GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 216-3
Presentation Time: 2:05 PM


WALKER, J. Douglas1, TIKOFF, Basil2, NEWMAN, Julie3, GOOD, Jessica4, ASH, Jason1, ANDREW, Joseph E.1, WILLIAMS, Randolph T.2, MICHELS, Z.D.2, KAHN, Maureen2 and BUNSE, Emily G.1, (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,

We are developing the Strabo data system for the structural geology and tectonics community. The data system allows researchers to share primary data, apply analytical procedures (e.g., statistical analysis), and interact with other sub-disciplines. Strabo uses a graph database, rather than relational database, which allows flexibility to define relationships between objects of any type. We developed a field application for data collection and visualization that runs on iOS and Android systems. The application makes extensive use of images, such as photos or sketches, which can be hierarchically arranged with encapsulated data across all scales. The system can also interact with common spatial data storage formats (e.g., Shapefiles and KML).

The advantage of the Strabo data structure is the ability of graph database to link objects in both numerous and complex ways. Rather than relying on a traditional table structure, individual entries of any kind in a graph database contain direct links to related elements allowing better representation of data, where observations may be linked in a discrete but complex manner that cannot be accommodated by a predefined relational table. We further apply the concept of a “Spot” as any observation that characterizes a specific area. This can be anything from a strike and dip measurement of bedding to a collection of observations that define, for example, a fold. In the latter case, the Spot is the fold but holds together spatially resolved relationships between Spots/observations that define the fold (limb and/or hinge orientation and axial planar cleavage). Hence, the Spot concept is completely general and scales to all relationships and observation sets. Therefore, large spatial variations and complex geometries of naturally deformed rocks are quantified and stored in the field. Strabo can integrate seamlessly with the workflow of most geologists if they are willing to move into digital data collection or documentation out of the field. Future efforts will focus on extending Strabo to other sub-disciplines as well as developing a desktop system exploiting the power of graph databases.