Storage of Time in Stratigraphy

The stratigraphic record, the sequential layers of sediment that geologists use to reconstruct paleo-climates and the history of landscapes, has been described as “more gaps than record.” The record, laid down over time as sediment settles out from flowing water, does not grow consistently. Pauses in sediment deposition can leave gaps, and periods of heightened erosion can wipe sections out. Though attempts have been made to identify the processes that control the completeness of the stratigraphic record, early analyses relied on parameters (such as the long-term sediment accumulation rate) that are not first-order physical landscape processes. Our group uses statistical models and laboratory experiments to examine the morphodynamical controls on time storage in stratigraphy. The aim is to develop techniques that will aid construction of age-models for stratigraphic sections and thus improve our ability to reconstruct the history of the Earth.

Quantifying the relative importance of stasis vs. erosion for missing time in stratigraphy

Developing a process-based approach to predicting the completeness of the stratigraphic record

Quantifying the 3D nature of time storage in stratigraphy

How to predict the storage of time in deep marine strata