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On the visualisation of detrital age distributions

Vermeesch, Pieter (2012) On the visualisation of detrital age distributions. Chemical Geology 312-31 , pp. 190-194. ISSN 0009-2541.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.04.021

Abstract

Since the development of SIMS and LA-ICP-MS technology in the 1980s and 1990s, single grain U-Pb dating of detrital zircon has quickly become the most popular technique for sedimentary provenance studies. Currently by far the most widespread method for visualising detrital age distributions is the so-called Probability Density Plot (PDP), which is calculated by summing a number of Gaussian distributions whose means and standard deviations correspond to the individual ages and their respective analytical uncertainties. Unfortunately, the PDP lacks a firm theoretical basis and can produce counter-intuitive results when data quantity (number of analyses) and/or quality (precision) is high. As a more robust alternative to the PDP, this paper proposes a standard statistical technique called Kernel Density Estimation (KDE), which also involves summing a set of Gaussian distributions, but does not explicitly take into account the analytical uncertainties. The Java-based DensityPlotter program (http://densityplotter.london-geochron.com) was developed with the aim to facilitate the adoption of KDE plots in the context of detrital geochronology.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): provenance, statistics, zircon, geochronology, U-Pb, density estimation
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2012 13:59
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:23
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4737

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