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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 68 (1984)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 519

Last Page: 519

Title: Order and Randomness in Sedimentary Sequences: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Dennis W. Powers


Sedimentary sequences show statistical evidence of Previous HitdependenceNext Hit between successive lithologies; no truly random sequence has been reported. Explicit, although idealized, models were examined to determine the sensitivity of chi-squared tests to both random and dependent components of a depositional system. A series of simple models with the following characteristics were tested.

P is the probability of transiting from one state to the next in an ideal system, q is the probability of returning (feedback) to an initiating state, and r is the probability of a random transition to any state (including that just exited). P + q + r = 1.0. While varying P, q, and r, I simulated the performance of the system and tested the resulting Previous HitfrequencyTop matrix against random models. P, that part attributed to a "cyclic" process, can be very small (about 0.1 or 0.2) and still result in significant differences from the random model. Even small contributions from a dependent process, superimposed on a largely random process, can cause the appearance of great order.

Permian Salado Formation beds exhibit values for P in the general range of 0.1-0.3 and, both visually and statistically, attain considerable order.

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