Cosmic Ray produced Nuclides on Earth Project.
The interaction between cosmic rays and exposed target nuclei on Earth provides a means of determining important information about the last few million years of Earth history. The interaction produces isotopes (both stable and radioactive), some of which are only produced through cosmic ray interactions. The abundance of 'cosmogenic' isotopes in various environments (e.g. lavas, alluvium, moraines, mountain peaks) can lead to interpretations about geological processes on or near Earth's surface. These interpretations can lead to answers to questions such as How fast is a mountain eroding? What is the earthquake recurrence interval along a particular fault? How fast did glaciers retreat during the last glaciation?
Over 20 international groups have been simultaneously (but mostly independently) working on three interrelated aspects of the applications of these cosmogenic isotopes.
The CRONUS-Earth project is an international program that is focused on the first two aspects: improving the overall reliability of interpretations based of abundances of cosmogenic nuclides on Earth. The project is a means of helping to direct terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide research and obtain funding for experiments by pooling global expertise and resources.
The acronym CRONUS is derived from the Greek God of Time, son of Uranus and Gaia, and father of Zeus.