Geological models are based on the interpretation of spatially sparse and limited resolution datasets. Non-unique interpretations often exist, resulting in commercial, safety and environmental risk. We survey 444 experienced geoscientists to assess the validity of their interpretations of a seismic section for which multiple concepts honor the data. The most statistically significant factor in improving interpretation was writing about geological time. A randomized controlled trial identified for the first time a significant causal link between considering the temporal evolution of an interpretation, a type of writing about geological time, and increased interpretation quality. These results have important implications for interpreting geological data and communicating uncertainty in models.
- geological time
- seismic stratigraphy