In geology, it is common to describe structures observed on land. Very often, these structures are described in details and then an interpretation is provided to explain how they have contributed to the formation of mountains. If a researcher (let's call him John) has worked on these structures in an area A, and you study similar structures in an area B (that is similar to A), then it is possibly worthwhile to cite John's work to support your observations/interpretations (depending on the context).

Let's imagine now that instead of describing the structures in B, you describe them statistically. If you want to interpret the statistical results, you would need (qualitative) descriptions of these structures, e.g. from those provided by John. However, you haven't described the area B and no former research paper did it either, so even if your structures in B tend to be similar to those of A, you would need those descriptions to explain your statistics.

To solve this, would it be correct to cite the current study like ... descriptive-text...(this study) if observations about the structures have been made in B but not formerly established in another research paper?

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