Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
15.1-2 Working on the roads: Improving the infrastructure for research into geo-societal challenges
Wednesday, 22/Sept/2021:
4:15pm - 5:45pm

Session Chair: Kirsten Elger, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Session Abstract

In response to the growing geo-societal challenges of our densely populated planet, current research frequently requires convergence of multiple research disciplines, and optimized use of openly available data, research facilities and funds. Especially the Earth and environmental sciences play a significant role in addressing these challenges, but require the integration of scientific data, software and tools from multiple, globally distributed resources to unlock their full potential to contribute. In addition, the number of Earth and environmental research data repositories and data portals has increased markedly, and so has their range of maturities and capabilities to integrate into the ecosystem of modern scientific communication. Efforts such as the FAIR Data Principles, the CoreTrustSeal Certification for the trustworthiness of research data repositories, and the Enabling FAIR Data Commitment Statement have raised our expectations towards the capabilities of research data repositories and infrastructures. Now we need to ensure that these expectations are met at all levels, from individual researchers, to data repositories, to research infrastructures. What are the challenges and appropriate strategies?This session invites contributions from different fields of expertise, including research infrastructure or data repository managers, data scientists, interdisciplinary researchers and policy makers. Our aim is to discuss perspectives, experiences, current or future challenges and potential solutions related to creating an effective infrastructure for the environmental and earth sciences. 

4:15pm - 4:30pm

Curating data and samples in the long-tail - tools and examples from GFZ Data Services

Kirsten Elger, Florian Ott

GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

GFZ Data Services, an international research data repository for the Earth sciences domain and Allocating Agent for the IGSN Global Sample Number (IGSN), is operated under the umbrella of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

GFZ Data Services increases the discoverability and reusability of data through (1) the provision of comprehensive domain-specific data description via standardised and machine-readable metadata with controlled domain vocabularies; (2) complementing the metadata with comprehensive and standardised technical data descriptions or reports; and (3) by embedding the research data in wider context by providing cross-references through Persistent Identifiers (DOI, IGSN, ORCID, Fundref) to related research products (text, data, software) and people or institutions involved.

The new Website of GFZ Data Services has further developed from a searchable data portal (only) to an information point for data publications and data management. This includes information on metadata, data formats, the data publication workflow, FAQ, links to different versions of our metadata editor and downloadable data description templates. Specific data publication guidance is complemented by more general information on data management, like a data management roadmap and links to the data catalogue of GFZ Data Services, the IGSN catalogue of GFZ and RI@GFZ – the data and research infrastructure search portal of GFZ.

Since October 2020, GFZ is a DataCite member. This membership will enable and promote active participation in the current and future venues of technological and service-oriented developments related to the persistent identification of research output(s).

4:30pm - 4:45pm

LI@Geo.X – A Laboratory Infrastructure Search Portal for the Geo.X Network

Manja Luzi-Helbing1,2, Christopher Hamann3, Kirsten Elger2, Damian Ulbricht2, Florian Ott2, Marc Hanisch2, Nils Brinckmann2, Hannes Fuchs2, Hildegard Gödde1,2, Roland Bertelmann4, Lutz Hecht3,5

1Geo.X – Research Network for Geosciences in Berlin and Potsdam, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam; 2GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam; 3Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin; 4Helmholtz Open Science Office, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam; 5Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin

Geo.X is the research network for geosciences in the Berlin and Potsdam metropolitan region and integrates five universities and six extramural research institutions. Our partners are committed to a FAIR and sustainable handling of research data and infrastructures. For this purpose, we established a search portal for the geoscientific laboratory infrastructure and related research data of the network partners (LI@Geo.X). The portal aims to increase the visibility and accessibility of the partner institutions’ infrastructures, data, models, and projects, and thus supports scientists in implementing collaborative research projects. LI@Geo.X is based on state-of-the-art thesauri adapted to the Earth System Sciences (e.g., NASA GCMD, DFG’s instrumentation category keys).

For each laboratory, LI@Geo.X provides a brief description comprising information on the instruments, analytical methods, contact persons, partner institution, link to German and English websites, and, if given, an assignment to a laboratory complex. In addition, we will supplement information on user access to laboratories and user regulations soon. The next stage of development is to include information on software and data used and produced in the laboratories.

Current technical advancements of LI@Geo.X encompass:

  • decentral editing and curation of laboratory’s metadata,
  • semantic search options and extended filter functions,
  • a web-based user interface for the submission of new or modified metadata records.

LI@Geo.X is an ongoing cooperation project and can be accessed via The portal presently includes about 200 entries from all 11 partner institutions. LI@Geo.X also collaborates with other networks such as the Archaeometry Network Berlin-Brandenburg and is embedded in the NFDI4Earth landscape.

4:45pm - 5:00pm

The data publication chain of the EPOS Multi-scale Laboratories

Geertje ter Maat, the MSL Team

Utrecht University, Netherlands, The

EPOS (the European Plate Observing System) is a pan-European e-infrastructure framework with the goal of improving and facilitating the access, use, and re-use of Solid Earth science data. The EPOS Thematic Core Service Multi-scale Laboratories (TCS MSL) represents a community of European Solid Earth sciences laboratories including rock and magma high-temperature and high-pressure experimental facilities, electron microscopy, micro-beam analysis, analogue modelling of tectonic, geodynamic, and volcanological processes, paleomagnetism, and analytical laboratories.

Experimental data from these laboratories often provide the backbone for scientific publications, but are often available only as supplementary information to research articles or in a non-digital form (printed tables, figures) with little to no chance for data discovery. Moreover, much of the source data remains unpublished, inaccessible, and often not preserved for the long term.

The TCS MSL is committed to making Earth science laboratory data “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR)”. For this purpose, the TCS MSL encourages the community to share their data via DOI-referenced, citable data publications through partner research data repositories. To facilitate this and ensure the provision of rich metadata, agreed within the MSL community, we offer user-friendly tools, plus the necessary data management expertise, to support all aspects of data publishing. The resulting data publications are also exposed through a designated TCS MSL online portal that brings together DOI-referenced data publications from partner research data repositories (

5:00pm - 5:15pm

OneGeochemistry: Enabling a coordinated online global network of multiple distributed geochemical repositories and databases

Kerstin Annette Lehnert1, Lesley Wyborn2, Dominik Hezel3, Alexander Prent4, Kirsten Elger5, Geertje ter Maat6, Marthe Klöcking7, Jens Klump8

1Columbia University, New York, United States of America; 2Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; 3Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany; 4Curtin University, Perth Australia; 5Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Potsdam, Germany; 6Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 7Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; 8CSIRO ARRC, Kensington, Australia

Since the discipline of ‘geochemistry’ was first defined in 1838, geochemical data has been pervasively acquired and used in the Earth, environmental and planetary sciences and become fundamental for understanding past, present, and future processes in natural systems. Initially, geochemical data was published in hard-copy literature, but as analytical systems became computerised, major digital databases emerged (EarthChem, PetDB, OZCHEM and GEOROC) which revolutionised data access. They have proven the power of re-use of geochemical data around thematic, national and global themes, and now enable new Big Data science paradigms in geochemistry.

In response to Open Access policies and science demands, even more geochemical database systems are emerging at national, programmatic, and subdomain levels. They are not coordinated: each has different schemas/vocabularies and analyses can be duplicated within them, making global merging of datasets complex. Very little data is FAIR (Wilkinson et al., 2016) and the lack of agreed standards and unique identifiers makes online interoperability time consuming.

Following the example of OneGeology, which was developed to increase online accessibility of geological map data, we propose an equivalent global initiative - OneGeochemistry. The vision is to establish a global geochemical data network of distributed repositories that facilitates and promotes discovery/access to geochemical data. Fundamental to OneGeochemistry is coordination and collaboration amongst international geochemical data providers and infrastructures such as the NFDI4Earth, EPOS, Auscope, etc., to create community-agreed standards, controlled vocabularies and protocols for each of the fundamental geochemical and isotopic systems [i.e., inorganic, organic, isotopes (Ar-Ar, U-Pb, Sm-Nd etc.)].

5:15pm - 5:30pm

Turning 80 years of global research on heat flow into a sustainable research data infrastructure

Sven Fuchs

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany

Measured data of the Earth’s surface heat flow are rare observables for heat transport processes in the Earth interior. Precise knowledge of heat flow is thus fundamental (i) to describe the Earth’s thermal field, (ii) to decipher plate-tectonic and geodynamic processes and (iii) to understand natural or artificial utilized geological thermal systems – across all spatial scales and timely domains. Heat flow data are documented in more than 1,400 publications and are collected by the International Heat Flow Commission (IHFC) of the IASPEI/IUGG for almost 60 years now. The quality of the data compilation is heterogeneous and reflects the long history of technical and methodological developments during that period. The associated databases on national and international level are in general of undocumented quality and poor usability.

Here, we present a community driven-approach to develop a new, sustainable heat-flow research data infrastructure with quality proofed, up-to-date, well-documented, extended, enriched and restructured heat-flow data for the geoscientific community. The new database will reflect criteria of FAIR and OPEN data policy, will support the interoperability with other geoscientific data services, and will interconnect to persistent identifiers. To fill the new database with curated quality-proven heat-flow data, the available reconnaissance data are currently reviewed by global heat-flow experts in a unique international collaborative revision approach supported by the IHFC and lead by a Task Force of the International Lithosphere Program (ILP).