Recurrent hierarchical patterns and the fractal distribution of fossil localities
Roy E. Plotnick
Published on April 2017, First Published on January 23, 2017
Understanding the spatial structure of fossil localities is critical for interpreting Earth system processes based on their geographic distribution. Coordinates of marine and terrestrial sites in the conterminous United States for 17 time bins were analyzed using point pattern statistics. Lacunarity analysis shows that the spatial distributions of sites are fractal for almost every studied interval, indicating that clumping of localities occurs at multiple scales. Random hierarchical multiplicative processes provide a theoretical null model for the distribution of collecting sites, consistent with their occurrence being a complex product of numerous biological, geological, and anthropogenic processes acting at many spatial and temporal scales. Mechanistic models for the formation, preservation, and exposure of fossil localities and other geologic entities can be tested using point pattern and related spatial statistics.
FREE PDF GRATIS: Geology