Community-based Recommendations on Collection, Analysis and Correlation of Tephra Data

IAVCEI Commission on Tephrochronology

Tephra is a unique volcanic product that plays an unparalleled role in understanding past eruptions, long-term behavior of volcanoes, and the effects of volcanism on climate and the environment. Tephra deposits provide spatially widespread, extremely high-resolution time-stratigraphic markers across a range of sedimentary settings and are used in a range of disciplines (e.g. volcanology, seismotectonics, climate science, archaeology, ecology, public health and impact assessment). Nonetheless, the study of tephra deposits has been challenged by the lack of standardization that often prevents comparison amongst various regions and across disciplines.

The global, interdisciplinary tephra community has established best-practice recommendations for tephra studies. The recommendations can be found on Zenodo.

Additional details on tephra data collection, analysis and correlation will be available in the manuscript submitted to Nature Scientific Data:

Wallace, K.L., Bursik, M.I., Kuehn, S. et al. Community established best practice recommendations for tephra studies—from collection through analysis. Sci Data 9, 447 (2022).

For legacy information on the development of the tephra best practices recommendations, see the Vhub Repository

Data Submission Workflow

Following this workflow will expedite your submission process. Data curation, publishing and DOI timelines may take up to two weeks, depending on the completeness of the submitted metadata.

Geochemical data related to tephra studies can be submitted for long-term archiving with DOIs in the EarthChem Library (ECL) Repository. Please review the ECL General Guidelines and Policies before submitting a dataset.

To ensure your geochemical tephra data is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) please document the following:

Method Information

You must provide information regarding how your data were collected. The method template can be registered with a DOI once to document your laboratory procedures. It can be reused in future work by citing the DOI in the data template.

Sample Information

To catalog metadata and receive unique identifiers for samples that you own, please use one of the tephra sample templates.

These templates were developed by mapping the tephra best practices “recommended metadata” to the available sample metadata for registration and sample cataloging in SESAR.

If you are not registering samples in SESAR, you must include the tephra sample template in your ECL data submission to provide sample metadata.

Analytical Data Information

The tephra data templates are meant to facilitate and standardize data reporting, following the best practices identified by the tephra community.

Before you submit your data to the EarthChem Library, please ensure that you have the relevant method and sample information, as outlined above.

T Y es No Y es No Register samples with IGSN Download Data Template Download Sample Template Do your samples have IGSNs? Submit your Method for DOI Download Method Template Does the method have a DOI? Create ORCID Profile Submit Data for DOI Create SESAR Account

Method Templates

Use the template to register your instrument calibration data.

Submit this template for publication with DOI ( EarthChem Library is preferred, but you can submit the method template to other repositories as well e.g. Zenodo).

The DOI should be cited whenever you are publishing data associated with this technique.

Currently method templates are available for EPMA/SEM-EDS and an LA-ICP-MS method template is under development.

Tephra Sample Metadata Templates

Use the Comprehensive Template to upload the full suite of your tephra metadata. Use the Simplified Template (e.g. site, individual sample, core, core drive) if you are only looking to make your samples discoverable and plan to maintain you own more detailed metadata records elsewhere.  The tephra community highly recommends use of the Comprehensive template to record your metadata.

The Simplified Template only captures basic sample metadata that are already part of SESAR registration process and will not capture all of the important metadata fields recommended by the tephra community best practice guidelines.  Use the Comprehensive Template to upload a full suite of your tephra metadata knowing that only metadata fields that exist in SESAR will be added to their database, however, the full record will be available as a downloadable file attached to your data submission in the EarthChem Library.

If you have questions about how to fill out these templates, please reach out to

Tephra Glass Data Templates

EPMA/SEM-EDS data template is currently available for tephra glass samples. If your data is not compatible with this template, please reach out to info@