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Google Earth with DSDP hypercube

More Geology Data . . .

World Data Service for Geophysics

Marine Geology Data

A Hypercube of Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Marine Geological and Geophysical Data



The Deep-Sea Drilling Project legacy data on the lithologies and physical properties of core recoveries is reprocessed into a uniformly formatted, integrated dataset which can be worked on in a wide range of software applications for query, analysis, mapping and visualization. The goal is to create a dataset which is able to be used efficiently across many science disciplines, especially in the fields of global change, ocean management and earth sciences research. The hypercube data model allows scientists and others to easily comprehend and work with the data layout and content. The integration has employed methods of standardization, linguistic parsing, error trapping, uncertainty analysis, and presentation that have developed and been validated over a decade of use in dbSEABED, for marine ecology, resources, engineering, research and survey. Nevertheless integration of the DSDP dataset has been challenging, not all the DSDP data could be treated successfully, and future upgrades of this product can be expected.

How to Cite:

Jenkins, C., Haxby, W., and W. Ryan (2000): A Hypercube of Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Marine Geological and Geophysical Data. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. doi:10.7289/V5057CV7

About the Data Set:

File formats representing the hypercube

  • From this web site, four types of data products can be obtained, expressions of the hypercube:

    • Text files ready for import to a wide variety of software applications including GIS, array, and database

    • ArcMAP / ArcSCENE shapefiles, both geographic XYZ and geologic time XYT coordinates

    • MS Access database of relationally-linked data tables with an example query

    • A Google Earth top-level visual indexing of the data

  • File naming is as follows:
    • For text files: DSD_XXX*.txt DSD stands for Deep-Sea Drilling Project; XXX stands for the data processing stream (e.g., 'EXT'); the optional * stands for either N for NGDC data delivery format, or C for compressed components format.

    • Shapefiles generated by ArcCatalog have prefix "XY#" to the front, where # is the type of vertical dimension, Z for depth, T for geologic time.

Specialized outputs formatted for use in GIS

  • These have formats arranged so that the sample XYZT coordinates lie at the front, housekeeping next, then attribute data following. Otherwise they have the same data as earlier stage equivalents.

    • DSD_EXTN.TXT - Extracted data, taken from inputs with little processing necessary. Mainly from analytical results in numerical and coded formats.

    • DSD_PRSN.TXT - Parsed results, based on the descriptive word-based data.

    • DSD_CLCN.TXT - Results from further calculations following the extracted / parsed results. Mainly for abstruse parameters, chiefly geoacoustic, geotechnical.

    • DSD_ONEN.TXT - merged results of the EXT, PRS, CLC processing streams. The merging is done by priority that favours PRS over EXT over CLC, where more than one is present. Except for grainsizes, the process operates per parameter. For grainsizes, the most complete suite of grainsize data (gvl, snd, mud, grsz, srtng) is taken from the PRS,EXT,CLC data, prioritized where two or more equal suites are present.

    • DSD_CMPN.TXT - Component and feature abundances and intensities, computed from inputs such as grain counts, visual descriptions, etc. Component abundances sum to at most 100%, feature intensities (suffix "_F") are each limited to 100%.

Outputs specially formatted

  • DSD_CMPC.TXT - condensed components/features data for use in servers like GeoMapApp which draw on the data using a script.

  • DSD_AGES.TXT - special listing of age identifications in a format compatible with the accompanying reformatted Lazarus et al. (1995) listing.

Bundled zip file delivery

  • All the above files are held in There is no folder structure involved, so they can be dragged/extracted to any location.

GIS formatted outputs (ArcMap, ArcView, ArcScene)

Using the GIS formatted outputs

  • The text files above can be plotted, queried, sub-setted, symbolized, gridded in GIS systems including those of the ESRI suite. Shapefiles for the DSD_PRSN.TXT and DSD_CMPN.TXT series have been prepared and are served here. Only in ArcScene will the 3-dimensional aspect of the files be visible. Notice that for correct handedness in GIS, depths below sealevel and geologic time are negative (altitudes, time's arrow).

  • A global baseline to start with is the low-resolution public ESRI country.shp layer of national outlines. Users will later be able to make gridded or mesh topographies (bathymetries) to 'hang' the DSDP cores below.

  • The Shapefile sets are either in physical depth XYZ or geologic time XYT coordinate systems, using WGS84 datums. They are downloadable in zipped form from XYZ_Coordinates and XYT_Coordinates (337Mb each unzipped). The ArcView 3.x GIS also opens these shapefiles.

  • Legends suitable for the data can be obtained from the dbSEABED site There are separate collections for ArcView 3.x ('Avls') and for ArcMap9.x/ArcScene ('Lyrs'), point legends only.