A plea for simplicity

Authors


Abstract

This comment is a simple plea that authors who wish to introduce a new name for geological/geophysical features into the literature check that the feature has not already been discovered and named, and that the term is suitable. This is of particular concern for researchers working in foreign countries, where the language may be different. Unrestricted and careless naming of features in journals and maps only adds to the confusion and detracts from the scientific work being reported.

Naming new formations, species, and planetary features (asteroids, moon craters, etc.) has been carefully regulated in the fields of geology, biology, and astronomy, both to maintain accuracy and to eliminate unnecessary duplication of terms. Such care should also be exercised in referring to other features, such as faults, volcanos, small hills, paleoelements, tectonic blocks, and terranes. Closely scrutinizing appropriate literature and/or consulting with mapping agencies, institutions, or individual researchers should be completed before a new name is chosen. This will not only be an act of courtesy and good taste, but it will add to the scientific work. A similar plea has been expressed in respect to naming new features in marine sciences [Fisher, 1987; Laughton, 1990].