Photostratigraphy of Ancient Turbidite Systems
Photostratigraphy is a new photointerpretation technique for the study of stratigraphic successions. In aerial photographs, stratal surfaces are expressed as photohorizons, i.e., surfaces that can be considered as close approximations of time surfaces. Photohorizon arrangement and strata geometry can be analyzed using some concepts and criteria derived from seismic and sequence stratigraphy. This procedure permits the reconstruction of chronostratigraphic frameworks on a scale comparable to seismic-reflection scale, into which outcrop data can be directly integrated.
The use of photostratigraphy for the study of some ancient turbidite systems has focused on the analysis of distinct turbidite elements. This analysis (1) has defined the complex internal stratal patterns that characterize the turbidite fills of submarine erosional features and has documented the superimposition of more than one erosional surface, (2) has mapped depositional sandstone lobes in a foreland basin and has traced roughly tabular packages of strata over distances exceeding 100 km, and (3) has emphasized pinchout of sandstone lobes in a relatively small fault-controlled basin, providing evidence of their onlap onto the basin margins. Photostratigraphy has also assisted in establishing the stratigraphic relationships of these features with the deposits that occur in adjacent parts of the basin.
As further development, the use of photostratigraphic scale and resolution can help bridge the gap existing between seismic and field approaches to basin analysis.
KeywordsAerial Photograph Foreland Basin Depositional Sequence Erosional Feature Seismic Stratigraphy
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