Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Ocean & Earth Sciences

Committee Director

Donald J. P. Swift

Committee Member

George F. Oertel

Committee Member

John M. Klinck

Committee Member

Alan W. Niedoroda


This treatise represents a contribution of quantitative, dynamical sedimentary modeling to the analytical understanding of sedimentary processes in shallow marine environments. The dynamical sedimentary models in this treatise numerically simulate the sedimentary processes from an event time scale, based on the fundamental physics of sediment dynamics in coastal and shelf depositional environments, to a longer, facies time scale. The simulated geologic processes serve to the illustrate shoreface equilibrium profile, shelf storm bed generation, and the shelf sedimentary facies system.

This treatise presents a nearshore profile evolution model for the abandoned Huanghe Delta, a two-dimensional storm deposition model, and a sedimentary facies model for the northern California continental shelf. These process-oriented geologic simulations are particularly well-suited for experimentation and sensitivity analysis because of their computational power. The dynamical sedimentary models support the progressive sorting and stratal condensation hypotheses for facies formation. The application of the models leads to significant geologic insights and dynamical understanding of the shallow marine sedimentary processes that traditional, descriptive sedimentology and stratigraphy are not able to provide.


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