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STENOS PRINCIPLES (1669)

Superposition of Strata
Original Lateral Continuity of
Strata
Original Horizontality of Strata
Collorary: Vertical Accumulation of
Strata

LAW OF SUPERPOSITION
(STENO, 1669)
Modified statement:
Law of Superposition:
The youngest strata are at top in an
undisturbed sequence (Anthony,
1955, p. 83

CONCEPT OF STRATA

Strata, stratum, beds, layer


Stratification/ bedding/ layering
Strata as a basic concept in geology
Concept of Strata is important in
understanding of reservoir rocks and seals
Concept of Strata is important in
understanding correlation and time
relationships

IDENTIFICATION OF STRATA AND


STRATIFICATION

Vertical change in lithology


Vertical variations in lithologic characteristics
such as : Grainsize, Color, Mineralogy, etc
Some degree of lateral continuity
Vertical changes and variations in lithology
varies from extremely thin, laminae, to very
thick

THE NATURE OF VERTICAL


BOUNDARIES OF BEDS

GRADUAL OR TRANSITIONAL
ABRUPT OF SHARP
EROSIONAL
TRUNCATION
DISCONTINUITIES: gaps or breaks in
deposition are quite common in stratal
sequences:

CAUSES OF STRATIFICATION
Strata and stratification is caused by changes
in the depositonal regime, mechanical
energy, chemical of biological
Changes are caused by climate/weather,
sealevel change or tectonics/sediment supply
Changes may take place daily, annually or
even in millions of years

THE TIME SIGNIFICANCE OF


STRATA
Stenos Law of Superposition implies that stratal
or depositional surfaces are isochronous time
surfaces
A stratum or a packet of strata represents of time
period of deposition or contemporanous deposition
Seismic reflection surfaces are stratal surfaces and
being former bedding surfaces they are geologic
time surfaces and are essentially synchronous
(Vail et al, 1977)

STRATA IDENTIFIED BY FOSSILS


(SMITH, 1816)
Modified Statement:
Strata can be distinguished by their
characteristic fossils (Woodford, 1935,
op.cit, p.5-6; Schenk, 1940, p. 1754-1755)

LAW OF FAUNAL SUCCESSION


(ABBE GIRAUD-SOULAVIE, 1777)
Statement of principle:
Fossil differs according to their geologic
ages (stratigraphic position); fossils in
lower formations are unlike those in higher
beds. Fossil floras and faunas succeed one
another in a definite and determinable
order (Anthony, 1955, p.89)

LAW OF FAUNAL
SUCCESSION
In a succession of strata units can be
identified by the specific assemblage of the
fauna of its fossil content top
The fauna of the fossil content resembles
closer to the modern fauna as one goes
toward the top
A geologic time scale can be established
based on the faunal succession.

STENOS PRINCIPLES (1669)


Superposition of Strata
Original Lateral Continuity of
Strata
Original Horizontality of Strata
Collorary: Vertical Accumulation of
Strata

CONCEPT OF STRATA

Strata, stratum, beds, layer


Stratification/ bedding/ layering
Strata as a basic concept in geology
Concept of Strata is important in
understanding of reservoir rocks and seals
Concept of Strata is important in
understanding correlation and time
relationships

CAUSES OF STRATIFICATION
Strata and stratification is caused by changes
in the depositonal regime, mechanical
energy, chemical of biological
Changes are caused by climate/weather,
sealevel change or tectonics/sediment supply
Changes may take place daily, annually or
even in millions of years

THE TIME SIGNIFICANCE OF


STRATA
Stenos Law of Superposition implies that stratal
or depositional surfaces are isochronous time
surfaces
A stratum or a packet of strata represents of time
period of deposition or contemporanous deposition
Seismic reflection surfaces are stratal surfaces and
being former bedding surfaces they are geologic
time surfaces and are essentially synchronous
(Vail et al, 1977)

IDENTIFICATION OF STRATA AND


STRATIFICATION

Vertical change in lithology


Vertical variations in lithologic characteristics
such as : Grainsize, Color, Mineralogy, etc
Some degree of lateral continuity
Vertical changes and variations in lithology
varies from extremely thin, laminae, to very
thick

THE NATURE OF VERTICAL


BOUNDARIES OF BEDS

GRADUAL OR TRANSITIONAL
ABRUPT OF SHARP
EROSIONAL
TRUNCATION
DISCONTINUITIES: gaps or breaks in
deposition are quite common in stratal
sequences:

BED AS BASIC LITHOLOGIC UNIT

Generally a uniform unit of lithology


Thickness varies from laminae to extremely
thick
Vertical boundaries of strata are considered
depositional interface
Lithology of a bed may change laterally but
in an extremely gradual way

STRATA IDENTIFIED BY FOSSILS


(SMITH, 1816)
Modified Statement:
Strata can be distinguished by their
characteristic fossils (Woodford, 1935,
op.cit, p.5-6; Schenk, 1940, p. 1754-1755)

LAW OF FAUNAL SUCCESSION


(ABBE GIRAUD-SOULAVIE, 1777)
Statement of principle:
Fossil differs according to their geologic
ages (stratigraphic position); fossils in
lower formations are unlike those in higher
beds. Fossil floras and faunas succeed one
another in a definite and determinable
order (Anthony, 1955, p.89)

LAW OF FAUNAL
SUCCESSION
In a succession of strata units can be
identified by the specific assemblage of the
fauna of its fossil content top
The fauna of the fossil content resembles
closer to the modern fauna as one goes
toward the top
A geologic time scale can be established
based on the faunal succession.

UNCONFORMITIES

TIME-GAPS IN UNCONFORMITIES

STRATAL CONTINUITY AND


CORRELATION
Stenos Law of Stratal Continuity established that
strata or bed can be traced laterally indefinitely(?)
William Smiths Law established that a bed (ls, ss,
sh etc) can be identified in different sections by its
fossil content.. Correlation by fossil fauna
Correlation is essentially lateral tracing of beds
As bedding planes or stratal interface are
isochronous, correlation is interpreted as
establishing time relationships of strata

GREZZLYS CONCEPT OF FACIES

ELCAPITAN FACIES
CHANGES

ELCAPITAN AIRPHOTO

HORIZONTAL LATERAL
CONTINUITY
Steno, 1669)
Modified statement:
Law of Original Continuity:
The original continuity of water-laid sedimentary
strata is terminated only by pinching out against
the basin of deposition, at the time of their
deposition.
(Anthony, loc.op.cit, p.83)

LATERAL CONTINUITY VS
LATERAL TERMINATION
Stenos Law of Lateral Contintuity of strata:
Strata continues laterally except at the edge
of the depositional basin or being truncated
Sequence Stratigraphy Lateral Termination
of Strata: All strata terminates laterally by
lapping out towards the base as well
towards the top of the sequence boundary.

LATERAL TERMINATION OF
STRATA
Base-lapping
Down-lapping towards the open sea
On-lapping toward land

Top-lapping
Off-lapping

LATERAL TERMINATION OF STRATA

ORIGINAL
HORIZONTALITY
(STENO, 1669)
Statement of Principle: Dipping beds were once
horizontal (Woodford, 1935, p.3)
Modified Statement: Law of horizontality:
Sedimentary strata are laid down nearly
horizontally and essentially parallel to the
surface upon which they accumulate. (Anthony,
loc op cit., p.83)

CLINOFORM DEPOSITION

VERTICAL VS LATERAL
ACCUMULATION OF STRATA

STRATAL PATTERN OF
LATERAL ACCUMULATION

STRATAL PATTERN OF
PROGRADATION, RETROGRADATION
AND AGRADATION

BED AS BASIC LITHOLOGIC UNIT

Generally a uniform unit of lithology


Thickness varies from laminae to extremely
thick
Vertical boundaries of strata are considered
depositional interface
Lithology of a bed may change laterally but
in an extremely gradual way

THE NATURE OF VERTICAL


BOUNDARIES OF BEDS

GRADUAL OR TRANSITIONAL
ABRUPT OF SHARP
EROSIONAL
TRUNCATION
DISCONTINUITIES: gaps or breaks in
deposition are quite common in stratal
sequences:

Unconformities and stratal


discontunities

LATERAL TERMINATION OF STRATA

STRATAL PATTERN OF
LATERAL ACCUMULATION

STRATAL CONTINUITY AND


CORRELATION
Stenos Law of Stratal Continuity established that
strata or bed can be traced laterally indefinitely(?)
William Smiths Law established that a bed (ls, ss,
sh etc) can be identified in different sections by its
fossil content.. Correlation by fossil fauna
Correlation is essentially lateral tracing of beds
As bedding planes or stratal interface are
isochronous, correlation is interpreted as
establishing time relationships of strata

HORIZONTAL LATERAL
CONTINUITY
Steno, 1669)
Modified statement:
Law of Original Continuity:
The original continuity of water-laid sedimentary
strata is terminated only by pinching out against
the basin of deposition, at the time of their
deposition.
(Anthony, loc.op.cit, p.83)