GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 226-2
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


SCUDERI, Louis A.1, WEISSMANN, Gary S.1 and HARTLEY, Adrian J.2, (1)Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, MSC03-2040, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, (2)Geology & Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, United Kingdom,

Aeolian science is faced with significant challenges that impact its ability to benefit from recent advances in information technology. As a discipline we deal with high-end systems in the form of ground and satellite based sensors, computer modeling and simulation and wind tunnel experiments. We also collect field data manually with observational methods that may differ significantly between studies with little agreement on even basic morphometric parameters. Data produced from these studies, while forming the core of research papers and reports, is rarely available to the community at large. The Aeolian “world-view” also does not always fit within neat increments nor is defined by crisp objects. Instead change is continuous and features are fuzzy. All of this is superimposed on an underlying semantic structure that dates back to the 1800's or earlier that is confusing, with ambiguously defined, and at times even contradictory, meanings.

Development of an ontological framework to guide spatiotemporal research is the fundamental starting point for organizing data in Aeolian science. This requires a “rethinking” of how Aeolian scientists collect, process, store and share data. In this talk we propose a community-wide collaborative approach designed to bring Aeolian science into a data rich future. This requires the establishment of working groups to deal with content, format, processing pipelines, knowledge discovery tools and database access issues unique to Aeolian science.

There is also a pressing need to develop efficient methods to integrate, analyze and manage external data and to promote data produced by Aeolian scientists so it is available for preparing diagnostic studies, advising national and international bodies and driving research agendas. Without access and discovery important research and the datasets produced by Aeolian scientists, necessary for input into global models, will not be available.

Achieving this goal requires the development of comprehensive and high-organized databases, tools that allow scientists to access and analyze the wealth of data available, and a supporting infrastructure that allows Aeolian scientists to communicate their results in replicable fashion to other scientists both within the discipline and in coupled disciplines.