Tephrochronology Project Laboratory


FLC Region

Security Lab



345 Middlefield Road
McKelvey Building 15
Menlo Park, CA 94025
United States


Description of Capability: Tephrochronology and micropaleontology.


In support of USGS programmatic and collaborative scientific investigations – provide geochronologic frameworks using;

Tephrochronology: Lab processing, petrographic characterization, chemical analysis (primarily by electron microprobe), identification of volcanic source area(s), dating, and chemostratigraphic correlation of tephra (volcanic ash) deposits with emphasis on western and central regional USA and Pacific Ocean and marginlands.

Micropaleontology: Taxonomy, biostratigraphy, and environmental reconstruction using Cenozoic microfossils (primarily planktic foraminifers; secondary microfossil group – diatoms.)

Scientific Opportunities/Applications: Geochronology, stratigraphic mapping, natural hazards, volcanology, micropaleontology, paleoenvironment, oceanography, climate studies, hydrology.

Example of Past Work with Partners: Technical assistance and support has been extensively requested over four decades by multidisciplinary scientific investigators in USGS Programs, sister Federal agencies, State government agencies (particularly state geological surveys), local government agencies, and universities.

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