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New Book Integrates Wealth of Data on Continental-Margin Sedimentation

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Cover of new book.
Above: Cover of new book. [larger version]

The region known as the continental margin extends from coastal plains and mountains across shorelines to shallow continental shelves and deeper continental slopes and rises. Events in this region—including sudden occurrences, such as landslides and tsunamis, and long-term processes, such as sedimentation and erosion—have great impacts on humans because so many people live near the coastal ocean and depend on its bountiful resources. Both terrestrial and marine processes operate in this region, making the sedimentary strata that form here an especially rich record of Earth history.

These strata and the processes that affect them are the subject of a new book, Continental Margin Sedimentation—From Sediment Transport to Sequence Stratigraphy, published by Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., for the International Association of Sedimentologists.

Released in July 2007, the new book is an outgrowth of the STRATAFORM (STRATA FORmation on Margins) program funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) and begun in 1994. Participants in this program, including many in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), sought to understand how ongoing physical and biological processes affect what gets preserved in the geologic record and, therefore, how preserved strata can be used to unravel Earth history.

"We all learned a lot from STRATAFORM," said USGS scientist Homa Lee, lead author of one of the chapters of the new book, "and we now run our own projects differently, integrating studies of processes—measurements of current speeds and suspended sediment, for example—with studies of the geologic record—such as core samples and seismic images of strata beneath the sea floor."

Like Lee, many contributors to Continental Margin Sedimentation are current or former members of the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program, including Mike Field (USGS Pacific Science Center), who is also one of the book's editors.

According to Field, "The volume centers on, but goes well beyond, the pioneering results of the STRATAFORM Program. Many of us in the USGS feel fortunate to have been involved with such a landmark study, guided by the vision of ONR's Joe Kravitz. Continental margins are receiving increasing attention from marine scientists and managers, and we anticipate that this book will serve as a keystone for the next level of advancement in continental-margin science."

The full citation for the new volume is Nittrouer, C.A., Austin, J.A., Field, M.E., Kravitz, J.H., Syvitski, J.P.M, and Wiberg, P.L., eds., Continental margin sedimentation—from sediment transport to sequence stratigraphy: Blackwell Publishing, International Association of Sedimentologists Special Publication 37, 549 p. Additional information, including a detailed table of contents, is available online at URL http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref=9781405169349.

Related Web Sites
Book Information for Continental Margin Sedimentation From Sediment Transport to Sequence Stratigraphy
Blackwell Publishing
The STRATAFORM Project: U.S. Geological Survey Geotechnical Studies - USGS Open-File Report 01-190
USGS (U.S. Geological Survey)

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cover story:
Submarine Ground Water on Maryland's Eastern Shore

Outreach ISIS Teachers Visit Wood's Hole

Meetings DOI Officials Visit Federal Lands Affected by 2005 Hurricanes

Coastal Sediments '07 Conference

Awards USGS Researcher and Academic Collaborator Win Best Paper Award

Honoring the Commitment to Excellence

Staff Pete Swarzenski Joins Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team

Erinn Muller Receives Master's Degree

Publications New Book on Contintental-Margin Sedimentation

August Publications List

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