Autogenic dynamics and self-organization in sedimentary systems are increasingly viewed as significant and important processes that drive erosion, sediment transport, and sediment accumulation across the Earth’s surface. These internal dynamics can dramatically modulate the formation of the stratigraphic record, form biologically constructed depositional packages, affect ecological patterning in time and space, and impact aspects of geochemical sedimentation and diagenesis. The notion that autogenic processes are local phenomena of short duration and distance is now recognized as false. Understanding autogenic dynamics in sedimentary systems is thus essential for deciphering the morphodynamics of modern sedimentary systems, accurately reconstructing Earth history, and predicting the spatial and temporal distribution of sedimentary and paleobiologic features in the stratigraphic record. The 13 papers in the publication, Autogenic Dynamics and Self-Organization in Sedimentary Systems, present exciting new ideas and research related to sedimentology, stratigraphy, ecology, paleobiology, sedimentary geochemistry, and diagenesis. Five papers summarize the current state of thinking about autogenic processes, products, and patterns in fluvial–deltaic, eolian, and carbonate depositional systems, and in paleobiologic and geochemical contexts. A second group of papers provides perspectives derived from numerical modeling and laboratory experiments. The final section consists of field studies that explore autogenic processes and autogenically modulated stratigraphy in five case studies covering modern and ancient fluvial, deltaic, and shelf settings. These papers should stimulate further research into how self-organization might promote a better understanding of the sedimentary record.
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