Data Services in Support of Marine Geoscience Research: Preservation, Synthesis and Access

Lead PI: Vicki Ferrini

Unit Affiliation: Marine/Large Programs, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

August 2023 - July 2026
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This project provides continued support for a facility that shares marine geology and geophysics data. Users can download and use data from the global oceans for new research projects. Software allows scientists, educators, and students to easily explore and visualize the seafloor. A topography synthesis integrates seafloor and land data for use by researchers and the public. Broader impacts include workshops to the user community and engagement of summer undergraduate students from Minority Serving Institutions. This project supports complementary disciplinary data services focused on the preservation and access of marine geology and geophysics (MGG) data acquired throughout the global ocean. The Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) curates a coherent collection of disciplinary data about the seafloor and subseafloor, and provides data documentation and preservation services that support data publication, discovery and re-use. The Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis is a multi-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) that seamlessly integrates curated multibeam bathymetry data with other publicly available elevation data to deliver custom maps and elevation data products on-demand for interdisciplinary researchers and the public. The visualization and data discovery tool GeoMapApp (GMA) provides map-based quantitative access to published and community-sourced geoscience data sets, including GMRT, and empowers researchers to visualize and analyze their own data within the context of complementary data. The combined data services of MGDS, GMRT, and GeoMapApp ensure that marine geoscientific data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR), and the complementary aspects of data stewardship handled by each system adds value to these unique and spatiotemporally sparse observational data. The tools and curated data collections that are made publicly available through this project support disciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education.

BROADER IMPACTS: Data services that support data preservation and access increase the return on tax-payer investment in geoscience research by enabling data re-use by a broad community of scientists. Data services also enhance research productivity by reducing the need for time-consuming data searches, and avoid redundant effort related to processing and transformation of data into usable products for scientific exploration and inquiry. As a trusted marine geoscience data repository, the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) supports the preservation, discovery and access of disciplinary data by stewarding a coherent collection of data supported by a rich catalog of curated metadata. MGDS ensures that marine geoscience data products generated by NSF-funded MGG researchers are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). The Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis and GeoMapApp both broaden access to marine geoscience data, by making specialized data available and accessible to specialists and non-specialists alike. GMRT is accessible through multiple interfaces as well as standards-compliant web services that enable third party applications to directly access content and extend the use of seafloor bathymetry data to a broad community of multidisciplinary users and the public. Promoting the adoption of the GMRT multibeam data curation tools by the broader mapping community enhances the quality of bathymetric data products produced by the community, accelerates the growth of the data synthesis, and can be used to train students and early career researchers in bathymetric data processing. GMRT will continue to be an important source of gridded US academic multibeam data for national and international seafloor mapping initiatives including the US National Ocean Mapping, Exploration and Characterization (NOMEC) strategy and the international Seabed 2030 initiative. Data curation tools and workflows will serve as the foundation for engaging summer students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in the New York City area who will be hired to work with the team each year to gain experience with multibeam data processing and geospatial data management. Pre-AGU workshops will be held annually to provide the user community with hands-on experience and support for data system use, with a focus on engaging early career scientists. These tools and services are widely used for both research and teaching and continued maintenance and enhancement will benefit the broad user community.


National Science Foundation




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