Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2021-39
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2021-39

  02 Dec 2021

02 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GChron.

sandbox – Creating and Analysing Synthetic Sediment Sections with R

Michael Dietze1, Sebastian Kreutzer2,3, Margret C. Fuchs4, and Sascha Meszner5 Michael Dietze et al.
  • 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.1 Geomorphology, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Geography & Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 3IRAMAT-CRP2A, UMR 5060, CNRS-Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Pessac, France
  • 4Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Freiberg, Germany
  • 5JENA-GEOS-Ingenieurbüro GmbH, Jena, Germany

Abstract. The majority of palaeoenvironmental information is inferred from proxy data contained in accretionary sediments, called geo-archives. The validity of proxy data and analysis workflows are usually assumed implicitly, with systematic tests and uncertainty estimates restricted to modern analogue studies or reduced-complexity case studies. However, a more generic and consistent approach to exploring the validity and variability of proxy functions would be to translate a given geo-archive into a model scenario: a "virtual twin". Here, we introduce a conceptual framework and numerical toolset that allows the definition and analysis of synthetic sediment sections. The R package sandbox describes arbitrary stratigraphically consistent deposits by depth-dependent rules and grain-specific parameters, allowing full scalability and flexibility. Virtual samples can be taken, resulting in discrete grain-mixtures with well-defined parameters. These samples can then be virtually prepared and analysed, for example to test hypotheses. We illustrate the concept of sandbox, explain how a sediment section can be mapped into the model and, by focusing on an exemplary field of application, we explore universal geochronological research questions related to the effects of sample geometry and grain-size specific age inheritance. We summarise further application scenarios of the model framework, relevant for but not restricted to the broader geochronological community.

Michael Dietze et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gchron-2021-39', Pieter Vermeesch, 15 Dec 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Michael Dietze, 16 Dec 2021 reply

Michael Dietze et al.

Michael Dietze et al.

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Short summary
To decipher the environmental conditions of our landscape's past, we typically analyse chemical properties of sediments that have been deposited through time. To which extent these properties can be used to infer past conditions, is a usually unknown. Here we introduce a model that allows us to resolve this question: sandbox is a collection of functions for the software R that allow to create, sample and analyse fully virtual sediment sections, like having a virtual twin of real world deposits.