Sedimentology explores the origin, transport, deposition and diagenetic alterations of the materials that compose sediments and sedimentary rocks. Stratigraphy investigates how those types of rocks are accumulated and distributed in space and time. The two disciplines are core components to other fields of geoscience research including paleobiology, geobiology, tectonics, paleoclimate, petroleum geology, Earth history, geochronology, thermochronology, deep time paleoceanography, and basin analysis.
We use fields sites and/or subsurface basins as our natural laboratories. We interrogate those materials as scales range from the microscopic to seismic. We employ varied analytical methods and often test ideas and concepts with quantitative numerical models. Areas of sedimentology and stratigraphy that currently motivate the research our faculty and students include: (i) mechanistic understanding of sediment formation, deposition, and lithification (particularly of carbonates and other chemical sedimentary rocks); (ii) analysis of terrestrial paleoenvironmental records to document and constrain the evolution of Earth’s ancient climates and landscapes; and (iii) integrated analysis of the regional sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of petroleum system and reservoirs, particularly deep-water margins and unconventional resources.