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Data Management

Data and Information Management is one of the basic value added scientific services of the Operational Support Group (OSG) of ICDP. The Drilling Information System (DIS) was designed towards the realization of these services, a special system for the management of ICDP drilling data.

Scientific Rationale

ICDP is an international program to investigate the ‘System Earth' in multidisciplinary co-operation. Funded drilling projects are characterized by resource consuming fieldwork at world-class geological sites and by the global scope of research objectives. During project work, partnering researchers from all over the world work together at remote drill sites and in laboratories at their institutions. Researchers apply a range of highly diverse scientific methodologies, thereby acquiring huge data sets. Multinational co-operation and increasing amounts of scientific data require completely new concepts and practices for scientific work, and place heavy demands on information and communications management [Wächter, Mie 1998]. This is achieved by means of the ICDP Information Network. Scientists working on ICDP related data need a central long-term data archive with powerful tools for navigation, data modeling and analysis.

ICDP Information Network

The main objective of the Information Network of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program [Conze, Wächter 1998] is to provide comprehensive data and information management for continental scientific drilling projects.

The Information Network offers services supporting:
• dissemination of project information by the ICDP Clearinghouse [Mie, Conze 1999],
• integrated evaluation and analysis of data supported by the ICDP Data Warehouse [Wächter et al. 1999],
• capture of scientific drilling data using the special On-Site Drilling Information System DIS [Conze, Krysiak 1999],
• a virtual global field laboratory based on the eXtended DIS.

ICDP Clearinghouse

The ICDP Clearinghouse is a public World Wide Web site and search engine. It is the interface for casual users interested in ICDP, its projects and partners. It is also the point of entry for expert users. The clearinghouse enables all different types of users to fulfill their high-level information needs. Geoscientific data and information of ICDP projects and other related programs such as IODP are offered via the ICDP Web server at GFZ Potsdam (http://www.icdp-online.org).

ICDP Data Warehouse

The ICDP Data Warehouse provides data sets of ICDP projects and powerful tools for navigation, data modeling and analysis. It contains not only measurements such as logging data or descriptions of lithological profiles, but also seismic sections or digital images of core samples [Wächter et al. 1999]. Data sets are accessible in the spatial context of the crustal segment, where the actual drilling activity is located.

ICDP Drilling Information System DIS

The DIS is a toolkit to develop on-site information systems for drilling projects. The toolkit contains tools to define, generate and administrate data structures, graphical user interfaces and many other elements of a drilling information system. In co-operation with IODP, these features were used to develope a DIS with many common components providing compatibility to IODP related databases and information systems such as JANUS, PANGAEA, and the Bremen Core Repository.

The DIS features are unique and offer a professional data and information management for scientific drilling projects on land, on lakes or on seas.

Extended Drilling Information System XDIS

The XDIS is the consequential step towards the development of advanced Drilling Information Systems. Whereas the original DIS is designed for the use at the drill location only, the extended version has a special Web interface. The interface allows remote access to the DIS database. The access is restricted exclusively to project members. The system can be used to establish a virtual field laboratory for globally distributed research groups. The XDIS allows researchers to download existing data and reference profiles, and to upload new data sets and documents. After validation and publication, these data will be transferred to the originator site of the ICDP Information Network at GFZ.


The Web based components of the ICDP Information Network were developed in close co-operation between OSG and the Data Center of the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ). The design and implementation of the DIS were performed by smartcube GmbH, Berlin. Essential funds were provided by GFZ, ICDP, ECORD, and the German Science Foundation.