SedDB and PaleoStrat: Crossing the Water Line
Walter S. Snyder1 and Kerstin Lehnert2
1 Boise State University, Boise, ID
2 Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY
SedDB (www.seddb.org) and PaleoStrat (www.paleostrat.org) are joining forces to provide a master database for marine and terrestrial sedimentary geologic data. Working with CHRONOS, GEON, Janus, and others, our initial focus is on sedimentary geochemistry. SedDB, a newly funded NSF project, will provide a global data set for marine sediment geochemistry. Desktop access maximizes the use of these data for a wide range of research topics and facilitates integration of geochemical with other data types, promoting cross-disciplinary research. PaleoStrat, an emerging NSF-sponsored data system, facilitates integrative research by capturing the complete sedimentary geologic context of research projects in a suite of sedimentary, paleontologic, stratigraphic, geochemical, geochronologic, and related data modules. Both systems are loading legacy data, but also are working with the community to provide the type and level of support necessary for user data input.
This partnership underscores the fact that without data, geoinformatics cannot exist. We certainly need better approaches to data mining, easier and more extensive analytical tools, etc., but without data there is nothing to mine. Although much attention is being paid to the upcoming deluge of data from sensors and sensor arrays, one of the less emphasized challenges is capturing data that reflects the backbone of the Earth sciences - the fundamental geological data of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary geology, paleontology/paleobiology, geochemistry and geochronology. No one effort can provide for this breadth of data needs, but SedDB and PaleoStrat, along with our partners, are addressing part of this issue.