PaCTS v1.0

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This page describes the first version of PaCTS (Paleoclimate Community reporTing Standard).


This page describes PaCTS v1.0, which represents the first attempt by the paleoclimate community to standardize the reporting of paleoclimate data. To do so, the community organized itself in working groups centered around the main proxy archives. To see detailed discussions about how the standards evolved, see the current working groups (shortcut on the left).

The recommendation follows a vote on this platform, the LinkedEarth twitter account, and a survey distributed to the community through various platforms (e.g., listservs, PAGES network).

PaCTS v1.0

Each property is either deemed essential (without which the record can't be reused), recommended (necessary to reuse the record optimally), and desired.

In this context a legacy dataset is defined as a dataset that has not been contributed by the original author (see here for details).

Cross Archive Metadata

See the discussion in the cross-archive metadata working group page.


Table 1: Recommendation for cross-archive metadata
Question New datasets Legacy datasets
contributor Essential Essential
latitude Essential Essential
longitude Essential Essential
altitude Essential Essential
site name Essential Essential
dataset version Essential Recommended
any publication information Essential Essential
publication authors Essential Essential
publication year Essential Essential
publication title Essential Essential
publication doi Essential Essential
publication journal Essential Essential
funding information Desired Desired
funding principal investigator Desired Desired
funding agency Desired Desired
funding country Desired Desired
funding grant Desired Desired
any paleodata information Essential Essential
any chrondata information Essential Essential
depth/distance/position in the archive Essential Essential
information about how depth is transformed to age Essential Recommended
sample thickness Essential Recommended
original measurements Essential Essential
units Essential Essential
analysis date Recommended Desired
any additional data measured along the primary data of interest Recommended Recommended
interpretation Recommended Recommended
calibrated values Essential Recommended
calibration model Essential Recommended
calibration reference Recommended Recommended
physical sample name Recommended Desired
physical sample IGSN Recommended Desired
physical sample collection method Recommended Desired
instrument type Essential Recommended
laboratory name Recommended Desired
analytical method Essential Recommended
method reference Recommended Desired


Table 2: Recommendation for compilations
Question New compilations Legacy compilations
compilation name Essential Essential
compilation authors Essential Essential
funding agency Desired Desired
funding principal investigator Desired Desired
funding grant number Desired Desired
funding country Desired Desired
model used to compile data Essential Essential
compilation date Essential Recommended
compilation version Essential Recommended
compilation change log Essential Recommended
publication title Essential Essential
publication authors Essential Essential
publication year Essential Essential
publication journal Essential Essential
publication doi Essential Essential
publication from previous work Essential Recommended
unique identifier to the time series used in the compilation Essential Recommended

Historical Documents

Ice Cores

Lake Sediments

Marine Sediments





To know more about the standardization process, check the chronologies working group page.

Absolute chronologies

Recommendation for chronologies based on lead isotopes
Question New datasets Legacy datasets
calculated excess 210Pb values Essential Essential
226Ra Essential Recommended
total 210Pb Essential Essential
salt correction applied Essential Recommended
porosity Recommended Recommended
depth/position Essential Essential
sample thickness Essential Essential
core collection date Essential Essential
methodology used to calculate age Essential Essential
Recommendation for chronologies based on radiocarbon
Question New datasets Legacy datasets
sample ID Essential Essential
type/matrix Essential Essential
chemical pretreatment Recommended Recommended
analytical method Essential Essential
laboratory ID Essential Recommended
d13C ratio Recommended Recommended
conventional radiocarbon age Essential Essential
F14C (13C and background correction applied) Essential Recommended
marine reservoir age Essential Essential
deltaR value Essential Essential
hard/soft water effect Recommended Recommended
other corrections Recommended Recommended
U series
Recommendation for chronologies based on U-series
Question New datasets Legacy datasets
all isotopes ratios and concentrations measured Essential Essential
uncertainty for all parameters Essential Essential
uncertainty expressed as 2sigma Essential Essential
state whether uncertainty on decay constant are included in final estimates Essential Essential
sample identifier Essential Essential
reference material name Essential Essential
reference material descriptions Essential Recommended
reference material values Essential Essential
decay constant used Essential Essential
isotopes in spike Essential Recommended
method of spike calibration Essential Recommended
method of calibration for all activity or atom ratios reported (e.g. secular equilibirum or gravimetric) Essential Essential
activity or atom ratios for 230Th/238U (or 230Th/234U) and 234U/238U Essential Essential
230Th/232Th activity or atom ratio Essential Essential
calibration model Essential Essential
date of analysis or reference age Recommended Recommended
concentrations of 238U, 234U, 230Th, 232Th (plus 226Ra and Ba if measured) Essential Essential
sample preparation Essential Essential
chemical separations Essential Recommended
sample preservation Essential Recommended
sample mineralogy Recommended Recommended
bulk composition and mineral phases (for silicates) Essential Recommended

Relative chronologies

Recommendation for relative chronologies
Question New datasets Legacy datasets
original measurements Essential Essential
alignment target Essential Essential
labelling features Essential Recommended
method (employed software or manual) Essential Essential
flag for mixed chronologies Essential Recommended


Recommendation for chronology software
Question New datasets Legacy datasets
method (e.g., Bacon, Oxcal, Bchron, BAM...) Essential Essential
publication information about the software Essential Recommended
code Desired Desired
parameters Recommended Recommended
ensemble age models if applicable Recommended Recommended
ensemble statistics if applicable Recommended Desired


Road to v2.0