New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.Paleontology, the study of fossil organisms and their traces, has been used in the exploration for and exploitation of hydrocarbons since the later half of the nineteenth century.Because fossil assemblages change through time, they aid in the prediction of depth to reservoirs, to casing points, and to overpressured zones.Fossil tops and bases may be synchronous in sections where the strata record continuous deposition and where suitable environmental conditions persisted.
Understanding modern biodiversity and extinction threats is important.
Chronostratigraphic assemblages are the basis for correlating strata among wells, across basins, and between basins.
Correlation is the method for predicting the lateral continuity and physical and chronostratigraphic equivalency of strata.
Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.