Stratigraphy is the key to understanding the geological evolution of the earth. It provides the framework for our interpretation of the sequences of events which have shaped the earth throughout its 4600 million years of existence. It provides the timescale with which we can determine the relative order of these events, and it provides the means whereby we can calibrate this using absolute ages in years. Stratigraphy is therefore the most fundamental subject in the science of geology, and all geologists are practising stratigraphers. Traditionally, however, stratigraphy has been considered as a ?Victorian? science, a ponderous process of the naming and cataloguing of innumerable geological units most of which are of limited interest outside of a given geographical region. This view has been challenged in recent years through the development of new techniques such as sequence stratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy which have greatly enhanced our capability to interpret earth history. In this book many of the leading practitioners of modern stratigraphy have been gathered together to provide up–to–date and authoritative reviews of most of the important advances in the subject. As such it is the only volume to provide a comprehensive treatment of modern stratigraphy at an advanced undergraduate level.
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