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Graphic Correlation

Edited by K.O. Mann and H.R. Lane

This excellent publication is an outgrowth of a Graphic Correlation symposium organized by Keith Mann and H. Richard Lane during the 1993 meeting of the Northeastern Section of the GSA. It is the most recent publication on the graphic correlation method, with the purpose being to summarize the method, give an in-depth history of its application in industry and academia, and present examples of its use in geologic studies. The volume is divided into three parts: Part I--Introduction to Graphic Correlation; Part II--The Graphic Correlation Method; and Part III--Technical Applications of Graphic Correlation. Each section contains several articles that enlighten the reader on the various ways to apply the technique, the additional stratigraphic insight gained from using the method, and the pitfalls of misinterpreting the results.

Part I contains two papers on the history of graphic correlation and its evolution, from the original model to the current methodology utilized in academia and industry. The paper by Alan B. Shaw, the "father" of the graphic correlation method is an interesting account of the historical aspects of the method's growth within the industry.

Part II contains several excellent articles on the method itself. The first article, Carney and Pierce's contribution on "Graphic Correlation and Composite Standard Databases as Tools For the Exploration Biostratigrapher" provides both the novice and experienced stratigrapher with the tools and framework necessary to apply the technique. This paper has several great illustrations and "real-world" examples that help to show how the method is applied on exploration projects. The next four contributions deal with different aspects of estimating the line of correlation, the backbone of graphic correlation, and present several examples on the effect that the line of correlation has on relating stratigraphic sections. The last paper in this section by Neal, Stein, and Gamber gives an interesting account on integration of the graphic correlation method with a sequence stratigraphic study. Their examples from the North Sea demonstrate how seismic interpretations, well logs and biostratigraphic datums can be integrated to give a more precise and detailed understanding of the depositional history of an area and between depositional facies, e.g., shelf to basin.

Part III contains ten papers describing the application of the graphic correlation method in both academic and industrial studies. Several of the papers are based on using the method with fossil groups, e.g., conodonts and graptolites, in Paleozoic sections of North America and provide good examples on how composite standards can be used to interpolate between stratigraphic sections with incomplete biostratigraphic data. Other contributions are based on industry examples using the method to better tie microfossil distribution to other types of geologic data, well logs, oxygen isotopes, and depositional facies, in order to refine both the biochronology and relative stratigraphic correlations.

There are three indexes in the back of the volume: a general one, a stratigraphic one (listing zones found in the articles), and a taxonomic one (listing species and faunal groups). In addition, there is an impressive appendix on Graphic Correlation and Associated References compiled by the Mann and Pierce that lists over 200 articles. Both the indexes and references form a great reference for further studies.

This publication is an excellent reference book with several examples on the advantages and disadvantages of the method. It is well written and contains everything from instructions for using the graphic correlation method to examples of applications of the technique. The editors and contributors should be commended for putting the volume together. This publication is important for any geoscientist who wants to apply a quantitative stratigraphic approach to their projects or studies.

Unocal Corporation 14141 Southwest Freeway
Sugar Land, Texas 77478



Sedimentology and Stratigraphy,SEPM,Sequence Stratigraphy

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