Ordered hierarchy versus scale invariance in sequence stratigraphy
200 x 10(6) years) are symmetrical transgressive- regressive cycles. However, the sequence record in the range of 1 x 10(4)-200 x 10(6) years, the principal domain of sequence stratigraphy, shows a rather irregular succession of sequences with variable symmetry and bounded by flooding surfaces or exposure surfaces. For these time scales, scale-invariant models are a good first approximation, particularly because the evidence for scale-invariance and randomness in the stratigraphic record is strong: Frequency spectra of sea-level change as well as rates of sedimentation and rates of accommodation change plotted against length of observation span show basic trends indistinguishable from random walk. These trends, combined with scale-invariant sequence models may be the most efficient tools for across-the-board predictions on sequences and for locating islands of order in the sequence record.