Articles | Volume 5, issue 1
Short communication/technical note
17 May 2023
Short communication/technical note |  | 17 May 2023

Short communication: The Wasserstein distance as a dissimilarity metric for comparing detrital age spectra and other geological distributions

Alex Lipp and Pieter Vermeesch

Data sets

AlexLipp/detrital-wasserstein: Acceptance (1.0) Alex Lipp

Short summary
We propose using the Wasserstein-2 distance (W2) as an alternative to the widely used Kolmogorov–Smirnov (KS) statistic for analysing distributional data in geochronology. W2 measures the horizontal distance between observations, while KS measures vertical differences in cumulative distributions. Using case studies, we find that W2 is preferable in scenarios where the absolute age differences in observations provide important geological information. W2 has been added to the R package IsoplotR.