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Mind the Gap: Finding Data Across Decades and Disciplines with the SSDB. Stephen P. Miller 1 , P. Dru Clark 1 , Jacob M. Perez 1 , Aaron D. Sweeney 1 , John Helly 1,2 , Karen I. Stocks 2 , and Donald W. Sutton 2

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Mind the gap finding data across decades and disciplines with the ssdb

Mind the Gap:

Finding Data Across Decades and Disciplines with the SSDB

Stephen P. Miller1, P. Dru Clark1, Jacob M. Perez1, Aaron D. Sweeney1, John Helly1,2, Karen I. Stocks2, and Donald W. Sutton2

1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

2San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

The Site Survey Data Bank

The fully electronic IODP Site Survey Data Bank (SSDB; http://ssdb.iodp.org) is primarily used to support Site Survey Panels as they evaluate each proposal for drilling, site by site. The SSDB has been in operation since 2005, and has now grown to hold more than 7000 digital objects, such as seismic sections, bottom photographs, bathymetric maps and background reports. By design, the SSDB allows for the secure holding of proprietary data when necessary. Since every object is quality-controlled, geo-referenced, indexed with standard metadata, and stored in a long-term searchable digital library, the Data Bank serves a wider purpose, from conception of proposal ideas, through site evaluation, operations, publication, and future research and education. With this investment in information technology, the system reliably preserves data acquired over many decades. Its flexible and extensible infrastructure makes it applicable to a range of data types and disciplines, allowing it to respond to changing IODP science priorities.

To enable searches across all aspects of drilling, metadata are now being mapped for harvest in the next generation Scientific Earth Drilling Information Service (SEDIS) format. In addition, an “SSDB-in-a-Box” development will allow the entire collection to be transported to vessel or a remote office on a laptop. The SSDB shares technology with the SIOExplorer Digital Library of Scripps expeditions dating back to the 1950’s. The most recent related project is the “Rolling Deck to Repository” initiative that seeks to archive all standard underway shipboard data from US research vessels, with up to 500 expeditions per year conducted by 18 operating institutions (http://www.rvdata.us).

Quality Control: Every upload must meet IODP data and metadata

requirements, including use of certified site names.

QC map viewer checks spatial relationships.

SSDB internal QC checklist

Flexible design allows for new data types

and domains as needed in the future.

Seafloor features

from sidescan data

Location map

to relate activities,

sites, and data sets

Subsurface profile

from interpreted

seismic section

Select from a community-accepted list of standard categories.

Complete Site Characterization:

Proponents upload the data they need to support a proposal. Objects on proprietary hold are protected by username/password security.

Persistence: Preserving data for the long term as a digital library with metadata, so they can always be discovered.

Hosted at SDSC machine room for high bandwidth 24/7 operations. System replicated at SIO and deep archived at 3 remote sites across the U.S.

The SSDB also archives 33,381 legacy physical objects, including maps, reports, seismic sections, disks, and tapes.

Data used with permission

of Greg Mountain, Rutgers.

Go to http://ssdb.iodp.org

Mind the gap finding data across decades and disciplines with the ssdb

Supporting IODP Science


Furthering science through data discovery and download. Search by Proposal, Expedition, Leg, data type, format, lat/lon, date, etc.

Review Panels:

Decision support system provides access to site-specific data for each proposal. INTViewer enables interactive display of seismic data across the web.

Data used with permission of Peter Clift, University of Aberdeen.

Operations and Expeditions:

Packaging the data needed to make on-site operational decisions.

Integrating into SEDIS: Entire SSDB Collection can be searched by SEDIS.


Mobile Support:

SSDB-In-a-Box is a laptop for remote use at meetings or on vessels, independent of Internet connection.

The SSDB Team: The SSDB is developed by a team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, at the University of California, San Diego, under a contract with IODP-MI, funded by the NSF.

Related Projects

Sharing technology and resources

SIOExplorer Digital Library - 1000 SIO cruises since 1950’s


Rolling Deck To Repository (R2R) - Archiving all US routine underway shipboard data,

~ 30 vessels, hundreds of cruises/year


Marine Metadata Interoperability Project (MMI) – Community collaborations advancing marine data integration and re-use


Stephen Miller, John Helly, Don Sutton, Jake Perez, Caryn Neiswender, Chris Massell Symons (top)

Dru Clark, Aaron Sweeney, Karen Stocks, students Andrea Cardenas, Goldy Thach, Jenny Smith, Katie Foster (bottom)

Seismic INTViewer