Core data stewardship: a long-term perspective
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) and collocated World Data Center for Marine Geology and Geophysics, Boulder, CO, USA provides scientific data stewardship for many environmental datasets, including geological information derived from sea-floor samples. The essence of NGDC’s stewardship philosophy is that data management practices must evolve and incorporate new technologies in order to keep data interoperable with complementary data streams and maintain their usefulness in a changing research environment. The Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples database exemplifies NGDC’s evolutionary and collaborative approach to data management. The most recent version of the Index is a geospatially enabled relational database, providing data discovery and delivery via an interactive map on the Web. Geospatial databases and Internet mapping tools are an integral part of NGDC’s current centre-wide systems architecture.
Figures & Tables
Marine sediment cores are the fundamental data source for information on seabed character, depositional history and environmental change. They provide raw data for a wide range of research including studies of climate change, palaeoceanography, slope stability, oil exploration, pollution assessment and control, seafloor survey for laying cables, pipelines and construction of seafloor structures. During the last three decades, a varied suite of new technologies have been developed to analyse cores, often non-destructively, to produce high-quality, closely spaced, co-located downcore measurements. These techniques can characterize sediment physical properties, geochemistry and composition in unprecedented detail. Palaeoenvironmentally significant proxies can now be logged at decadal, and in some cases, annual or sub-annual scales, allowing highly detailed insights into climatic history and associated environmental change. These advances have had a profound effect on many aspects of the Earth Sciences and our understanding of the Earth's history.
In this volume, recent advances in analytical and logging technology and their application to the analysis of sediment cores are presented. Developments in providing access to core data and associated datasets, and advances in data mining technology in order to integrate and interpret new and legacy datasets within the wider context of seafloor studies are also discussed.