Community Report Recommendations: It's About Time 2015

It's About Time 2015: Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Geochronology

We envision a sustained program of NSF support that links numerous single-PI labs with larger facilities to create a networked Major Multi-user Research Facility in geochronology with the goal, in ten years, of attaining: 1. ±0.01% age precision and accuracy from the Cenozoic to the Hadean (achieved by creating methods and mass analyzers of unprecedented sensitivity and resolution) to revolutionize our understanding of a broad array of Earth processes;

2. continuous temporal coverage throughout the Pleistocene – from one week to one million years – of processes key to societal security (e.g., climate change, critical zone management, volcanic hazards, paleoseismology);

3. sub-mm/year denudation rate accuracy from thermochronometers, for timescales as short as 103 years, to place geodetic deformation rates in context with long-term geologic trends;

4. coverage of thermal conditions ranging from the cryosphere through the brittle-ductile transition to magmatic environments (i.e., -20°C to 900°C) with which to provide the 4th dimension to thermal features imaged by USArray.