Quantitative Formulation of Reliability in Stratigraphic Correlation

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Science  25 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4186, pp. 357-359
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4186.357


The probability that two stratigraphic events are in a particular order in a section in which they occur in sequence is p. Because of finite sampling, statistical techniques are used to calculate the parameters p' and pl, which express the uncertainty of our knowledge of p; p' is the measured value of the maximum likelihood estimator of p and pl is the lower end point of the confidence interval on which p must lie. The most reliable sequence for stratigraphic correlation is obtained by maximizing the parameter p' (1-pl) between pairs of events.