markov process model for deltaic stratigraphy
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What is the program?

The outcome of a simple project during the SIESD 2018, where we looked at the randomness of elevation change (dz/dt) in deltas. We used Markov Chains to model sequences of elevation changes in a stratigraphic column and converted these sequences to stratigraphy based on the concept of a "stratigraphic filter".

You can view a summary of the project on Andrew's blog here:

Summary of the modeling and results

We used the Tulane Delta Basin experiment 12-1 which has a constant Qw/Qs ratio and RSLR rate to inform our model.


Three models were produced: a purely random walk model, a Gaussian distributed Markov transition matrix, and a Markov transition matrix that was based on the observed elevation changes in the TDB-12-1 experiment.

unif gaus main

The result from a single realization of each model is below. The stratigraphic sequences are compared to random columns of stratigraphy pulled from the TDB-12-1 experiment (gray).


Downloading and running the program

The main source code all lives in src folder. You will need to obtain the data from the SEN website listed above, or ask the authors for a copy of the data formatted into a .mat file (it's too big to put on here...). If you format the data yourself, produce a 3D matrix with each cell where the x-y-z coordinates are time-across-along.

The files in src can then be run in sequence of:

  • preprocess.m
  • markov_matrix.m
  • markov_model.m