Development and multi-operator calibration of a standardised palynofacies analysis technique

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Clowes, C.D.; Prebble, J.G.; Crouch, E.M.; Roncaglia, L. 2016 Development and multi-operator calibration of a standardised palynofacies analysis technique. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2016/19 47 p.; doi: 10.21420/G2SG6B

Abstract: This report presents the results of a project to develop and test a standard approach and criteria for palynofacies analysis. Palynofacies analysis is a palynological method of sedimentary depositional facies recognition. It is the study of all particulate organic matter recovered in a palynological assemblage, and can be used to reconstruct depositional histories of sedimentary rocks. The primary applications of palynofacies analysis are to provide information about depositional setting, thermal maturity, and petroleum source rock indetification. The need for a standard approach became apparent when a small pilot investigation revealed inter-operator inconsistencies in palynofacies results. A standard in-house taxonomy and methodology for palynofacies data collection has been established. It includes a digital image atlas (currently not available to the public, but being prepared for future release in the GNS Science Dataset series), taxonomic notes for 24 classes of particulates, and instructions for a standardised count procedure. Secondly, the results of a 15-sample 4-scientist inter-operator calibration study are reported. The results of the inter-operator calibration study show acceptable repeatability in the ability to differentiate between depositional environments using palynofacies analysis. It also explores the limits of what can realistically be achieved when multi-operator results are consolidated. (auth)