An initial visualization of the data set in question is strongly to be recommended in many types of geological data analysis. Such visualization— which generally involves nothing more elaborate than the drawing of a few simple graphs and cross-plots—commonly results in the development of valuable hypotheses about the structure of the data set, hypotheses that can then be investigated further using appropriate statistical or other numerical techniques. One type of analysis that benefits greatly from data visualization is the analysis of sediment grain-size distributions, because a simple plot of the abundance of the various grain-size fractions in a sample often...

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