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Cyberinfrastructure to Support Research and Development on the Geothermal Potential of Sedimentary Basins

Snyder, Walter S.*1; Moore, Joseph N.2; Block, Karen A.3; Holbrook, John M.4; Bandy, Phillip 1
(1) Dept. Geoscience, Boise State University, Boise, ID.
(2) Energy & Geoscience Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
(3) Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, City College of New York, New York, NY.
(4) Geology, Energy & the Environment, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX.

We are assembling an international team on the cyberinfrastructure needs for research, education and knowledge transfer as part of the SedHeat initiative. SedHeat is a community-based initiative on the science and engineering challenges of the geothermal potential of sedimentary basins, sponsored by NSF. SedHeat includes academic and industry participants, with a strong emphasis on education, diversity and career pathways and on shared cyberinfrastructure and data (see

Issues associated with acquisition, curation, access and use of data underpin all activities. For example, we need to provide seamless linkages of data to analysis and visualization tools, in particular high-level modeling programs and required computational resources. When dealing with industry partnerships, proprietary data must be handled carefully, so to moratorium data from both industry and academic researchers. We also must better utilize these research-level data within the education enterprise to train and attract our next generation of geoscientists and geoengineers.

Data discovery and sharing among multiple data sites is a persistent issue. The notion of the "semantic web" has sparked continued debate because of the stated need for ontologies and single-definition vocabularies. Whereas intellectually attractive, after 11 years of effort it has failed to reach its goals because of an overly restrictive framework. A hybrid approach is now evolving that utilizes some tools of the semantic web but recognizes the investment in current data sites and the different needs of the various user communities. This approach also recognizes that much "knowledge" (the ultimate outcome of cyberinfrastructure) is wrapped up in differences among vocabularies, languages and concepts and that forcing singularity decreases the knowledge value of data and their resulting data products. This approach makes data sharing more difficult, but not impossible, and importantly opens up the system for broader participation and collaboration.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California