Thursday, February 18, 2010

Petrified Forest in PLoS ONE

Congratulations to Jeff Martz and Bill Parker on their latest publication in PLoS ONE! It's a wonderfully detailed description of the Sonsela Member of the Chinle Formation as exposed in Petrified Forest National Park.

This new paper resolves a number of niggling problems regarding this portion of the Chinle Formation. It has all sorts of implications for how we understand faunal turnover in the Triassic, among other things. And, the work is ridiculously reproducible! Every measured section has detailed GPS coordinates and photographs. . .contacts were walked out to the bitter end. Geology at its finest!

One of the advantages of an online publication like PLoS ONE is that there are no page limits and unlimited color figures. Jeff and Bill took full advantage of this - the PDF of their paper weighs in 26 pages of geological goodness, and that isn't counting the supplement of 29 pages of measured sections and dozens of megabytes of full-color, high resolution photographs. In short, it's a geological monograph.

Part of the Chinle Formation, with random geologist for scale. Modified from Figure 12 in Martz and Parker 2010.

Another neat thing about this paper is that it's one of the first strict geology papers published in PLoS ONE. With the groundswell of paleontology papers as of late, it's nice to see some geology making it into this major open access journal also. The authors deserve major kudos for their willingness to be guinea pigs.

For more about the paper, check out Bill's post at Chinleana. Or, you can read the whole article here. Do you have a comment or a question, or want to rate the paper? You can do all of that at the PLoS ONE website!

Martz, J.W., and W.G. Parker. 2010. Revised lithostratigraphy of the Sonsela Member (Chinle Formation, Upper Triassic) in the southern part of Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. PLoS ONE 5(2):e9329. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009329

[Full disclosure: I was the academic editor for this paper, and am a section editor for the journal]


220mya said...

Err, its the "Sonsela" Member (see first line of your post).

Jeffrey W. Martz, PhD said...

That is me in the photo. I am pretty random.

Andy said...

Got the spelling corrected.
I was pretty sure it was you, Jeff, but I didn't want to embarrass myself by saying it was you and then it turns out to be Randy Irmis or something. Or worse yet. . .(fill in the blank with anyone you wouldn't want to be confused with)

220mya said...

Jeff is clearly a way more dashing figure than I am...