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Macrostrat is a platform for the aggregation and distribution of geological data relevant to the spatial and temporal distribution of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks as well as data extracted from them. It is linked to the GeoDeepDive digital library and machine reading system, and it aims to become a community resource for the addition, editing, and distribution of new stratigraphic, lithological, environmental, and economic data. Interactive applications built upon Macrostrat are designed for educational and research purposes.
All data are provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC-BY-4.0).
In presentations: Acknowledge Macrostrat by name. You may also include any of the Macrostrat logos accessible on this webpage.

In publications: Acknowledge Macrostrat as the source of any information or data. A citable paper describing the Macrostrat data model, technical infrastructure, and current data set is forthcoming. In addition, you should also include citations to the original references associated with the data set that was used. These references are accessible from the API. If you would like your paper listed in the official publications, please contact us and we will provide a citation and link!
Our small team has worked hard to compile, format, and make data available via Macrostrat. We strongly encourage and welcome active collaborations, both scientific and geoinformatic. All data are provided freely on under a CC-BY-4.0 license.
Macrostrat is currently supported by NSF EAR-1150082, NSF ICER-1440312, and the UW-Madison Department of Geoscience. If you use this resource, please consider helping out with a donation.


All data contained in the Macrostrat database are freely available via our Application Programming Interface (API), which provides a convinient way to retrieve data for analysis or application creation. For more information head over to the API root to explore available routes.


Shanan Peters
Principal Investigator
John Czaplewski
Lead Developer
Jon Husson
Postdoctoral Researcher
Andrew Zaffos
Postdoctoral Researcher
Sharon McMullen
Erika Ito
Research Intern
Noel Heim
Researcher (former)
Puneet Kishor
Generally Ignored


literature utilizing Macrostrat data

  1. Chan, M.A., S.E. Peters, B. Tikoff. 2016. The future of field geology, open data sharing, and cybertechnology in Earth science. The Sedimentary Record 14:4-10. [link]
  2. Nelsen, M.P., B.A. DiMichele, S.E. Peters, C.K. Boyce. 2016. Delayed fungal evolution did not cause the Paleozoic peak in coal production. Proc. Nat. Acad. of Sci. USA. [link]
  3. Heavens, N.G. 2015. Injecting climate modeling into deep time studies: ideas for nearly every project. The Sedimentary Record 13:(4)4-10. [link]
  4. Carroll, A.R. 2015. Geofuels: energy and the Earth. Cambridge University Press. [link]
  5. Thomson, T.J. and M.L. Droser. 2015. Swimming reptiles make their mark in the Early Triassic: delayed ecologic recovery increased the preservation potential of vertebrate swim tracks. Geology 43:215-218. [link]
  6. Fraass, A.J., D.C. Kelly, S.E. Peters. 2015. Macroevolutionary history of the planktic foraminifera. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 43:5.1-5.28. [link]
  7. Fan, Y., S. Richard, R.S. Bristol, S.E. Peters, et al.. 2015. DigitalCrust: A 4D data system of material properties for transforming research on crustal fluid flow. Geofluids 15:372-379. [link]
  8. Peters, S.E., D.C. Kelly, and A. Fraass. 2013. Oceanographic controls on the diversity and extinction of planktonic foraminifera. Nature. 493:398-401.[link].
  9. Benson, R.B.J., P.D. Mannion, R.J. Butler, P. Upchurch, A. Goswami, and S.E. Evans. 2012. Cretaceous tetrapod fossil record sampling and faunal turnover: implications for biogeography and the rise of modern clades. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. [link].
  10. Rook, D.L., N.A. Heim, and J. Marcot. 2012.Contrasting patterns and connections of rock and biotic diversity in the marine and non-marine fossil records of North America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. [link].
  11. Halevy, I, S.E. Peters, and W.W. Fischer. 2012. Sulfate burial constraints on the Phanerozoic sulfur cycle. Science 337:331-334. doi:10.1126/science.1220224.[link].
  12. Peters, S.E. and R.R. Gaines. 2012. Formation of the ‘Great Unconformity’ as a trigger for the Cambrian explosion. Nature 484:363-366. doi:10.1038/nature10969. [link].
  13. Finnegan, S., N.A. Heim, S.E. Peters and W.W. Fischer. 2012. Climate change and the selective signature of the late Ordovician mass extinction. PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.1117039109. [link].
  14. Hannisdal, B. and S.E. Peters. 2011. Phanerozoic Earth system evolution and marine biodiversity. Science 334:1121-1124. [link].
  15. Butler, R.J. et al. 2011. Sea level, dinosaur diversity and sampling biases: investigating the ‘common cause’ hypothesis in the terrestrial realm. Proc. Roy. Soc. London B 278:1165-1170. [link].
  16. Melott, A.L. and R.K. Bambach 2011. A ubquitous ~62-Myr periodic fluctuation superimposed on general trends in fossil biodiversity II. Evolutionary dynamics associated with period fluctuation in marine diversity. Paleobiology 37:369-382. [link].
  17. Heim, N.A. and S.E. Peters. 2011. Regional environmental breadth predicts geographic range and longevity in fossil marine genera. PLoS One 6:(5) e18946; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018946 [PDF].
  18. Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2011. Macrostratigraphy and macroevolution in marine environments: testing the common-cause hypothesis. In, Smith, A.B., and A. McGowan, eds. Comparing the rock and fossil records: implications for biodiversity. Special Publication of the Geological Society of London 358:95-104. doi: 10.1144/SP358.7. [link]
  19. Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2011. Macrostratigraphy and macroevolution in marine environments: testing the common-cause hypothesis. In, Smith, A.B., and A. McGowan, eds. Comparing the rock and fossil records: implications for biodiversity. Special Publication of the Geological Society of London 358:95-104. doi: 10.1144/SP358.7. [link]
  20. Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2011. The stratigraphic distribution of marine fossils in North America. Geology 39:259-262; doi: 10.1130/G31442.1. [PDF]
  21. Finnegan, S., S.E. Peters, and W.W. Fischer. 2011. Late Ordovician-Early Silurian selective extinction patterns in Laurentia and their relationship to climate change. In J.C. Gutiérrez-Marco, I. Rábano, and D. Garcia-Bellido, eds. Ordovician of the World. Cuadernos del Museo Geominera 14: 155-159.
  22. Meyers, S.R. and S.E. Peters. 2011. A 56 million year rhythm in North American sedimentation during the Phanerozoic. EPSL doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.12.044. [PDF]
  23. Heim, N.A. and S.E. Peters. 2011. Covariation in macrostratigraphic and macroevolutionary patterns in the marine record of North America. GSA Bulletin 123:620-630. [PDF]
  24. Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2010. The geological completeness of paleontological sampling in North America. Paleobiology 36:61-79. [PDF].
  25. Marx, F.G. 2009. Marine mammals through time: when less is more in studying palaeodiversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 138:183-196. [link]
  26. McGowan, A.J., and A. Smith. 2008. Are global Phanerozoic marine diversity curves truly global? A study of the relationship between regional rock records and global Phanerozoic marine diversity. Paleobiology 34:80-103. [link]
  27. Mayhew, P.J., G.B. Jenkins, and T.G. Benton. 2008. Long-term association between global temperature and biodiversity, origination and extinction in the fossil record. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 275:47-53. [link]
  28. Peters, S.E. 2008. Environmental determinants of extinction selectivity in the fossil record. Nature 454:626-629. [PDF] [supplement]
  29. Peters, S.E. 2008. Macrostratigraphy and its promise for paleobiology. Pp. 205-232 In P.H. Kelley and R.K. Bambach, eds. From evolution to geobiology: research questions driving paleontology at the start of a new century. The Paleontological Society Papers, Vol. 14. 9.[PDF]
  30. Peters, S.E. and W.I. Ausich. 2008. A sampling-standardized macroevolutionary history for Ordovician-Early Silurian crinoids. Paleobiology 34:104-116. [PDF]
  31. Smith, A.B. 2007. Marine diversity through the Phanerozoic: problems and prospects. Journal of the Geological Society, London 164:731-745.[link]
  32. Peters, S.E. 2007. The problem with the Paleozoic. Paleobiology 33:165-181.[PDF]
  33. Peters, S.E. 2006. Macrostratigraphy of North America. Journal of Geology 114:391-412.[PDF]
  34. Peters, S.E. 2005. Geologic constraints on the macroevolutionary history of marine animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 102:12326-12331.[PDF]