Letter | Published:

Molecular stratigraphy

Naturevolume 254pages127129 (1975) | Download Citation

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Abstract

ORGANIC molecules contained in sediments were called ‘chemical fossils’ by Eglinton and Calvin1, and Calvin2 has used the term “molecular palaeontology” to emphasise the biological heritage of those components. They recognised the important concept that molecular organic components in sediments may be viewed in much the same way as morphological remains of organisms. Others have rigorously examined this concept and solidified its basis3–6. We report organic geochemical data on some Pleistocene sediments, correlated by physical stratigraphic methods, which indicate that the organic composition of sediments may be utilised as a correlation parameter comparable to morphological fossils in biostratigraphy. The samples we have chosen for study are lacustrine sediments from two Pleistocene basins of eastern California.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Geology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, 90024

    • WALTER E. REED
    •  & PAUL MANKIEWICZ

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https://doi.org/10.1038/254127a0

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