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PHASS99: A software program for retrieving and decoding the radiometric ages of igneous rocks from the international database IGBADAT

Al-Mishwat, Ali T.
Computers & geosciences 2016 v.90 pp. 164-169
computer software, computers, databases, igneous rocks, radiometry
PHASS99 is a FORTRAN program designed to retrieve and decode radiometric and other physical age information of igneous rocks contained in the international database IGBADAT (Igneous Base Data File). In the database, ages are stored in a proprietary format using mnemonic representations. The program can handle up to 99 ages in an igneous rock specimen and caters to forty radiometric age systems. The radiometric age alphanumeric strings assigned to each specimen description in the database consist of four components: the numeric age and its exponential modifier, a four-character mnemonic method identification, a two-character mnemonic name of analysed material, and the reference number in the rock group bibliography vector. For each specimen, the program searches for radiometric age strings, extracts them, parses them, decodes the different age components, and converts them to high-level English equivalents. IGBADAT and similarly-structured files are used for input. The output includes three files: a flat raw ASCII text file containing retrieved radiometric age information, a generic spreadsheet-compatible file for data import to spreadsheets, and an error file. PHASS99 builds on the old program TSTPHA (Test Physical Age) decoder program and expands greatly its capabilities. PHASS99 is simple, user friendly, fast, efficient, and does not require users to have knowledge of programing.