Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 09 Issue 03

View Issue TOC
Volume 09, No. 3
Pages 146 - 152


STRATAFORM: A Program to Study the Creation and Interpretation of Sedimentary Strata on Continental Margins

Charles A. Nittrouer Joseph H. Kravitz
First Paragraph

Continental margins are complex regions of the Earth, because they are the interface between terrestrial and marine environments. Many natural processes occurring on land or in the ocean combine to influence continental margins. Commonly, these processes are accentuated on margins; for example: fluvial discharge reaches its maximum at river mouths: many physical oceanographic processes (e.g., tides, surface gravity waves) are intensified by shallowing water depths. Consequently, the processes affecting the fate of sedimentary particles are diverse and energetic, and superposition (often with nonlinear coupling) of relevant processes makes stratigraphic investigation difficult. However, such investigation is worth the effort, because the record of processes operating on continental margins is frequently preserved in the strata formed at the seabed. Therefore the history for many of the events influencing the Earth (both on land and in the ocean) can be unraveled by carefully documenting and accurately interpreting sedimentary strata on continental margins. Accomplishing this for two distinctly different study areas—northern California and New Jersey—is a general goal of the STRATAFORM program.


Nittrouer, C.A., and J.H. Kravitz. 1996. STRATAFORM: A program to study the creation and interpretation of sedimentary strata on continental margins. Oceanography 9(3):146–152, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1996.01.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.