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Insights on why graphic correlation (Shaw's method) works.

Journal of Geology

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Abstract

In 1964 A.B.Shaw presented a method of correlating fossilferous sedimentary rocks based on interpretation of graphic plots of first- and last-occurrences of taxa. Because there is no way to determine the true total ranges of fossil taxa, it is instructive to test the accuracy of the method using hypothetical datasets. The dataset used here consists of 16 taxa in six sections with differing known rates of rock accumulation. In all graphs, a single straight-line correlation was a reasonable interpretation. The resulting ranges after the first and third rounds of compositing reproduce the 'true' ranges but with small errors. Slight errors in the positioning of individual correlation lines are more likely to lengthen ranges artificially than to shorten them. Shaw's method works well because, whereas actually sampled ranges will be shorter than true ranges, errors in correlation will be likely to extend some ranges. This or any exercise using simulated data is useful only if the hypothetical situation resembles real geologic situations and if insights derived from the hypothetical dataset provide insights into real situations. The method is only as good as the available data. -Author

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Insights on why graphic correlation (Shaw's method) works.
Series title:
Journal of Geology
Volume
92
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1984
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
583
Last page:
597
Number of Pages:
15