There is a lot to do on the Internet about the concept of 'Big Data', in which huge online databases are 'mined' to reveal previously hidden trends and relationships in society. One could argue that sedimentary geology has entered a similar era of 'Big Data', as modern provenance studies routinely use multiple proxies to dozens of samples, resulting in large multivariate datasets comprising thousands of data points. Just like the Internet, sedimentary geology now requires specialised statistical tools to visualise and interpret such large datasets. Pieter Vermeesch (LGC) and Eduardo Garzanti (University of Milan - Bicocca) introduce 3-way multidimensional scaling and Procrustes analysis as simple yet powerful tools to achieve this goal.
Reference: Vermeesch, P. and Garzanti, E., 2015, Making geological sense 'Big Data' in sedimentary provenance analysis. Chemical Geology, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.05.004, v.409, 20-27