Subsidence may be the effect of local tectonic activity or sediment loading. The latter occurs when the weight of overlying sediment exceeds the resistive strength of the underlying strata. This results in supportive yielding and subsequent subsidence. Effectively, this situation increases the depth of the water column overlying the subsided section, a situation similar to a rise in sea level except on a very local scale. The local carbonate productivity and sedimentation rates will be affected in ways similar to an increase in base level depending on the rate of subsidence. Generally, the rate of subsidence from sediment loading is slow enough for the carbonate factory to keep up with the resulting water deepening, however some tectonic processes may result in platform drowning. For further information see Sea Level Changes, Water Depth, and eustatic Responses.
Index to carbonate shelf sediments