Sedimentary Systems

Submarine canyon on the continental shelf offshore the Biobío River, Chile
Submarine canyon on the continental shelf offshore the Biobío River, Chile

 

 

Our research focuses on how sediments and sedimentary rocks record Earth-surface processes across a broad range of temporal and spatial scales. The ultimate goal is to discover how marine clastic sedimentary successions relate to past tectonic activity, climatic perturbations, sea-level changes, oceanic conditions, and intrinsic controls of the depositional system. Understanding the extent to which erosional landscape evolution influences the evolution of its linked depositional system at various spatial and temporal scales is crucial for comprehending and predicting:

  1. timing, magnitude, and spatial extent of erosion and deposition of clastic sediment; 
  2. present and past transport of sediment, pollutants, nutrients, and organic carbon from the continent to the ocean sink and its response to extreme events (e.g., earthquakes, storms, monsoonal pulses); 
  3. the informed interpretation of ancient sedimentary successions;
  4. geohazards (e.g., seafloor infrastructure, location/ magnitude of submarine mass wasting events (tsunami prediction), paleoseismological archives); and
  5. the development and exploration of hydrocarbon systems;

There is a paucity of analyses of entire natural sediment dispersal systems, including their terrestrial and submarine components, over geomorphologically significant time scales.

Currently the following research topics are covered:

  • Sedimentology, characterization and temporal development of continental and marine sedimentary systems
  • Earth Surface Processes
  • Sediment budgets
  • Submarine sediment transport and depositional processes
  • Submarine mass movements
  • Paleoseismology using sedimentary archives

Regional focus of Sedimentary Systems research

Alps (Molasse Basin), Chile, West Sumatra