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An unconventional application of traditional similarity coefficients, the similarity curve, is presented to assist in the identification and interpretation of stratigraphic discontinuities. Similarity curves are generated for an entire stratigraphic sequence by comparing each sample to the sample immediately above it in stratigraphic sequence. Similarity coefficients are calculated for each sample pair on the basis of their contained foraminiferal assemblages, and a similarity curve is then generated for the stratigraphic section. By examining the breaks in these curves and comparing the total assemblage similarity curve to similarity curves generated individually for planktonic and benthic groups, we interpret candidates for discontinuities from a well in the Gulf of Mexico. Furthermore, we discuss these discontinuities and relate them to factors such as potential sea-level change, changes in sedimentation locus, and dissolution effects.

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