GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 236-10
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM


NOREN, Anders, CSDCO / LacCore, University of Minnesota, 116 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455,

Core samples generated in scientific drilling and coring are fundamental raw materials for the advancement of the Earth Sciences. The scientific themes enabled by analysis of these samples are diverse, spanning dozens of geoscience disciplines. Linking core samples to researchers, datasets, publications, and funding agencies through registration of globally unique identifiers such as International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs) promises to maximize sample and data discoverability, access, and reuse; a means for providing credit to researchers; and documentation of project outputs to funding agencies for decades after the samples have been collected. Thousands of kilometers of core samples and billions of derivative subsamples have been generated by thousands of investigators, yet the vast majority of these samples are curated at only a few repositories. Core samples are thus a compelling target for IGSN implementation. However, the characteristics of core samples and related workflows create barriers to implementation, including parent-child relationships spanning 8 or more generations, an exponential increase in sample numbers between hierarchy levels, concepts of depth/position in the sample, requirements for associating data derived from core scanning and lithologic description with data derived from subsample analysis, and publications based on tens of thousands of co-registered scan points and subsamples. These characteristics require specialized approaches for accurate assignment of IGSNs, and a community of practice to establish norms, workflows, and resources to support implementation. Recent focused efforts related to the development of the Open Core Data system has yielded key advances toward IGSN registration at the Continental Scientific Drilling Coordination Office (CSDCO) and LacCore facilities, including relaxing IGSN syntax, integrating use of existing facility identifiers, and documentation of hierarchies for simplified communication during registration. These human-readable, self-generating identifiers allow implementation without dedicated cyberinfrastructure. Remaining challenges to implementation include the time required for preparation (reformatting metadata and communications for IGSN registration) and legacy data inconsistencies.