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Extracting knowledge from the rock record stored in databases is one of the primary goals of the information-oriented geoscientist. This activity requires well-designed organizational structures to facilitate queries, and ultimately cyber-aided geological research. Such structures need to encompass information about geologic objects and the processes that affect or produce the objects. Therefore, our goal is to create a prototype of a computer-based knowledge environment that specifically reflects the reasoning used by a geoscientist, with the recognition that his/her primary interest lies in understanding processes that affect the rock record. In order to start development of such capabilities, we have utilized an organization of attributes and their definitions to construct a database schema for field-based igneous rocks, and show that its conversion into a knowledge base requires the application of both object and process ontologies.

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