2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


HATCHER Jr, Robert D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, 306 EPS Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410, SINHA, A. Krishna, Geological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 and KELLER, G. Randy, Department of Geological Sciences, Univ of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University, El Paso, TX 79968, bobmap@utk.edu

Successful research on large segments of crust, such as parts of or entire mountain chains, for understanding crustal and lithospheric processes requires integration of large geologic, geophysical, and geochemical data sets in a geospatial context. Most geochemical, geochronologic, petrologic, stratigraphic, paleontologic, structural, and other geologic data sets can be compiled in tables and photographs, but are meaningful only if they are tied to a geologic map/geospatial context. Geophysical data (e.g., potential fields, tomographic) have long required a geospatial context, so accessible databases already exist. Other data sets are variously organized into simple databases, or, more frequently, none at all. Prerequisites to community-wide accessibility of Earth science data include: availability and compilation of data into databases, and designing databases so they are universally accessible to potential users. Paleontological, petrologic, geochemical, and geochronologic data can be compiled from the literature and from individuals willing to share data into digital photographs and spreadsheets. Stratigraphic data have both vertical (sections and borehole data) and horizontal variability (e.g., facies), with much useful data acquired by the petroleum industry. Structural data can also be compiled into geo-referenced spreadsheets. Detailed geologic maps, and the geospatial relationships they portray, provide the context and basis for understanding all other geologic data sets derived from samples within the boundaries of a geologic map. Smaller-scale geologic maps provide opportunities for integration with geophysical (potential field, seismic) and other kinds of data. The convergence and truncation of several Proterozoic, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic tectonostratigraphic terranes and structures beneath the Coastal Plain of Alabama, and derivative maps of plutons, structures, and metamorphism in parts of the Appalachians are examples of successful integration of data sets from a variety of sources.