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The U.S. Geological Survey has developed an updated, point and click web application for accessing a geochronology database with sample summary and analytical data for the United States spanning billions of years prior to present day. 

Users can explore specific areas using the USGS Geochron Database Explorer web application. The database includes nine methods, 107,428 entries, 21,842 samples, and 1,614 citations. The data set contains published ages, analytical information, sample metadata including location, and source citations. This information, generated and funded by the USGS, will be updated and expanded regularly. 

Geochronologic data are integral to geologic mapping and provide the age of rocks, fossils and sediments using signatures inherent in the rocks themselves. Researchers, stakeholders, and the science-interested public use the data to study the Earth’s lithosphere and landscapes and to manage resources and natural hazards.  

To address these questions, scientists at the USGS and state geological surveys have generated a significant amount of geochronologic data spanning analytical techniques from Quaternary methods to long-lived isotopic systems. The included methods will continue to grow and reflect the diversity of USGS analytical labs and projects. 

There are currently three ways to access and download the current data which can all be accessed through

  1. Database explorer: interactive web experience with point-and-click access to geochronology information, as well as the ability to download data files for selected areas.  

  1. Database downloader: map-based downloader with ability to download data from selected areas. 

  1. Data release: contains all data in .csv files, with metadata and data dictionary files. The explorer and downloader both access data release files.   

Online USGS geochronology database
Screenshot of newly released USGS Geochron Database Explorer web application.

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The USGS provides science for a changing world. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook @USGeologicalSurvey, YouTube @USGS, Instagram @USGS, or Twitter @USGS

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