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Option 5 - Advanced Topics in Sedimentary Geology and Stratigraphy

This is the suggested reading list for Option 5 (2018-19), Sedimentary Geology and Stratigraphy, lectured by Neil Davies.

General Reading

  • Buatois, Luis A., and M. Gabriela Mángano. 2018. “The Other Biodiversity Record: Innovations in Animal-Substrate Interactions through Geologic Time.” GSA Today, October, 4–10.
  • Davies, Neil S., and Anthony P. Shillito. 2018. “Incomplete but Intricately Detailed: The Inevitable Preservation of True Substrates in a Time-Deficient Stratigraphic Record.” Geology 46 (8): 679–82.
  • Dorgan, K. M. 2015. “The Biomechanics of Burrowing and Boring.” Journal of Experimental Biology 218 (2): 176–83.
  • Dorgan, Kelly, Peter Jumars, Bruce Johnson, and Bernard Boudreau. 2006. Macrofaunal Burrowing: The Medium Is the Message. Vol. 44.
  • Furlani, Stefano, and Andrea Ninfo. 2015. “Is the Present the Key to the Future?” Earth-Science Reviews 142 (March): 38–46.
  • Gretener, P.E., 1967. Significance of the rare event in geology. AAPG Bulletin, 51(11), pp.2197-2206.
  • This should be available in the library, but the abstract is available online and gives you an idea of why event
  • stratigraphy is discussed.
  • Immenhauser, Adrian. 2009. “Estimating Palaeo-Water Depth from the Physical Rock Record.” Earth-Science Reviews 96 (1–2): 107–39.
  • *Kleinhans, Maarten G., Chris J. J. Buskes, and Henk W. de Regt. 2010. “Philosophy of Earth Science.” In Philosophies of the Sciences, edited by Fritz Allhoff, 213–36. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • McMahon, William J., and Davies, Neil S. 2018. “The shortage of geological evidence for pre‐vegetation meandering rivers. Fluvial Meanders and Their Sedimentary Products in the Rock Record” In: Ghinassi, M. et al. (Eds.), Fluvial Meanders and Their Sedimentary Products in the Rock Record, International Association of Sedimentologists, Special Publications, Vol. 48, Wiley, p. 119-148.
  • Miall, Andrew D. 2016. “The Valuation of Unconformities.” Earth-Science Reviews 163 (December): 22–71.
  • *Peters, Shanan E., and Jon M. Husson. 2017. “Sediment Cycling on Continental and Oceanic Crust.” Geology 45 (4): 323–26.
  • Ronov, A.B., V.E. Khain, A.N. Balukhovsky, and K.B. Seslavinsky. 1980. “Quantitative Analysis of Phanerozoic Sedimentation.” Sedimentary Geology 25 (4): 311–25.
  • *Tipper, John C. 2015. “The Importance of Doing Nothing: Stasis in Sedimentation Systems and Its Stratigraphic Effects.” Geological Society, London, Special Publications 404 (1): 105–22.
  • Van Wagoner, J. C., D. C. J. D. Hoyal, N. L. Adair, T. Sun, R. T. Beaubouef, M. Deffenbaugh, P. A. Dunn, C. Huh, and D. Li. 2003. “Energy Dissipation and the Fundamental Shape of Siliciclastic Sedimentary Bodies.” Search and Discovery Article #40080.
  • Veizer, J., and F.T. Mackenzie. 2014. “Evolution of Sedimentary Rocks.” In Treatise on Geochemistry, 399–435. Elsevier.

Short Presentations

  1. Wizevich, M.C., Ahern, J. and Meyer, C.A., 2019. The Triassic of southwestern Switzerland–Marine or non-marine, that is the question!. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 514, pp.577-592. 
  2. Baker, V.R., Hamilton, C.W., Burr, D.M., Gulick, V.C., Komatsu, G., Luo, W., Rice Jr, J.W. and Rodriguez, J.A.P., 2015. Fluvial geomorphology on Earth-like planetary surfaces: a review. Geomorphology, 245, pp.149-182. 
  3. Marenco, K.N. and Hagadorn, J.W., 2019. Big bedding planes: Outcrop size and spatial heterogeneity influence trace fossil analyses. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 513, pp.14-24. 
  4. Kemp, D.B., Eichenseer, K. and Kiessling, W., 2015. Maximum rates of climate change are systematically underestimated in the geological record. Nature communications, 6, p.8890. AND Kemp, D.B. and Sexton, P.F., 2014. Time-scale uncertainty of abrupt events in the geologic record arising from unsteady sedimentation. Geology, 42(10), pp.891-894.
  5. Perron, J.T., 2017. Climate and the pace of erosional landscape evolution. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 45, pp.561-591. 
  6. Gani, M.R., 2017. Mismatch Between Time Surface and Stratal Surface in Stratigraphy. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 87(11), pp.1226-1234. 
  7. Retallack, G.J., 2019. Interflag sandstone laminae, a novel sedimentary structure, with implications for Ediacaran paleoenvironments. Sedimentary Geology, 379, pp.60-76.
  8. Kocurek, G. and Day, M., 2018. What is preserved in the aeolian rock record? A Jurassic Entrada Sandstone case study at the Utah–Arizona border. Sedimentology, 65(4), pp.1301-1321.
  9. Nyberg, B. and Howell, J.A., 2015. Is the present the key to the past? A global characterization of modern sedimentary basins. Geology, 43(7), pp.643-646.
  10. Antonelli, A., Kissling, W.D., Flantua, S.G., Bermúdez, M.A., Mulch, A., Muellner-Riehl, A.N., Kreft, H., Linder, H.P., Badgley, C., Fjeldså, J. and Fritz, S.A., 2018. Geological and climatic influences on mountain biodiversity. Nature Geoscience, 11(10), p.718.
  11. Tarhan, L.G., 2018. Phanerozoic shallow marine sole marks and substrate evolution. Geology, 46(9), pp.755-758. AND Herringshaw, L.G., Callow, R.H. and McIlroy, D., 2017. Engineering the Cambrian explosion: the earliest bioturbators as ecosystem engineers. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 448, 369-382.
  12. Waters, C.N., Zalasiewicz, J., Summerhayes, C., Barnosky, A.D., Poirier, C., Gałuszka, A., Cearreta, A., Edgeworth, M., Ellis, E.C., Ellis, M. and Jeandel, C., 2016. The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene. Science, 351(6269), p. 2622.





  • *Paola, C., Ganti, V., Mohrig, D., Runkel, A.C. and Straub, K.M., 2018. Time not our time: Physical controls on the preservation and measurement of geologic time. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 46, pp.409-438.
  • Ager, D.V., 1995. The new catastrophism: the importance of the rare event in geological history. Cambridge University Press. This short book is in the library.
  • *Sadler, P.M., 1981. Sediment accumulation rates and the completeness of stratigraphic sections. The Journal of Geology, 89(5), pp.569-584.
  • Dott, R.H., 1983. Episodic sedimentation; how normal is average? How rare is rare? Does it matter?. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 53(1), pp.5-23.



  • Tipper, J.C., 2016. Measured rates of sedimentation: What exactly are we estimating, and why? Sedimentary geology, 339, pp.151-171.
  • *Miall, A.D., 2014. Updating uniformitarianism: stratigraphy as just a set of ‘frozen accidents’. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 404, pp.404-4.
  • Runkel, A.C., Miller, J.F., McKay, R.M., Palmer, A.R. and Taylor, J.F., 2008, The record of time in cratonic interior strata: does exceptionally slow subsidence necessarily result in exceptionally poor stratigraphic completeness? Geological Association of Canada Special Paper, v. 48, p. 341-362. This paper is in a book in the library.
  • Archer, A.W., Elrick, S., Nelson, W.J. and Dimichele, W.A., 2016, March. Cataclysmic burial of Pennsylvanian Period coal swamps in the Illinois Basin: Hypertidal sedimentation during Gondwanan glacial melt-water pulses. In Contributions to Modern and Ancient Tidal Sedimentology: Proceedings of the Tidalites 2012 Conference: International Association of Sedimentologists Special Publication (Vol. 47, pp. 217-231).



  • *Dietrich, W.E. and Perron, J.T., 2006. The search for a topographic signature of life. Nature, 439(7075), p.411.
  • Phillips, J.D., 2016. Landforms as extended composite phenotypes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41(1), pp.16-26.
  • Beerling, D.J. and Butterfield, N.J., 2012. Plants and Animals as Geobiological Agents. Fundamentals of Geobiology, 188-204.
  • Jones, C.G., Lawton, J.H. and Shachak, M., 1994. Organisms as ecosystem engineers. In Ecosystem management (pp. 130-147). Springer, New York, NY.
  • Trimble, S.W. and Mendel, A.C., 1995. The cow as a geomorphic agent—a critical review. Geomorphology, 13(1-4), pp.233-253. If cows can influence geomorphology, did dinosaurs leave a similar signature in Mesozoic strata? (There is a second paper on Moodle that has a couple of relevant paragraphs on this: Shillito & Davies 2019, Section 4.3).



  • McMahon, S., Bosak, T., Grotzinger, J.P., Milliken, R.E., Summons, R.E., Daye, M., Newman, S.A., Fraeman, A., Williford, K.H. and Briggs, D.E.G., 2018. A Field Guide to Finding Fossils on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
  • McLennan, S.M., Grotzinger, J.P., Hurowitz, J.A. and Tosca, N.J., 2019. The sedimentary cycle on Early Mars. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
  • Grotzinger, J.P., Hayes, A.G., Lamb, M.P. and McLennan, S.M., 2013. Sedimentary processes on Earth,
  • Mars, Titan, and Venus. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets, 1, pp.439-472.
  • Baucon, A., De Carvalho, C.N., Barbieri, R., Bernardini, F., Cavalazzi, B., Celani, A., Felletti, F., Ferretti, A., Schönlaub, H.P., Todaro, A. and Tuniz, C., 2017. Organism-substrate interactions and astrobiology: Potential, models and methods. Earth-science reviews, 171, pp.141-180.
  • Davies, N.S., Liu, A.G., Gibling, M.R. and Miller, R.F., 2018. Reply to comment on the paper by Davies et al. “Resolving MISS conceptions and misconceptions: A geological approach to sedimentary surface textures generated by microbial and abiotic processes” (Earth Science Reviews, 154 (2016), 210–246). Earth-Science Reviews, 176, 384-386.



  • Allen, P.A., 2008. From landscapes into geological history. Nature, 451(7176), p.274.
  • *Hajek, E.A. and Straub, K.M., 2017. Autogenic sedimentation in clastic stratigraphy. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 45, pp.681-709.
  • Romans, B.W., Castelltort, S., Covault, J.A., Fildani, A. and Walsh, J.P., 2016. Environmental signal propagation in sedimentary systems across timescales. Earth-Science Reviews, 153, pp.7-29.
  • Jerolmack, D.J. and Paola, C., 2010. Shredding of environmental signals by sediment transport. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(19).



  • Husson, J.M. and Peters, S.E., 2018. Nature of the sedimentary rock record and its implications for Earth system evolution. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, 2, 125-136.
  • Cawood, P.A., Hawkesworth, C.J. and Dhuime, B., 2013. The continental record and the generation of continental crust. Bulletin, 125(1-2), pp.14-32.
  • Holland, S.M., 2016. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1699), p.20150130.
  • Keller, C.B., Husson, J.M., Mitchell, R.N., Bottke, W.F., Gernon, T.M., Boehnke, P., Bell, E.A., Swanson-Hysell, N.L. and Peters, S.E., 2019. Neoproterozoic glacial origin of the Great Unconformity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(4), pp.1136-1145.
  • Smith, A.B. and McGowan, A.J., 2007. The shape of the Phanerozoic marine palaeodiversity curve: how much can be predicted from the sedimentary rock record of Western Europe?. Palaeontology, 50.