CHRONOS: Cyberinfrastructure for Earth History
Cinzia Cervato1, Douglas Fils1, Geoff Bohling2, Pat Diver3, Doug S. Greer4,
Brice Lambi1, Joshua A. Reed1, and Xiaoyun Tang1
1 Iowa State University - CHRONOS, Ames, IA
2 Kansas Geological Survey, Lawrence, KS
3 DivDat Consulting - CHRONOS, Wesley, AR
4 San Diego Supercomputer Center, La Jolla, CA
Geologic time is the intellectual theme that connects a wide variety of research endeavors in geoscience – missing is the corresponding cyberinfrastructure that allows the resources of all these endeavors to be pooled. CHRONOS's purpose is to transform Earth history research by seamlessly integrating geoscience databases and tools.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, CHRONOS is a team of geoscientists and information technology specialists creating a cyberinfrastructure that will deliver open access to a global federation of Earth history databases, tools and services, thus providing access to multiple, disparate databases on Earth history, data evaluation and conversion services, and powerful analytical tools; a larger user community, greater visibility and acknowledgment, and access to tools and best practices, without the cost and burden of reproducing interoperability; a convenient source of Earth history data, visualization tools, expert opinion, and educational materials.
We also anticipate that CHRONOS will catalyze a snowball growth in the cohesiveness of the geoscience community and enhance public awareness through access to knowledge and underpinning hypotheses concerning, for example, evolution and extinction, climate change, and fossil fuel inventories. To achieve this, CHRONOS is developing tools with standardized data input and output formats, and involving and training a growing community of geoinformatics specialists.
CHRONOS enables everyone to explore the fascinating history of our planet, place it into a high-resolution context, and apply this knowledge to understand Earth system processes and rates of global change.