Build-and-Fill Sequences: Predictable Patterns of Creation and Destruction of Paleotopography in Small-Scale Sequences

Evan K. Franseen, Kansas Geological Survey and
Robert H. Goldstein, University of Kansas

Open-File Report 2004-16


To evaluate controls on small-scale sequences (up to tens of m) deposited during ice-house periods that maintain similar thickness throughout wide geographic areas despite draping topography and containing facies that both build and fill relief.


Expect build-and-fill sequences to develop during periods of high frequency-high amplitude sea-level fluctuations when carbonate production is not optimal.

Build-and-fill sequences form in the build-and-fill zone, in middle ramp/shelf settings that lie between highstand and lowstand positions.

Build-and-fill sequence architecture may be predictable given knowledge of the sea-level history, paleotopography, and controls on sediment production and dispersal.

Many shallow-water carbonate facies fill low areas as opposed to building relief on paleohighs.

Siliciclastics can fill or build relief.

The alternation of building and filling processes during a single sea-level cycle produces a thin widespread sequence with complex internal architecture.

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Last updated May 2004