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This Research Network Programme (RNP) proposal is part of a broader international initiative “EARTHTIME: a community-based scientific effort aimed at sequencing Earth history through an integrated geochronologic and stratigraphic approach”. The ambition is to broaden the EARTHTIME platform in Europe with this RNP, which combined with a proposed FP7 Marie-Curie Initial Training Network (“GTSnext”), will also serve as the basis for wider outreach towards the Earth Science community, and allow crucial construction of databases and teaching activities with a global dimension.

The Geological Time Scale (GTS) is the fundamental measurement yardstick and the key to reconstruct Earth history. Time is ripe to make a major step forwards to a next generation fully integrated GTS for the last 100 million years. This time scale, with unprecedented accuracy, precision, resolution and stability, can be achieved by integrating independent dating techniques. The numerical calibration of the GTS is the main focus of the GTSnext-ITN. With the RNP we specifically aim to link the much improved numerically calibrated time scale with other stratigraphic disciplines to arrive at a fully integrated GTS.

Combining the RNP with GTSnext, the expected scientific contributions and breakthroughs are 1) new insights into key geological processes including climate change, catastrophic impacts, and volcanic hazards, 2) a stable time scale that is beneficial for academia and industry, 3) full integration and intercalibration of different numerical dating and stratigraphic techniques, leading to 4) significant improvement in the consistency of these techniques; 5) progress towards a fully astronomically-tuned and stratigraphically integrated GTS over the last 100 million years.

In summary, a fundamental comprehension of geological time and the time scales at which key processes occur is appropriate in view of the impact we have on System Earth.

The website for the EARTHTIME-EU contribution is http://www.earthtime-eu.eu.

You can find the proposal text here: pdf_icon

The brochure for the Research Network Programme can be found here: