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Combining variations of vitrinite reflectance with depth and burial history information enables estimation of the paleoheat flux-time derivative, ß. In the presence of an unconformity, the residual r.m.s. fit of the paleoheat flux to the observed data is significantly improved when the unconformity thickness (h) is allowed to be a free variable. A best unconformity thickness that minimizes the residual r.m.s. fit to ß can be determined, providing a new method of determining simultaneously paleoheat flux and unconformity thickness.
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