GEOTRACES First Intermediate Data Product

GEOTRACES plans to prepare and release a first intermediate data product from the GEOTRACES project and to specifically request your contributions to this project.

The data product that we intend will be a series of sections and associated data that are available at the time of data preparation (more about timelines below). There will be no regional or elemental focus; all data collected as part of the GEOTRACES Programme will be considered for inclusion.

The logic for the release of the data product is both scientific and political. The data being collected on GEOTRACES cruises is of value to many fields of oceanography and release of quality-controlled data in a timely manner will be of broad benefit to ocean research. It is also important to advertise to our various funding agencies the significant progress that is being made in meeting the scientific goals of the International GEOTRACES project.

The time line for preparation of this product is as follows:


2012Commence intercalibration of existing data sets under the auspices of the GEOTRACES Standards and Intercalibration (S&I) committee. This effort is to focus in particular on laboratory measurements of GEOTRACES Intercomparison standards, exchanged samples from GEOTRACES cruises, and on results from cross-over stations.
December 2012Deadline for submission of data to the GEOTRACES Data Assembly Centre (GDAC http://www.bodc.ac.uk/geotraces/) for inclusion in data product (Note: submission of data does not require public release of data. Data will remain accessible only to data originators and to the GEOTRACES Standards and Intercalibration committee until final release of the Intermediate Data Product, unless the originator provides written authorization to release the data at an earlier date).
2013Continuation of intercalibration of submitted data sets by the Standards and Intercalibration committee (with input from data originators)
Spring 2014Release of the data product on the web in several formats (to include csv, ODV, NetCDF).

The benefits of participation are as follows:

The product provides an opportunity to publicize results more widely than will be achieved in individual research papers. As the first data product of the international GEOTRACES project it will receive widespread attention in the oceanographic community. It will also be distributed to the funding agencies that have supported the program.

Data originators will be identified prominently in the product. Furthermore, GEOTRACES will ensure that relevant primary papers will be cited when the dataset is used. Anyone downloading the product will be required to commit to citation of the original literature when using the data. To further recognize data sources, names of data originators will be integrated into graphic data products (e.g., section plots).

Data incorporated in the product will have been through an intercalibration process involving data originators to improve the global quality of GEOTRACES data before the programme develops further. We expect that any corrections or adjustments needed to data will be completed and no data where originators are still working on reaching a consensus or where accuracy or reliability are controversial will be included in the data product.

Important note:

It is possible to have data in the GDAC but not publicly accessible. Similarly, participation in the intercalibration process by the S&I committee will not result in public release of data. We urge all PIs who have submitted proprietary data by December 2012 to make it available for the intermediate data product. All data that is part of this product will remain protected until the public release of the data product, currently expected in Spring of 2014, unless the originator provides written authorization to release the data at an earlier date.

We are specifically requesting your participation in this project and would like to remind you that the December 31st, 2012 will be the deadline for submission of data to GDAC to be included in this product.


Chris Measures and Reiner Schlitzer, Co-Chairs of the GEOTRACES Data Management Committee