Comparative sedimentology

The comparative sedimentology group seeks to elucidate controls on the three-dimensional heterogeneity of depositional bodies in the geological record. This record provides the group’s primary dataset, and is studied in onshore outcrop locations, on the seafloor, and in subsurface and submarine core sites. External controls on sedimentation (tectonics, climate and eustacy) are regarded in conjunction to the processing of their signals by sediment transport dynamics within sedimentary systems.

There is a strong appreciation for the hierarchy within the sedimentary system, and the full range of relevant temporal and spatial scales is covered, from the microsecond scales of turbulent sediment-grain transport, to the hundreds of millions of years associated with filling of large basins. Research approaches include studies of sedimentation in modern environments and numerical and physical experiments.

The results and insights of such comparative studies are translated to genetic models for the sedimentary rock record. The results of the sedimentology group contribute to a better understanding of paleoenvironments of the Earth’s past. They also find direct application in the hydrocarbon industry where they inform exploration and reservoir management.

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