Our planet has reached its current state in 4.6 Billion years, through slow processes that are generally imperceptible on a human time scale, with the exception of catastrophic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and meteorite impacts. Only in the late Quaternary the time resolution of the events is sometimes at the centennial or decadal scale.

The possibility to place time constraints on past events and to determine their life span is the essence of geology and it is a key to understand the present state and envisage the near future of the Earth.

All chemical, physical and biological processes that are time dependent (Physical Stratigraphy and Biostratigraphy), the neo-formation of nuclides together with the radioactive decay of isotopes present since the formation of our planet, as well as the fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field, are used to reconstruct the history of our planet. The problem to be solved, the type of material and its state, the time frame that can be explored and the resolution that is needed together determine the optimal experimental approach to be adopted.

Research activities include:

  • Biostratigraphy and ciclostratigraphy of Cenozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary marine deposits for paleoclimatic, paleoceanographic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions;
  • Cronostratigraphy of Cenozoic and Mesozoic continental deposits for paleogeographic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions;
  • Geocronology of proximal and distal tephra for stratigraphic reconstructions;
  • U-Th-Pb, Ar-Ar and Fission Tracks geocronology of magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks;
  • Database creaton and management.

    Coordination: Marinella Laurenzi, (marinella.laurenzi(at)igg.cnr(dot)it)