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The Geology of Stratigraphic Sequences

By: Andrew D Miall

522 pages, 337 col & b/w figs, 11 tabs


Hardback | Jan 2010 | Edition: 2 | #184150 | ISBN-13: 9783642050268
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NHBS Price: £89.99 $118/€102 approx

About this book

It has been more than a decade since the appearance of the First Edition of this book. Much progress has been made, but some controversies remain. The original idea of Sloss and of Vail (building on the early work of Blackwelder, Grabau, Ulrich, Levorsen and others) that the stratigraphic record could be subdivided into sequences and that these sequences store essential information about basin-forming and subsidence processes remains as powerful an idea as when it was first formulated. The definition and mapping of sequences has become a standard part of the basin analysis process. Subsurface methods make use of advanced seismic-reflection analysis methods, with three-dimensional seismic methods, and seismic geomorphology adding important new dimensions to the analysis.

The main purpose of this book remains the same as it was for the first edition, that is, to situate sequences within the broader context of geological processes so that geoscientists might be better equipped to extract the maximum information from the record of sequences in a given basin or region. The following are the main themes of the book: Central to the concept of the sequence is the deductive model that sequences carry messages about the 'pulse of the earth'. In the early modern period of sequence stratigraphy (the late 1970s and 1980s) the model of global eustasy was predominant, and it was to offer a critique of that model that provided the impetus for developing the first edition of this book.

Model-building has been central to the science of geology from the beginning - it was certainly a preoccupation of such early masters of the science as Lyell, Chamberlin, Barrell and Ulrich. A historical evaluation of the contrasting deductive and inductive approaches to geology has been added to this edition of the book, in order to provide a background in methodology and a historical context. Standard sequence models have become very well described and understood for most depositional settings, and are the subject of several recent texts. Two chapters are provided in this edition in order to outline modern ideas, and to provide a framework of terminology and illustration for the remainder of the book.

From the reviews of the second edition: "In this new edition ! Miall (Univ. of Toronto) examines in detail the results of Vail and his followers, showing where he agrees with those results and where he feels that the Vail/Exxon model has gone too far in extrapolating from these results. ! A must-read book for those actively involved in stratigraphy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and above." (C. W. Dimmick, Choice, Vol. 48 (5), January, 2011) "The considerably expanded and updated second edition of this book is subdivided into four parts ! . These four parts contain 15 chapters altogether. ! the book is a most welcome update and overview of the rapidly developing field of sequence stratigraphy. All students and professional geologists working in basin analysis will certainly like to have it available in their private libraries. Considering the relatively low price, I can therefore wholeheartedly recommend it." (T. J. A. Reijers, The Sedimentary Record, January, 2011)


Review of Current Concepts.- Methods for Studying Sequence Stratigraphy.- The Four Basic Types of Stratigraphic Cycle.- The Basic Sequence Model.- The Global Cycle Chart.- The Stratigraphic Framework.- Cycles with Episodicities of Tens to Hundreds of Million of Years.- Cycles with Million-Year Episodicities.- Cycles with Episodicities of Less Than One Million Years.- Mechanisms.- Long-Term Eustasy and Epeirogeny.- Milankovitch Processes.- Tectonic Mechanisms.- Chronostratigraphy and Correlation: Why the Global Cycle Chart Should Be Abandoned.- Time in Sequence Stratigraphy.- Correlation, and the Potential for Error.- Sea-Level Curves Compared.- Approaches to a Modern Sequence-Stratigraphic Framework.- Elaboration of the Basic Sequence Model.- Numerical and Graphical Modeling of Sequences.- Discussion and Conclusions.- Implications for Petroleum Geology.- Conclusions and Recommendations.- References.- Author Index.- Subject Index.

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