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In the last post ofour series on custom sorts in table calculations, we’ll examine one of the most common questions that I get from Tableau Training. In fact, I just had this question last week in Perth, Western Australia by a student named Mayank. Here’s...

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In part one of this two-parter, I went into a lot of depth on how to use custom sorts within table calculations. I highly recommend reading that article first before continuing with the second part.In this post, we’re going to apply those ideas to illustrate...

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(Note: All the charts we build are included at the bottom of this article in a packaged workbook available for you to download.) Table calculations in Tableau can get complicated very quickly. But these extra little features make a big difference, such as computing specific dimensions,...

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The ultimate goal of this Deep Dive on Dashboard Design is to guide Tableau Desktop users on how to create a dashboard from start to finish. That conversation would not be complete unless we went the extra mile. I’m talking about publishing the dashboardof course....

06.29.17 by Robert Curtis

In parts one through five of this Deep Dive on Dashboard Design, we’ve built a dashboard step-by-step that focused on planning, structure, proof of concept, interactivity and visual design. It might be tempting to end the Deep Dive series there as a finished project. The...

06.20.17 by Robert Curtis

A lot of the hard work is done when it comes to planning and building our Tableau dashboard. Up until now, we were asking business questions to help frame the requirements of our reporting tool and technical questions on how to build it and expand...

05.22.17 by Robert Curtis

In the first three articles of this Deep Dive on Dashboard Design, we’ve constructed our proof of concept. All of the worksheets have been planned, built and laid out in the structure best suited for our dashboard objective. Now we’re going to talk about how...

05.16.17 by Robert Curtis

We are now ready to start building a proof of concept or POC of our dashboard. Think of a POC as a prototype or your Beta test. We are focused on dashboard design, so I won’t spend much time on the actual construction of individual...

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/ Glad You Asked: What Is a Formation?

By Christine Wilkerson

Fluted crimson walls of Jurassic-age Entrada Sandstone rim Cathedral Valley in the remote northern part of Capitol Reef National Park. The near-vertical Entrada walls owe their existence to the overlying white Curtis Formation that serves as a protective cap rock. Capitol Reef National Park, Wayne County, Utah Photographer: Tyler Knudsen; © 2015

To classify and map layers of rock, geologists created a basic unit called a formation. A formation is a rock unit that is distinctive enough in appearance that a geologic mapper can tell it apart from the surrounding rock layers. It must also be thick enough and extensive enough to plot on a map.

Formations are given names that include the geographic name of a permanent feature near the location where the rocks are well exposed. If the formation consists of a single or dominant rock type, such as shale or sandstone, then the rock type is included in the name.

For example, the Entrada Sandstone is a predominately sandstone formation located in southern and eastcentral Utah. It was named in 1928 after Entrada Point in the northern part of the San Rafael Swell.

Formations often contain a variety of related or interlayered rock types, and in these cases the word ‘formation’ is used instead of a single rock type. For example, the Summerville Formation consists of thin alternating beds of shale, siltstone, and sandstone. This formation was named after Summerville Point, located near the head of Summerville Wash in the northern San Rafael Swell.

>Formations can be lumped together into larger rock units called groups, and divided into smaller units called members. Groups are useful rock units for small-scale mapping and regional studies, and members are useful where it is important to study or keep track of a particular subdivision of a formation.

The Entrada Sandstone and Summerville Formation, along with several other formations, are part of the San Rafael Group. In southeastern Utah, the Entrada Sandstone has been divided into three distinct members: the Dewey Bridge Member (bottom), whose lower part is dominated by yellow-gray, flat-bedded sandstone and whose upper part contains mostly red-brown sandstone with “lumpy” bedding; the Slick Rock Member (middle), a redorange to brown sandstone that is usually striped or banded in color; and the Moab Member (top), a paleorange to pale-yellow-brown sandstone that weathers to white or light gray.

Before a new formation name will be accepted, a formal definition including a full description of the unit and the location of the type locality must appear in a widely known scientific publication available to geologists.

The recommended procedures for classifying and naming rock units are contained in the North American Stratigraphic Code prepared by the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature. If you would like to learn more about the Stratigraphic Code, please visit the Commission’s web site at www.agiweb.org/nacsn .

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, v. 33 no. 1, January 2001

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