dbSEABED: Information Integration System for
Marine Substrates
Publications and Reports
The Partners Example Outputs
 Ocean Drilling Helpful

dbSEABED creates unified, detailed mappings of the materials that make the seafloor by efficiently integrating thousands of individual datasets. The goal is to bring decades of seabed information - and today's information - from marine geology, biology, engineering and surveys into one seabed mapping that can fulfil the community needs for ocean-bottom information on many spatial scales.
The system deals with seabed texture, composition, acoustic properties, colour, geology and biology.

Many software tools can work on the rich integrated data: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Relational Databases (RDB), modeling, visualisation, and stratigraphic .  

Huge data entry efficiencies come from programs that prepare the data for use in standard databases. As evidence of its efficiency, the US, Australian and global coverages together hold integrated data for over 3,000 datasets and 5 million described seafloor sites. The system is vendor-independent and code is shared, so the system will be a legacy well into the future.

The scale of operation is local, national and global:
shorelines, bays, seaways, national EEZ's, ocean basins, and worldwide. The database deals with coastal, estuarine, inshore, continental shelf, continental slope and very deep sea environments.

Point-data based, so spatial resolution improves as more datasets are added. Gridded and vector mappings of the seafloor materials are computed from the point-data coverages. Accuracies are the same as for the original survey data; system precision is 1m; datum is WGS84.

dbSEABED is operated by a number of cooperating institutions, who import, integrate, process and display regional datasets under a common format and software setup. They share data, code and innovations. Some organizations use dbSEABED on their secure premises where they add their own specialized datasets to the group data holdings.

Quality assurance is achieved by checks on data at data entry, by error-trapping in the data-processing software, and by working the data intensively in various collaborative research programs. dbSEABED was devised to be robust in an inexact and incomplete information environment - marine geosciences. An uncertainty budget is calculated with map outputs. 


Advanced visualization and data handling tools are available to collaborating members - in 3D renditions, stratigraphic synthesis, statistics, databasing, GIS tools, uncertainty analysis.

Seafloor Dominant Texture Classes, NW Europe

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dbSEABED display of seafloor type dominances for the NW European Shelf (North Sea) region. This regional  coverage is being developed to help with numerical modeling of tides. It holds over 60,000 sites all from public data sources. The detailed gridded data is available on request. 

Tasmanian Hard Substrates

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A dbSEABED display of integrated data from different 23 datasets for the Tasmanian region (Australia), providing rock reef occurrences and interpolated values for seafloor gravel. Temperate reefs are locations of extraordinary biodiversity and also important commercial fishery resources.  Because most rock areas are close to coastline special methods for dealing with coastal complexity and diverse data sources (from science and the community at large) are needed. The interpolation does not map where uncertainties are too large - long distances to data, or too great changes in water depth.

Global Coverage in the Compositions of Seabed Materials

The system at last tally had over 5 million described samples at 3 million sites worldwide.  This has been possible to assemble through the generosity and efforts of collaborators, and also through the use of software for data entry, integration and quality checking.

dbSEABED often provides data pro bono to student thesis research projects that  lead to a degree, and always appreciates new data to add to the system.

Date: 23 Sep 2015
Copyright 2007-14, dbSEABED partners