GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 144-4
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM


CONDON, Daniel1, BOWRING, James F.2, CONNELLY, James N.3, ERWIN, Douglas H.4, HE, Huaiyu5, HEIZLER, Matthew T.6, HEMMING, Sidney R.7, HODGES, Kip V.8, HORSTWOOD, Matthew1, JOHNSON, Kirk9, KUIPER, Klaudia10, MARK, Darren F.11, MCLEAN, Noah12, MORGAN, Leah E.13, PARRISH, Randall1, RAMEZANI, Jahandar14, RASBURY, Troy15, RENNE, Paul R.16, ROONEY, Alan D.17, SADLER, Peter18, SCHALTEGGER, Urs19, SCHMITZ, Mark D.20, SCHOENE, Blair21, SINGER, Brad S.22, TURRIN, Brent23, VON QUADT, Albrecht24, WALKER, Douglas12, WANG, Chengshan25, WU, Huaichun26 and WIJBRANS, Jan R.10, (1)NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, United Kingdom, (2)Department of Computer Science, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424, (3)Centre for Star and Planet Formation, Geological Museum, Copenhagen University, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark, (4)Dept. of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012, (5)State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China, (6)New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, (7)Earth and Environmental Science, Long Island University, Brookville, NY 11548, (8)School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, (9)National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Director, MRC 106, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, NY 20013-7012, (10)Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, 1085 De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, 1081 HV, Netherlands, (11)Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, (SUERC), Rankine Avenue, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, United Kingdom, (12)Department of Geology, The University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd., Lindley Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045, (13)US Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, MS 963, Denver, CO 80225, (14)Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, (15)Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2100, (16)Berkeley Geochronology Center, 2455 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA 94709, (17)Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, (18)Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, (19)Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, rue des Maraîchers 13, Geneva, 1205, Switzerland, (20)Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID 83725-1535, (21)Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Guyot Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544, (22)Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1215 W. Dayton St, Madison, WI 53076, (23)Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, 610 Taylor Rd, Piscataway, NJ 08854, United States, Piscataway, NJ 08854, (24)ETH Zurich, Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology, Clausiusstrasse 25, Zurich, 8092, Switzerland, (25)Research Center for Tibetan Geology, Beijing University of Geosciences, 29 Xueyuan Road, Beijing, 100083, (26)School of Ocean Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, Beijing, 100083, China,

The EARTHTIME Initiative was conceived by Sam Bowring and Doug Erwin in 2001 as a response to the advances being made in methods used to quantify time in the stratigraphic record. In the preceding decades the precision and resolution of radio-isotopic dating methods had improved significantly in parallel with increasingly quantitative analysis of the fossil and other stratigraphic proxy records. However, as temporal resolution increased, bias between laboratories and dating methods became more apparent and limited the resolving power of geochronology. This was what would become Bowring's ‘double edged sword of high-precision geochronology’ (Bowring, 2010, AGU Bowen Medal Lecture). EARTHTIME was developed in response to this issue, as a means to harness collective efforts, and better interface with the earth science disciplines that have a reliance on geochronologic information.

The focus of EARTHTIME over the first decade was the priority issue of (inter-)calibration of radioisotopic dating methods such that accuracy could catch up with precision. Initiatives included the mixing, calibration, and distribution of a community tracer solution for U-Pb geochronology, calibration of 40Ar/39Ar neutron fluence monitors, primary 40Ar/40K calibration experiments and development of bespoke cyber infrastructure. When combined with improved protocols, this effort has resulted in markedly improved agreement between laboratories and between dating systems (i.e., U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar). Whilst technically challenging, progress has been achieved through substantive and sustained community input, an effort helped along with Bowring’s encouragement that we ‘check our ego’s at the door’. Now geochronologists and collaborators can ask more nuanced questions of the rock record through the sharper lens of geochronology.

Looking forward, the EARTHTIME paradigm continues to expand internationally and the EARTHTIME umbrella now covers a broader range of dating systems and methodologies. Having made progress in addressing the priority issue of (inter-)calibration the EARTHTIME Initiative is shifting focus towards the synergies that exist amongst the broader earth science communities, through the constantly evolving wealth of geochronologic information on offer and the resultant opportunities.