Honors Theses


Daniel Goldman, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


The correlation of rock units is the foundation of geological research. Correlation is the process of proving two geologic events are time equivalent. Most importantly, it is used to establish time boundaries in the geologic time scale. This paper uses computer assisted graphic correlation (CONOP9) to correlate the ages of graptolites and conodonts from the Ordovician found in rocks from the continent Laurentia, and arranges them in a composite range chart. These two organisms lived in different environments and, therefore, are found in different biofacies. The Argentine Precordillera and the western Newfoundland region are places where these two fossils co-exist in rocks from Laurentia. The computer program, CONOP9 (constrained optimization), utilizes the method of simulated annealing to create a composite range chart. The range chart is used to analyze the relationship between conodonts and graptolites and to establish the viability of using CONOP9 to compare two different biofacies. The CONOP9 results show that correlation between graptolites and conodonts was only partially successful. The results reveal that the rocks in western Newfoundland are better suited for correlation due to the interleaving of different biofaces.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research



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