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Palaeo-sea-level and palaeo-ice-sheet databases: problems, strategies, and perspectives

Dusterhus, André; Rovere, Alessio; Carlson, Anders E.; Horton, Benjamin P.; Klemann, Volker; Tarasov, Lev; Barlow, Natasha L.M.; Bradwell, Tom; Clark, Jorie; Dutton, Andrea; Gehrels, W. Roland; Hibbert, Fiona D.; Hijma, Marc P.; Khan, Nicole; Kopp, Robert E.; Sivan, Dorit; Törnqvist, Torbjörn E.. 2016 Palaeo-sea-level and palaeo-ice-sheet databases: problems, strategies, and perspectives. Climate of the Past, 12 (4). 911-921. 10.5194/cp-12-911-2016

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Abstract/Summary

Sea-level and ice-sheet databases have driven numerous advances in understanding the Earth system. We describe the challenges and offer best strategies that can be adopted to build self-consistent and standardised databases of geological and geochemical information used to archive palaeo-sea-levels and palaeo-ice-sheets. There are three phases in the development of a database: (i) measurement, (ii) interpretation, and (iii) database creation. Measurement should include the objective description of the position and age of a sample, description of associated geological features, and quantification of uncertainties. Interpretation of the sample may have a subjective component, but it should always include uncertainties and alternative or contrasting interpretations, with any exclusion of existing interpretations requiring a full justification. During the creation of a database, an approach based on accessibility, transparency, trust, availability, continuity, completeness, and communication of content (ATTAC3) must be adopted. It is essential to consider the community that creates and benefits from a database. We conclude that funding agencies should not only consider the creation of original data in specific research-question-oriented projects, but also include the possibility of using part of the funding for IT-related and database creation tasks, which are essential to guarantee accessibility and maintenance of the collected data.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.5194/cp-12-911-2016
ISSN: 1814-9332
Date made live: 14 Apr 2016 12:53 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513442

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