Recent News
Building a Global Network of Geochemical Data (AGU Town Hall)

December 2018. Please join us December 11th at AGU for a one hour town hall discussing the development of geochemical data standards and ideas for a global geochemical network. 

Future science endeavors in geochemistry, petrology, mineralogy, and volcanology will increasingly rely on access to and analysis of large volumes of data as data science is emerging as a new research paradigm in these fields (see session V017 of the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting). Data systems such as EarthChem and GEOROC have provided access to global, though thematically focused data syntheses. More geochemical data systems are emerging at national, programmatic, and subdomain levels in response to Open Access policies and science needs, and many other data systems and repositories manage geochemical data. There is an urgent need to develop and implement global standards and best practices for geochemical data to become FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable), and to establish standard protocols for exchanging geochemical data among distributed data systems. This Town Hall aims to engage relevant communities in the Earth sciences in defining and planning steps toward the development of geochemical data standards as well as exploring ideas and opportunities for a global geochemical data network that facilitates and promotes discovery and access of geochemical data through coordination and collaboration among international geochemical data providers. The goal is converge on a common vision for such a global geochemical data network.

December 11, 2018, 6:15-7:15 pm, Marriott Marquis, Room: Independence E

For questions, please contact Kerstin Lehnert (

If you were not able to attend the Town Hall, please refer to our slides here.

Beta launch of the new PetDB Search

November 2018. EarthChem is pleased to announce the release of the beta version of the new PetDB. This version of PetDB is designed on a brand new architecture, which features a more flexible database schema and user interfaces, with improved support for data searching (e.g., by chemical composition) and interoperability (e.g., with MELTS). The old PetDB Search will be retired and replaced by the new version in January 2019.

Please provide feedback on the new PetDB to help us improve the system by contacting us at

Data Management Planning Workshop at Goldschmidt 2018

July 2018. Please join us for a 1-hour IEDA:EarthChem workshop/tutorial on data management planning at the Goldschmidt Conference in Boston.

Workshop Description:
Data management plans (DMP) are now required by federal funding agencies (NSF, NIH, etc.) with all new grant proposals. This workshop, geared toward faculty and researchers, will provide guidance for creating a data management plan and demonstrate online tools that support and facilitate the generation of high-quality DMP and Compliance Reports, including the IEDA DMP ToolezDMP, and the IEDA Data Compliance Reporting Tool. Please register for the workshop here.

When?  Thursday, August 16, 2018, 1-2PM

Where? Hynes Convention Center, room 108

The workshop is supported by the US National Science Foundation.

For questions, please contact Kerstin Lehnert (

EarthChem Library Webinar: How to Contribute Data

May 2018. Do you have data from your research that you would like to make accessible online in a trusted repository? Join us for a free webinar on how to deposit your data in the EarthChem Library on Thursday May 31st at 2 pm ET. Register to attend here. If you are able, please also complete this 2 minute survey to help us adapt the webinar to audience interests.

The EarthChem Library (ECL) is an NSF-funded open-access repository for datasets (analytical data, experimental data, synthesis databases) and other digital resources relevant to the fields of geochemistry, geochronology, petrology, and mineralogy. The ECL offers a complete suite of services for data preservation and access, including long-term archiving, registration of data with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), and links to publications. The ECL recommends use of data type specific templates that have been developed in collaboration with researchers who work closely with the data types. These templates provide guidance to investigators on the inclusion of key sample and analytical metadata that maximize reusability and discoverability of the datasets. We welcome collaborations to generate templates for new data types.

The ECL has been recognized by funding agencies and publishers as a trusted repository for fulfilling Data Management requirements. To learn more, see Please contact us at

A recording of the webinar can be viewed on our Youtube channel.

Undergraduate Projects Improve Analysis of Geochronological Data

Feb 2018. Undergraduate students in the Computer Sciences Department at the College of Charleston are developing open-source software applications and infrastructure aimed at improving access to and analysis of geochronological and other earth-science data. The students are working under the direction of Dr. Jim Bowring at the Cyber Infrastructure Research & Development Lab for the Earth Sciences (CIRDLES). Four of the students recently presented their work at the 2017 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Topsoil is highlighted below. 

Topsoil: A community driven open source replacement for ISOPLOT

Topsoil is a desktop application and Java library that creates data visualizations for geochronological data. “Topsoil” is an anagram of “Isoplot”, an enormously successful Microsoft Excel Add-In with similar capabilities that now works only in older versions of Excel. Using Topsoil, a user is able to import or manually enter data, which is stored in tables that can be organized and edited by the user. The table is used to create a plot that is freely explorable, and with several built-in plot features that can be toggled on or off, such as uncertainty and concordia line. Plot features are dependent on the isotope system of the given table. Current options are Uranium-Lead or Uranium-Thorium analyses, and more isotope systems will be available to the user in the future.

Advancement of Topsoil depends on the active involvement of the community to guide development and for assistance with design and coding, specification of capabilities, and develpment of help resources. Contributions to Topsoil can be made at