OneGeochemistry: a Proposed International Framework to Enable Online Interchange of Globally Distributed Geochemical Data
Dr Lesley Wyborn1, Dr Kerstin Lehnert2, Dr Alexander Prent3, Dr Marthe Klöcking4, Dr Jens Klump5, Dr Geertje ter Maat6, Dr Kirsten Elger7, Dr Lucia Profeta2
1Australian National University, Acton, Australia
2Columbia University, Palisades, United States of America
3Curtin University, Bentley, Australia
4Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
5CSIRO Mineral Resources, Kensington, Australia
6Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
7Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences , Potsdam, Germany
Geochemical data are fundamental to understanding processes in natural systems and have been collected for more than a century. They could now be a vital input into many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG#6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); SDG#7 (Affordable and Clean Energy); SDG#8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth); SDG#9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure); SDG#13 (Climate Action) and SDG#15 (Life on Land).
Unfortunately, it is near impossible to reuse the vast existing amounts of geochemical data: they are currently globally fragmented over thousands of databases and are located in either personal, institutional or national silos. Very little is accessible online and where it is, the lack of agreed international standards for metadata/data make it near impossible to reuse without considerable human effort in data wrangling and cleaning.
A mapping of the global landscape identified some major national geochemical data ‘Systems’ (GeoRoc, EarthChem, Deep-time Digital Earth, AuScope Geochemistry Network, EPOS): each deals with various parts of the geochemical ecosystem ranging from collection /description of samples in the field, through laboratory analysis, to publication of the results and their longer term accessibility in online databases.
Although each ‘System’ has a different driver, funding and context, there are common elements within each that can be leveraged into a OneGeochemistry ‘Framework’ (e.g., target analytes are based on the Periodic Table; all require standard units of measure; many use rock or mineral names). The overall goal is to create a FAIR global network of interoperable distributed geochemical databases and data systems.
Lesley Wyborn is an Honorary Professor at the Research School of Earth Sciences and the National Computational Infrastructure at ANU and also works part time for ARDC. She had 42 years’ experience in Geoscience Australia in Geochemistry and Mineral Systems research and in data management. She is Chair of the Academy of Science ‘National Data in Science Committee’ and is on the AGU Data Management Advisory Board and the ESIP Executive Board.