Earth Institute Research Projects

Collaborative Research: EarthCube End-User Workshop: Deep Seafloor Processes and Dynamics

Lead PI: Vicki Ferrini

Unit Affiliation: Marine Geology & Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

April 2013 - March 2014
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: The seafloor serves and the primary conduit for mass and heat transfer between the sub-seafloor and the overlying ocean water column, with both operating on vastly different time and mass scales. Dynamics at this interface drive global biogeochemical and geochemical elemental cycles, control global ocean chemistry, and shape the atmosphere and climate systems. Deep sea ecosystems also host some of the most diverse and extreme ecosystems including those inhabiting hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, mid-ocean ridges, ridge flanks, and plate margins. Without data from a wide variety of disciplines, such as geology, petrology, geophysics, hydrogeology, and micro/macro/evolutionary biology, it is not possible to realistically model these important systems and understand the complex interactions between their various physical, chemical, and biological components. Instrumental to understanding processes and dynamics of the deep sea requires integration of the disparate datasets and models that represent and predict the behavior of the components of this complex, important system. The goal of this workshop is to surface requirements in the field of deep sea processes for a major new NSF data and knowledge management initiative (i.e., EarthCube) that is dedicated to revolutionizing geoscience by providing easy access to, discovery of, and visualization of data from across the geo- and environmental sciences. This workshop will bring together ~55 oceanographers from across the relevant disciplines. It will also include cyber/computer science experts. Together workshop participants will collectively define future science goals in this important scientific area and focus on identifying the most critical, widespread cyberinfrastructure and data management issues and problems presently holding back scientific advances in deep sea science in order to guide the development of NSF EarthCube cyberinfrastructure. The workshop will also focus on strategies that help scientists and data that they need to cross sub-discipline barriers to enable more interdisciplinary research to take place. Workshop participants will address topics such as science drivers in deep sea process research in the next 15 years, data and data management needs and problems, and software and visualization needs to help model and understand data. Broader impacts of the work include support of an organization in an EPSCoR state, support of two PIs whose gender is under-represented in the sciences and engineering, and engagement of early career scientists. A virtual component of the workshop will be held to help broaden participation beyond those present on-site.