Completeness of the geological record.
The completeness of a sedimentary section of known timespan may be assessed qualitatively by comparing its thickness with the average accumulation for that timespan. Average accumulations may be estimated from sediment volume and continental area data. Quantitative completeness estimation methods based on data compiled from the geological literature have been proposed, but we argue that the literature data are significantly biased and cannot support such methods. Interestingly, however, a comparison of the literature data and accumulation averages computed from sediment volume data suggests that the thickest known sections may be extremely complete.
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