IEDA 2016-2021: Operation of a Multi-Disciplinary Data Facility for the Earth Science Community - MG/EarthChem/SESAR

Lead PI: Dr. Kerstin A. Lehnert , Dr. David S. Goldberg , Dr. Suzanne M. Carbotte , , Vicki Ferrini

Unit Affiliation: Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

February 2017 - April 2022
Global ; Global Ocean
Project Type: Facilities & Operations

DESCRIPTION: Geoscience in the 21st century is increasingly data driven. Easy, reliable access to trustworthy, quality-controlled data on the Earth and its environment is critical for enabling the mining and analysis of multi-disciplinary datasets that facilitate scientific breakthroughs and increase our knowledge of the Earth and processes at and below its surface. The increasing number of large-volume and heterogeneous sensor datasets; the need to improve discovery of existing legacy data and combine information from disparate data types or that are in different formats; and the need to educate students and faculty in proper data management are significant challenges within the geosciences as well as across the sciences broadly. To support these needs and to ensure valuable research data resources are easily and publicly available to maximize their potential for use for research and education, geoscience data need to be professionally managed and curated.

This funding renews support for the Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance (IEDA), an NSF-funded facility supporting a partnership of domain-specific data systems that are scientifically linked in their relevance for studies of the solid Earth. These systems share common repository infrastructure elements and work together to offer integrated services for data submission and data discovery and access that support interdisciplinary research. Key components of the IEDA facility include repositories for file-based resources (MGDS, EarthChem Library, USAP-DC); a registry and metadata catalog of geoscience samples (SESAR); synthesis datasets for global seafloor topography (GMRT) and geochemistry (PetDB); user interfaces for text-based and map-based data discovery and access (IEDA Data Browser); support for machine clients to submit and access data and metadata; and software for data visualization and exploration (GeoMapApp). IEDA also provides tools for data management planning and reporting to assist investigators with NSF data management policies.

IEDA hosts and serves diverse earth science data that includes marine geophysical data including marine seismic and bathymetry; rock and seafloor sediment and hydrothermal vent fluid geochemistry; geochronology; Antarctic research data; information about physical samples; and other marine and earth science data. These data support diverse studies ranging from global tectonic studies of mid-ocean ridges, subduction zones, hotspots and passive continental margin processes, mantle geodynamics, geohazards, sediment transport between the continents and oceans, global geochemical cycles, and Earth surface processes.

OUTCOMES: IEDA data resources and services can be accessed through:

The GeoMapApp marine and earth science data visualization tool can be access at

The Global Multi-Resolution Topography Synthesis can be accessed at

The Marine Geoscience Data Repository can be accessed at


National Science Foundation (NSF)




UTIG Austin, University of Colorado



HANSON, Brooks, LEHNERT, Kerstin A., CUTCHER-GERSHENFELD, Joel "Committing to publishing data in the Earth and space sciences" EOS, v.96, 2015, p.. doi:10.1029/2015EO022207 

HSU, Leslie, LEHNERT, Kerstin A., GOODWILLIE, Andrew, DELANO, John W., GILL, James B., TIVEY, Maurice A., FERRINI, Vicki L., CARBOTTE, Suzanne M., ARKO Robert A. "Rescue of long-tail data from the ocean bottom to the Moon: IEDA Data Rescue Mini-Awards" GeoResJ, v.6, 2015, p.108. doi:10.1016/j.grj.2015.02.012 

DATASETS: IEDA curates and provides access to diverse earth science data that includes marine seismic, seafloor bathymetry and side-scan sonar data; rock and seafloor sediment and hydrothermal vent fluid geochemistry; geochronology; Antarctic research data; information about physical samples; and other marine and earth science data.


education interdisciplinary earth data alliance interdisciplinary earth alliance data management planning antarctic data marine geoscience data curation solid earth science data legacy data cyberinfrastructure data access