes of similarities and differences between schemes, which may arise, for example, in relation to their different aims, scales of interest or environmental focus (e.g., channelized or lobate units, or both). Similarities are found between the approaches that commonly underlie the hierarchical classifications. Hierarchies are largely erected on the basis of common types of observations, in particular relating to the lithology and geometries of deposits, in association with analysis of bounding-surface characteristics and relationships. These factors are commonly considered in parallel with their associated genetic interpretations in terms of processes or (sub-) environments of deposition. A final goal of the review is to assess whether a universal standard for the description of deep-marine sedimentary architecture can be devised. Despite the commonalities that exist between classification approaches, a confident reconciliation of the different hierarchical classification schemes does not appear to be achievable in the current state of knowledge.

Hierarchical classifications of the sedimentary architecture of deep-marine depositional systems

Patacci M;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Hierarchical classifications are used in the field of clastic deep-marine sedimentary geology to assign spatial and temporal order to the sedimentary architecture of preserved deep-marine deposits and to genetically related modern landforms. Although such classifications aim to simplify the description of complex systems, the wide range of developed approaches limits the ease with which deep-marine architectural data derived from different sources can be reconciled and compared. This work systematically reviews and compares a selection of the most significant published hierarchical schemes for the description of deep-marine sedimentary architecture. A detailed account of each scheme is provided, outlining its aims, environmental contexts and methods of data collection, together with the diagnostic criteria used to discern each hierarchical order from observational standpoints (e.g., via facies associations, geometry, scale and bounding-surface relationships) and also on interpretational grounds (e.g., processes and sub-environments of deposition). The inconsistencies and pitfalls in the application of each scheme are also considered. The immediate goal of this review is to assist sedimentologists in their attempts to apply hierarchical classifications, both in the contexts in which the classifications were originally developed and in alternative settings. An additional goal is to assess the causes of similarities and differences between schemes, which may arise, for example, in relation to their different aims, scales of interest or environmental focus (e.g., channelized or lobate units, or both). Similarities are found between the approaches that commonly underlie the hierarchical classifications. Hierarchies are largely erected on the basis of common types of observations, in particular relating to the lithology and geometries of deposits, in association with analysis of bounding-surface characteristics and relationships. These factors are commonly considered in parallel with their associated genetic interpretations in terms of processes or (sub-) environments of deposition. A final goal of the review is to assess whether a universal standard for the description of deep-marine sedimentary architecture can be devised. Despite the commonalities that exist between classification approaches, a confident reconciliation of the different hierarchical classification schemes does not appear to be achievable in the current state of knowledge.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/220353
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 44
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 41
social impact