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Community Established Best Practice Recommendations for Tephra Studies-from Collection through Analysis

Abbott, Peter; Bonadonna, Costanza; Bursik, Marcus; Cashman, Katherine; Davies, Siwan; Jensen, Britta; Kuehn, Stephen; Kurbatov, Andrei; Lane, Christine; Plunkett, Gill; Smith, Victoria; Thomlinson, Emma; Thordarsson, Thor; Walker, J. Douglas; Wallace, Kristi

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 also 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 is challenged by a lack of standardization that often inhibits data integration amongst geographic regions and across disciplines. 

Here we present comprehensive recommendations for tephra data gathering that were community-developed via an inclusive process. These recommendations will help expand the applicability and usability of tephra data, thereby fostering scientific collaboration and data reuse. Recommendations include standardized field and laboratory data collection and reporting and correlation guidance, developed as tabulated lists of key pieces of information with their definition and purpose. This new standardized framework will facilitate consistent tephra documentation and parametrization, foster interdisciplinary communication, and improve the effectiveness of data sharing among diverse communities of researchers.

For additional details, see the accompanying manuscript that will be submitted to Nature Scientific Data in October 2020:

Wallace, K.*, Bursik, M. Kuehn, S., Kurbatov, A., Abbott, P., Bonadonna, C., Cashman, K., Davies, S., Jensen, B., Lane, C., Plunkett, G., Smith, V. Tomlinson, E., Thordarsson, T., and Walker, D. Community Established Best Practice Recommendations for Tephra Studies-from Collection through Analysis. (Scientific Data: SDATA-20-01163, in review: 2020).

*corresponding author:  Kristi Wallace, kwallace@usgs.gov

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