GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 102-11
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM


VAN HAZINGA, Cora1, MANA, Sara1 and DIMAGGIO, Erin2, (1)Department of Geological Sciences, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970, (2)Pennslvania State University Department of Geosciences, 308 Deike Building, State College, PA 16802-2712

Tephra deposits are excellent chronostratigraphic markers which are prolific and widespread in portions of the East African Rift (EAR). Arguably one of the most powerful applications of tephrochronology is the synchronization of multiple widespread archives and the establishment of regional chronological frameworks, enabling the integrated study of the timescales and interaction of the geosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. This effort is hindered by the lack of cross-disciplinary communication. In order for these disparate disciplines to integrate and fully utilize the growing number of available tephra datasets, infrastructural efforts that centralize information is required.

EARThD is a NSF funded data compilation project that is integrating, standardizing, and investigating tephra datasets from sedimentary records from the last 5 million years in the East African Rift. We utilize an existing NSF-supported community-based data facility, Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance (IEDA), to store, curate, and provide access to the datasets.

To date we have reviewed over 870 papers centered on volcanic products in the EAR, and our team of student data managers have entered geochemical and geochronological data from over 400 published scientific papers. We are working closely with IEDA to ensure that data generated from EARThD is ingested into the IEDA Petrological Database (PetDB) and ultimately EarthChem, making it available to a wide audience. Sixty four of our papers have been loaded and are available to the public through the (PetDB) repository and in time they will be included in the EarthChem library. Here we demonstrate our data entry process and how a user can locate and utilize EARThD tephra datasets. With this effort we aim to fulfill a crucial data integration role for researchers working in East Africa, especially those working at paleontological and archaeological sites where tephra dating and geochemical correlations are critical.