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Core Data from the Deep Sea Drilling Project

WDC for MGG, Boulder Seafloor Series volume I *

History of the DSDP CD-ROM Project

(from the original 1989 CD-ROM)

The DSDP was an international study of the global oceans (see acknowledgments) that spanned three decades and 96 cruises of the D/V GLOMAR CHALLENGER. Data resulting from intensive study of the 624 sites drilled and cored during those 96 legs are largely contained in the Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project or "bluebooks." Many data are archived on microfilm and some exist in multiple forms.

During the term of the DSDP, the DSDP data management group designed and compiled a suite of computerized files covering many disciplines. Information used to build these computerized data files was extracted from the Initial Reports, taken directly from laboratory analyses and shipboard observations, and collected from Principal Investigators directly. For each type of information, the DSDP data management group developed a standard format, comprehensive documentation, and codes for data translation.

In 1987, final versions of all DSDP data files including digital and non-digital geological, reference, underway geophysical, and logging data were forwarded to NGDC for archive and distribution to the public on request. At the same time, copies of all geological and reference files were transferred to the Science Operations Group of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) located at Texas A&M University, Science Operator for the ODP, and copies of digital logging data were sent to the Borehole Research Group of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, logging contractor for the ODP.

Also in 1987, the Information Handling Panel (IHP) of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) began to study the possibility of making all of the DSDP data files available directly to the scientific community using then newly available CD-ROM technology.

In 1988, with support from the U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. (JOI), NGDC began work on producing the DSDP version 1.0 CD-ROM data set and accompanying software. NGDC extensively checked, cleaned, indexed, and organized the DSDP data files; decoded and produced a readable "browse" version of each fixed-field DSDP data file; and developed custom menu-driven software to provide access to the full suite of computerized DSDP data and reference files. Some logging data previously not in standard digital form were digitized and/or reformatted by Dr. Richard VonHerzen of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) under contract to JOI/USSSP for the version 1.0 CD-ROM set. Also under contract to JOI/USSSP, WHOI prepared additional x-ray mineralogy data.

With the release of the version 1.0 DSDP CD-ROM data set in 1989, for the first time any data user with a personal computer and CD-ROM reader was able to navigate or "browse" through the full range of computerized data generated by the DSDP, and extract data of interest for further examination or manipulation. Prior to this release, DSDP data inspection by individual scientists required multiple magnetic tape mounts and custom software. It was the hope of NGDC and JOI/USSSP that the ability to easily peruse the entire DSDP data set would stimulate the imagination of scientists around the world.

2000 Revision of the Original 1989 CD-ROM

In 2000, the version 1.0 DSDP CD-ROM supply was exhausted. Rather than reprint the original discs, NGDC decided to update both the user interface and the form in which the data are offered for a revised CD-ROM to be issued as the first volume in a new "Seafloor Series" produced under the auspices of the World Data Center for Marine Geology and Geophysics (collocated with NGDC).

The 2000 "Core data from the DSDP" CD-ROM contains all of the original sediment and rock descriptive and analytical files from Disc 1 of the version 1.0 DSDP CD-ROM set and includes a completely cross-platform HTML user interface. In addition to offering files in the original DSDP ASCII format, and selected files in the original "browse" format, each data type is now offered in an ASCII tab-delimited form suitable for upload into most spreadsheet and database applications. Coded fields in the tab-delimited form have been translated to "plain English" for ease of use.

Underway geophysical and logging data are not reproduced on the 2000 version. Geophysical data are available from NGDC on other CD-ROMs, and logging data are available in the proprietary Schlumberger "LIS" format from either NGDC or from the Borehole Logging Group of LDEO. NGDC/WDC for MGG, Boulder hopes to release the DSDP logging data in cooperation with LDEO in ASCII form at a later date, but there are no definite plans to do so at this time.

This Web Version of the 2000 CD-ROM *

This web version of the 2000 CD-ROM has been modified to provide access to related resources, and to update links and organizational information.


Cite as: Deep Sea Drilling Project (1989): Archive of Core and Site/Hole Data and Photographs from the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP). National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. doi:10.7289/V54M92G2 [access date]

These Web pages are from the Core Data from the Deep Sea Drilling Project Legs 1-96 CD-ROM produced in 1989 and modified in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Geophysical Data Center (now part of the National Centers for Environmental Information), and collocated World Data Center for Marine Geology and Geophysics, Boulder (now part of the World Data Service for Geophysics). Data were compiled in cooperation with the U.S. Science Support Program, of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. (now the Consortium for Ocean Leadership), and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

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