About SedDB

What is SedDB?

SedDB is a data management and information system for marine sediment geochemistry. It provides access to data of fundamental interest to a wide range of research topics, from paleoclimate reconstructions to fluxes between the Earth's surface and mantle. SedDB is expected to have a broad and profound impact on the application of the geochemical data set of marine sediments for science and education:

  • SedDB provides easy on-line access to an integrated data set allowing researchers, teachers, and students to explore both data and metadata, and any subset of the data customized to their specific research problem or teaching project.
  • SedDB preserves data that are in danger of being lost due to incomplete publication. Access to the complete data of a publication provide ensures that data and hypothesis can be evaluated and that new data analysis methods can be applied to existing data, which reduces redundant efforts in data acquisition.
  • SedDB documents the analytical data with all relevant (and available) metadata that are critical for proper evaluation of the data, so that the data can be re-used in the future.
  • SedDB allows integration of the geochemical data with other data types, either on the basis of individual samples, by linking chemical analyses to other sample data, or on the basis of entire data sets, through interoperability with complementary data systems, thus facilitating new multi-disciplinary approaches in data interpretation.

SedDB's design has been guided by community input provided by the workshop "Linking Information Systems in Marine and Terrestrial Geosciences: Sediment Geochemistry" held in the summer of 2004.

Read about the Rationale for SedDB


System Specifications

SedDB is modeled closely after the highly successful web-based igneous rock databases PetDB, GEOROC, and NAVDAT. These databases give investigators easy and fast access to comprehensive integrated global data sets over the web, allowing them to extract subsets of these data in any size within minutes via interactive interfaces where investigators or students can customize their queries according to their research problems or course projects. The integration of data distinguishes these systems from data archives or data catalogs that offer access only to individual data sets such as data tables from publications.

SedDB contains the full range of analytical values for sediment samples from major and trace element concentrations to radiogenic and stable isotope ratios, and data for all types of material such as organic and inorganic components, leachates, and size fractions. It includes a wide variety of supplementary data (metadata) that are relevant to describe both samples and analytical data for proper data evaluation and analysis. These metadata also constitute the criteria by which the user can select and sort samples and chemical data while interacting with the database.



SedDB is developed and maintained as part of the Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance data facility at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. The initial development was done in collaboration with N. Pisias at Oregon State University and R. Murray at Boston University.