Rocky Mountain (56th Annual) and Cordilleran (100th Annual) Joint Meeting (May 3–5, 2004)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM


CERVATO, Cinzia1, BOWRING, Samuel A.2, FILS, Doug1, HINNOV, Linda3, HUBER, Brian4, LECKIE, Mark5, MARSHALL, Charles6, OGG, James G.7, SADLER, Peter8 and WARDLAW, Bruce R.9, (1)Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State Univ, 253 Science I, Ames, IA 50011, (2)Dept. Earth and Planetary Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, (3)Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins Univ, Baltimore, MD 21218, (4)Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012 NHB MRC 121, Washington, DC 20013, (5)Dept. of Geosciences, Univ of Massachusetts, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003, (6)Dept. Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard Univ, Hoffman 109, Cambridge, MA 02138, (7)Purdue Univ, 1397 Civil Engineering, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1397, (8)Dept. of Earth Sciences, Univ of California, Geology Building 1448, Riverside, CA 92521, (9)United States Geol Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 926A, Reston, VA 20192,

Modern Earth system history research depends increasingly upon the analysis of voluminous, multidisciplinary, time-calibrated data. The process of determining the availability or even the existence of Earth history data remains a time-consuming and error-prone enterprise because there are no centralized depositories or Web-enabled means for locating and retrieving data. The goal of CHRONOS ( is to deliver a dynamic, interactive and time-calibrated framework for Earth system history as a network of comprehensive databases and data files containing information related to the evolution and diversity of life, climate change, geochemical cycles, geodynamical processes, and other aspects of the Earth system.

With a ‘central hub’ coordinating a continually expanding network of individual databases and files linked by geologic time, the fast-growing, community-based CHRONOS system serves as a major portal for geological research and outreach, equipped with powerful, interactive analytical and visualization toolkits to enable the exploration and understanding of our evolving planet. With the wealth of existing Earth history data that can be integrated with state-of-the-art information technologies and advanced correlation tools, we also anticipate that the continued implementation of CHRONOS will result in an order of magnitude increase in the precision of global and regional geological time scales, e.g. through the EarthTime project ( This alone represents a major advance in Earth system history research, and is expected to lead to new insights into the rates and magnitudes of important geological processes, many of which are relevant to understanding Earth system changes influenced by human activity. Beyond facilitating studies of scientific issues of immediate concern, the CHRONOS community is working on educational and community involvement projects by networking information and pedagogical activities on topics of general interest (e.g., evolution, extinction events) in CHRONOSLab. A partner of the ‘GeoInformatics’ initiative, CHRONOS is a multi-institution project funded by the National Science Foundation fostering active international collaborations.