A T-R Unit is an allocyclic transgressive-regressive unit. If you are like me, I had no idea what allocyclic meant. Transgressive is advancing, regressive is receding.
Allocyclic is simply an event/cycle that occurs over a depositional system that effects the entire system. Examples can be a sea level change, a climate change or some tectonic activity. For example, the rise in oxygen, sea levels and temperatures during the Pennsylvanian could be considered an allocyclic event.
Another variation, called autocyclic, is a localized change.
These T-R units are measured in orders of magnitude in a way. Most of the Pennsylvanian and part of the Permian time period is considered a second-order T-R unit.
Orders and Time
The magnitude, or order, of the T-R Unit also helps define a length of geological time. These are:
|Magnitude||Length of Time|
|1st-order||225 – 330 million years|
|2nd-order||65 million years|
|3rd-order||8 – 10 million years|
|4th-order||800 – 1500 thousand years|
|5th-order||400 – 450 thousand years|
|6th-order||100 – 225 thousand years|
The Glenshaw Formation is made up of 11-12 6th order T-R units, making the age about 5 million years old.
- 1984 Busch, R.M., Rollins, H.B., Correlation of Carboniferous strata using a hierarchy of transgressive-regressive units