About EarthChem


EarthChem is a community-driven effort to facilitate the preservation, discovery, access and visualization of data generated in the geosciences, with particular emphasis on geochemical, geochronological, and petrological data.





EarthChem was founded as a consortium of the igneous rock database in 2003 with the goal to nurture synergies among the databases, minimize duplication of effort, and share tools and approaches.

In 2005, EarthChem became a project funded by the National Science Foundation to establish an advanced data management system that facilitates the compilation, communication, serving, and analysis of the widest range of geochemical data. Since 2010, EarthChem has been part of IEDA (Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance), the NSF-funded data facility for solid earth geoscience data.


Data Systems & Services

EarthChem develops and operates a range of data systems that provide services for data discovery, access, preservation, and analysis:

  • The EarthChem Library (previously known as the Geochemical Resource Library) is an open access data repository that offers a complete suite of services for data preservation and access, including long-term archiving and registration of data with DOIs®, as well as support for investigators to comply with data policies of funding agencies (linking data to awards, creating Data Compliance Reports). Data can be submitted to the EarthChem Library online.
  • Synthesis databases such as PetDB, SedDB, NAVDAT, and the Deep Lithosphere Dataset provide access to large, thematically focused compilations of geochemical data, and allow users to generate customized subsets of the data, integrating analyses from any number of publications and datasets. EarthChem data manager maintain the synthesis databases, entering new primary analytical data that have been published in the literature or submitted by investigators.
  • The EarthChem Portal offers integrated access to data in federated geochemical databases, including the earthChem synthesis databases (see above), the USGS National Geochemical Database, MetPetDB, and the GANSEKI database of JAMSTEC, Japan. The EarthChem portal features standardized and integrated data output format, map interfaces, and tools for data quality assessment, data analysis and visualization.
  • The System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR) is a registry for samples taken from the natural environment. SESAR provides services for users to manage sample metadata and obtain International Geo Sample Numbers IGSN for unique identification of samples. The IGSN is used in aEarthChem data systems to ensure proper citation of samples that allow linking and integration of digital sample-based data.


Other EarthChem Services

All EarthChem efforts are accompanied by a vital outreach component, including workshops, town hall meetings, and exhibits, to engage the community, organizations, and journals in defining and implementing standards for data publication, data documentation, and data citation. Please, check EarthChem News for upcoming events.