DATA MANAGEMENT FOR QUATERNARY COASTAL GEOCHRONOLOGY
The University of Delaware AAR Database (using MS Access® ) was developed over 10 years ago in order to organize dozens of separate data files (generated in a variety of formats since the mid-1970’s) into a common structure (Pellerito, 2004). The database has a “back end” containing six levels beginning with a unique locality identifier, then collection descriptions (i.e., bulk samples or bags of multiple individual specimens), individual samples (i.e., single shells), then laboratory data and results unique to a single analysis, thereby allowing the recording of multiple instrumental runs. The uncertainty in the location of each collection site is estimated using field notes, topographic maps, and Google Earth; uncertainties range from <10 m in some cases to >>1000 m in others, especially older collections or those obtained from museums. Over 2800 collection sites are now documented in our database; those within the US are grouped by relevant USGS 1:100,000 topographic sheets to facilitate data searching. Not all sites have AAR data, but they are included because of relevant independent chronologic information. The “front end” of the database allows searching using multiple criteria (map sheet, genus, latitude/longitude, etc.) and permits simple statistical outputs (means, standard deviations) for individual or groups of localities. The current storage location of analyzed samples is also recorded, as future collections may not be possible. Database outputs can be easily transferred to online ArcGIS for public viewing (e.g. http://bit.ly/1hvGm9s).