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This document provides a record of the discussions conducted by the Geological Observations and Parameterizations (GOP) group, which sought to define and address important questions concerning the parameterization of geological observations for use in stratigraphic simulations. The discussions of this group, which was intermittently composed of a combination of model-building, model-using, and nonmodeling geologists, centered on the type and quality of common geological observations, the scales of these observations, and the accurate representation of observations in geological models. The underlying concerns were whether all relevant processes are accounted for in existing models, and whether modelers are using the available models correctly, inputting realistic values and ranges of values at the proper scales.

Our fundamental questions include the following: How closely is the variability of geological observations reflected in stratigraphic models? If such variability is well represented within a model, how well does a simulation predict away from points of control? If it does not do this well, is it the input parameters that are not reflecting the natural variability of the system, or does the fault lie with the model itself? If the model itself is the limiting factor, how well do we really need to constrain input parameters? How well do we understand the nonlinear characteristics of natural systems, and how are these characteristics introduced into models?

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