In this study, paleoecologic interpretations have been baaed on regional and local stratigraphy,bed geometry, lithic succession, petrology/petrography, and macro- and microfauna. Stratigraphic and palepecplogic conclusions are strongly interactive. Initial paleoecologic conclusions are strongly interactive. Initial paleoecologic interpretations must employ, among other things the best available stratigraphic information. Once the general paleoecologic framework: becomes established, stratigraphic interpretations can be tested against the environmental picture. For example, if at one locality the eptire thickness of a marine interval is considered to have been deposited under extreme nearshore conditions, it Is not logical to expect the same marine interval to have been, formed under totally nearshore conditions over an extensive geographic area. Conversely, a series of scattered isolated, Iithologically similar outcrops each with a totally nearshore fauna predicts, that the rodcs are not, products of the same marine episode
Paleoecologic studies probably overemphasize two factors of ancient environments, water depth and substrate. Depth, is the single most important controlling factor for modern marine Invertebrates as a group, but this importance is lessened considerably if the bathymetric range Involved is compressed from several hundreds of meters to ten meters or so. Many "depth" conclusions in recent paleoecologic literature prove to be energy classifications, relative to wave base (sensu. Rich, 1951a). Substrate, is also probably overemphasized because it Is the one tangible and virtually reproducible aspect of every ancient environment, and the only one that can be observed directly at the present time.