DATABASE: Mother Lode of Earth Data

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Science  25 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5619, pp. 557
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5619.557d

Headed to Hawaii to do a little chemical sampling of a volcano? Before you close your suitcase, log on to, where you can find raw data from published papers on Hawaiian lavas, references to other studies, and a freeware tool to analyze your measurements when you get home.

That's a taste of the offerings from EarthRef, a geosciences data archive maintained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. The site boasts seven databases—covering everything from underwater mountains to magnetic profiles of rock formations—and links to three others. The data hail from all over the world and include peer-reviewed and unpublished measurements, maps, and video contributed by scientists. For example, plug a few keywords into the Seamount database to find references for isotope signatures of Hawaiian lava. EarthRef also houses tools for testing geoscience computer models and posts news and meeting announcements.

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