- the use of palynomorphs, their identification, distribution, and abundance to correlate among sedimentary sequences of any age, or to provide chronological control for these sedimentary sequences. Exclusive of environmental palynology, but the study of sedimentary sequences often includes both stratigraphic and environmental palynology. Typically, stratigraphic palynology is applied to pre-Quaternary sediments and is, therefore, a part of Paleopalynology. However, stratigraphic principals apply to sediments of all ages, so stratigraphic palynology is also a part of Quaternary Palynology.
Stratigraphic Palynology is a branch of biostratigraphy - applying geological and evolutionary principals to the understanding of sedimentary sequences and the geological record.
Stratigraphic Palynology played a prominent role in petroleum exploration during the mid-twentieth century. From 1965 - 1980 the major North-American petroleum companies hosted large palynology laboratories. The ubiquity of palynomorphs permitted the detailed analysis of subsurface stratigraphy necessary for locating petroleum reservoirs. In 1967, petroleum palynologists, and other paleoplaynologists, founded the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists to promote training of, and communication among stratigraphic palynologists worldwide.
The application of palynology to petroleum exploration lead to the explosive development of a branch of palynology - the study of dinoflagelate resting cysts - during the 1970's and 1980's. The literature of this field has been featured in the AASP journal Palynology and in its Contributions Series.
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