2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 324-7
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM


WALKER, J. Douglas1, TIKOFF, Basil2, NEWMAN, Julie3, GOOD, Jessica4, ASH, Jason5, MICHELS, Z.D.6, ANDREW, Joseph E.1, WILLIAMS, Randolph T.7, MÖLLER, Andreas1 and RICHARD, Stephen M.4, (1)Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, (2)Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1215 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706, (3)Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, (4)Arizona Geological Survey, 416 W. Congress, #100, Tucson, AZ 85701, (5)Department of Geology, Univ of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, (6)Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1215 W. Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706, (7)Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Weeks Hall for Geologic Sciences, 1215 W. Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706, jdwalker@ku.edu

To date there has been no integrated field and laboratory Data System for Structural Geology and Tectonics (SG&T) information. We are prototyping a new system that is platform independent (from mobile device to desktop) to enable collection and sharing of data from field to laboratory applications. The effort should facilitate the sharing of data with the larger geoscience community. SG&T data are complex, because they include a wide range of temporal and spatial scales (many orders of magnitude each), complex three-dimensional geometries, and the difficulty of making temporal inferences from spatial observations. The data are also spatially referenced from the global to the microscopic level. To implement a Data System, we are simultaneously addressing three issues: 1) How to digitize SG&T data; 2) How to design a software system that is flexible from the expert user to other domain scientists; and 3) How to construct a very flexible user interface.

To better characterize SG&T data we are using what we call the “Spot” concept, which is more akin to a social network than a relational database. This allows tracking of hierarchical and spatial relations between structures at all scales, and will link map scale, mesoscale, and laboratory scale data. A Spot can be a single measurement, a group of measurements, or a relationship shared between numerous other Spots (e.g., cross cutting relations). Because relationships are dynamic and complex, we use a graph database system for storing data. We have engaged the SG&T community in the development of the system in a variety of ways, including several subdiscipline-specific workshops to develop community standards, and town-hall meetings. We have also carried out pilot projects connected with a field camp, student research, and an EarthCube RCN.