This index covers both the Initial Reports and Scientific Results portions of Volume 172 of the Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program. References to page numbers in the Initial Reports are preceded by "A" with a colon (A:) and to those in the Scientific Results (this volume) by "B" followed by the chapter number with a colon (B1:).
The index was prepared by Earth Systems, under subcontract to the Ocean Drilling Program. The index contains two hierarchies of entries: (1) a main entry, defined as a keyword or concept followed by a reference to the page on which that word or concept appears, and (2) a subentry, defined as an elaboration on the main entry followed by a page reference.
The index covers volume text, figures, and tables but not core-description forms ("barrel sheets"), core photographs, smear-slide data, or thin-section descriptions. Also excluded from the index are bibliographic references, names of individuals, and routine front matter.
The Subject Index follows a standard format. Geographical, geologic, and other terms are referenced only if they are subjects of discussion. A site chapter in the Initial Reports is considered the principal reference for that site and is indicated on the first line of the site’s listing in the index. Such a reference to Sites 1054–1055, for example, is given as "Sites 1054–1055, A:33–76."
The Taxonomic Index is an index relating to significant findings and/or substantive discussions, not of species names per se. This index covers three varieties of information: (1) individual genera and species that have been erected or emended formally, (2) biostratigraphic zones, and (3) fossils depicted in illustrations. A taxonomic entry consisting of both genus and species is listed alphabetically by genus and also by species. Biostratigraphic zones are listed alphabetically by genus; zones with letter prefixes are listed under "zones."