The relation between variability in petrographic measurements and the dimensions of the area over which the measurements are taken can be investigated by analysis of variance. As a demonstration, variability in axial lengths of abraded carbonate sand grains from a beach at Punta Nisuc, Vucatan, was investigated using a two-level nested 4 x 4 Latin square. This permitted testing of the variance in sampling patterns 1 mm, 1 cm, 10 cm, and 1 m across while controlling other possible sources of variation. Analysis of variance suggests there is no significant relation between variation in the petrographic measurements and the area of the samples, and that the area of a standard thin section is adequate to characterize this variation.

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