A graphic method for depicting basin evolution and changes in the dominant hydrodynamic process from paleocurrent data

Domenico Chiarella, Dario Gioia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paleocurrent data measured on depositional elements and sedimentary
structures (e.g., channels, cross-strata) are commonly utilized in the descrip-
tion of sedimentary strata. Paleocurrent data provide information about the
depositional setting and in some cases can be useful for immediately detecting
specific depositional processes (e.g., herringbone cross-strata for bimodal tidal
currents). The typical graphical representation used to report paleocurrent
data is the rose diagram. However, rose diagrams are not able to disclose all
information contained in paleocurrent data, limiting the potentiality of such a
representation method. In particular, there is presently no method to highlight
changes in the paleogeographic configuration that can ultimately have an
impact on the evolution of depositional processes and paleocurrent direction
through time. Here, we present a graphic method that permits instant visual-
ization of anomalies in paleocurrent distributions of the stratigraphic record
that can be linked to changes in the paleogeography due to tectonic evolution
or in the dominant hydrodynamic process. It is important to highlight that the
proposed method does not aspire to replace rose diagrams but to provide an
additional tool to be used before and in combination with rose diagrams in
order to extrapolate as much information as possible from paleocurrent data.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date5 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Nov 2021

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