About This Item
Share This Item
Deltas are zones of interaction between fluvial and marine processes, and their deposits are transitional between terrestrial-alluvial and open-marine sediments. Initial inspection of a deltaic sedimentary wedge suggests the presence of a hopelessly complex interfingering sequence of beds; however, closer examination reveals an orderly arrangement of environmentally determined facies. In vertical sequence predictable progradational and transgressive sequences can be recognized and related to cyclic growth and deterioration of the delta system. Areal distribution of facies can be related best to three major components of the delta: the upper deltaic plain, lower deltaic plain, and subaqueous delta. Marginal deltaic basins and marginal deltaic plains also may be developed a "appendices" to the delta. Within this gross framework distinctive facies assemblages are recognizable, reflecting different environmental conditions in both modern and ancient deltas; i.e., the assemblage of environments and resulting lithofacies and biofacies within any major component is different in each delta and depends on such factors as climate, tectonic activity, nature and quantity of transported load, tidal influence, sea-state conditions, etc. With this working concept it is no longer essential to search for modern analogs to each deltaic sequence found in ancient rocks, but rather a flexible delta model may be developed which will accommodate all variations in nature and intensity of processes acting on the delta. Utilizing such a process-form model, examples of modern delt ic facies and ancient rock counterparts can be analyzed.
End_of_Article - Last_Page 712------------