Numerical stratigraphic modelling of the impact of paleoclimate changes on earthscape evolution and sedimentary basin stratigraphy is of great value to better understand and predict the impact of global warming and increasingly frequent extreme events on the environment. To illustrate the contribution of stratigraphic modelling, we propose a modular model, ArcaDES (a.k.a. Dionisos), able to simulate geological processes in 3D on large scales of space and times (tens to hundreds of kilometres, and thousands to tens of millions of years).
ArcaDES is a 3D software written in C++ and implemented within the Arcane object-oriented high-performance computing platform co-developed by the CEA and IFPEN. This modular code includes three main components to handle hydrology, accommodation space and sediment transport. Taking into account precipitation, evaporation and soil infiltration capacity, the first component calculates steady-state runoff, surface and ground water flows, and water table elevation. The second component considers tectonic subsidence and uplift, flexure, sea level variations and sediment compaction to define the accommodation space. The third component deals with time-averaged physical laws describing erosion, transport by fluvial and marine currents, and deposition of sediments from fluvial to deep-marine systems to calculate sediment distribution and stratigraphic architecture.
This stratigraphic forward model is applied to two case studies: the Congo basin and the Alboran sea, to illustrate the impact of the last Holocene glaciations on the deep-sea fan of the Congo and the contouritic systems in the Alboran Sea.