1. What kinds of data can I obtain through PetDB?

PetDB provides access to major oxide, trace element, isotopes, age, and modal data from igneous and metamorphic rocks, xenolith samples from the Earth's mantle and lower crust and diamond geochemistry. The analytical data are complemented by associated metadata (commonly defined as data about data) which provide information on how the data was obtained, including information about the sample, analytical method, rock texture, literature reference, and geographic location.

2. I am a first-time user and do not have specialized geochemistry knowledge. How do I begin?

Please download our Tutorial for tips on how to get started.

3. I would like my data to appear in PetDB or another EarthChem database. How can I contribute?

We encourage authors to submit their datasets and databases to EarthChem. If you are interested in contributing your data please see our page on Data Contribution, call Kerstin Lehnert at (845) 365-8506, or email us at

4. How do I know these data are reliable?

EarthChem databases contain data that have appeared in the public record. This includes journal articles, monographs, ODP briefs, masters and doctoral theses. EarthChem cannot guarantee the accuracy of reported data beyond peer review at the publication and committee level. We strongly urge users to use the same level of critical judgment as they would with any other kind of published data.

5. What are “precompiled” datasets and how are they useful?

Precompiled data sets group together analyses for samples, even if published in different papers. Datasets that are not precompiled are listed in individual rows and require much more post-download manipulation prior to analysis. Precompiled datasets undergo a database script that selects data according to data quality. For example, if potassium in a sample has been analyzed by both x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and wet chemistry (WET) the precompiled routine will choose the XRF data for its higher quality. These sets are particularly useful to educators and researchers who want to analyze data quickly without extensive processing of the downloaded spreadsheet.

6. Are there other databases out there similar to PetDB?

Yes. PetDB is a member of the EarthChem federation of geochemistry databases and is part of a larger community of cyberinfrastructure projects that provide open access to geoscience data.

SedDB: Geochemistry of marine sediments from across the globe.
NAVDAT: Geochemistry of volcanic rocks from the western United States. 
GEOROC: Geochemistry of rocks from the continents and oceans
MGDS: Marine Geoscience Data System – MARGINS data portal

Geochron: Geochronology and quantitative chronostratigraphy
CoreWall: Stratigraphy software tools
CHRONOS: Earth history data portal
GEON: Geosciences Network – data and tools

7. How can I visualize my dataset on a map if I don’t own GIS software?

You can download GeoMapApp free of charge from the Marine Geoscience Data System website  ( GeoMapApp is software that allows the user to visualize data in a number of different ways. Instructions on how to install and use the tool are available on the website.