Overplotting Biozones

Over the past few weeks we’ve been polishing a new feature for “overplotting” biozone panels. This feature gives you more flexibility over which biozone schemes you can include in the same columns. It was something we allowed for in the v2.1 data model but hadn’t got around to implementing yet. And yes, I am aware that “overplot” isn’t officially part of the English language, but it does describe the concept quite succinctly!

Hopefully you are already aware that:

  • Biozone intervals are always linked to a scheme.
  • Biozone schemes are linked to a discipline.
  • There are four panel types for biozones: one for to each discipline.
  • A biozone panel in a block template has a scheme attribute. When you add a panel template to a block template, you can either:
    1. Choose one scheme belonging to the panel’s discipline, or
    2. choose no scheme (“<panel per scheme>”), in which case you will see all of the intervals linked to schemes with the panel’s discipline, either merged into one column or as separate, automatically generated panels.

In short, this means you could either select all the schemes for a discipline, or one scheme only.

Adding the overplot function makes things much more flexible, giving you complete control over which intervals will appear in which columns, and even allowing you to mix disciplines. It is a simple technique (on your side anyway!) which tells one panel to draw on top of the previous panel.

The colleagues you have to thank for moving this one along had both planktic and benthic micro schemes for the Tertiary but a combined scheme for the Cretaceous. I believe this is a common scenario and happily one present in our demo Ormen Lange dataset. Before we added overplot, you could have plotted the schemes either as three separate panels (left) or as one composite panel with all three schemes (right).

biozones with no overplot

It’s now possible to make a more elegant version in which the Cretaceous zones are repeated underneath each of the Tertiary sections:

biozones with overplot

This is achieved by using four biozone panels, all sharing the same template. Each panel has a scheme explicitly specified. The two Cretaceous panels are set to “overplot” (to save confusion they are plotted side-by-side in the block template editor).

overplot template
(Click for full-size image)

A few details you may need to know:

  • You can only plot over other biozone panels. If you try anything else, the setting will just be ignored.
  • The column mapping will be taken from the bottom(/underneath/left) panel, and ignored for any overplotted panels.
  • The column width setting is also taken from the bottom panel.
  • The panel titles will be concatenated.

Currently this feature extends only to biozone panels, but our data model does provide for it being extended to other panel types in future. If you have requests for other useful panel combinations, please post a comment below! Note also that there is a similar feature for the biostratigraphy inner panels – which will be the subject of a future post.

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