EGU23-16683, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Overcoming Fragmentation of Geochemical Data Resources: Collaboration between EarthChem, Astromat, GEOROC, and MetBase

Kerstin Lehnert1, Marthe Klöcking2, Dominik Hezel3, Lucia Profeta1, Peng Ji1, and Adrian Sturm2
Kerstin Lehnert et al.
  • 1Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, 10964, United States of America (
  • 2Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum Göttingen (GZG), Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstr. 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
  • 3Institut für Geowissenschaften Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Global geochemical datasets are increasingly valuable for solving research questions in geochemistry, volcanology and beyond. To support new research, open sharing and access of geochemical data needs to be easy for researchers so they can take full advantage of the rapidly growing volume of data generated in laboratories across the globe, and to comply with the principles of Open Science. Instead, the fragmented landscape of geochemical data systems makes it difficult for researchers to find, access, and contribute their data: Geochemical data are curated and published in a range of thematic, institutional, and programmatic data systems that differ in architecture, metadata schemas, terminology, and data output formats. Researchers have to figure out where to obtain the data they need; learn to use different search applications; retrieve data from multiple databases and painstakingly reformat the datasets they obtained from different systems to integrate them. They need to select an appropriate repository for their data, and potentially work with different submission systems and templates. Collaboration among geochemical data systems is a critical step to overcome this fragmentation and facilitate geochemical data management and access for the research community by coordinating, aligning, and integrating their systems. Through collaboration, data repositories and databases can also leverage each other’s expertise and resources to operate their services more effectively and efficiently.

We here report about new collaborative efforts among four geochemical data systems that aim to harmonize and integrate their data holdings and software ecosystem for the benefit of the research community and to improve their sustainability: EarthChem (, GEOROC (, MetBase (, and the Astromaterials Data System (  Building on the long-term collaboration between EarthChem and GEOROC, this collaboration leverages the new development of the Astromaterials Data System with modern technology and two new projects funded to overhaul the infrastructure of the GEOROC and MetBase databases as an opportunity to jointly develop a more resilient, sustainable platform for data exchange. Results of the collaboration so far include: a) alignment of the Astronaut and MetBase data models b) migration of the MetBase data holdings into the Astromat synthesis database; c) alignment of the EarthChem and GEOROC data models; d) new automated synchronization process of GEOROC data to the ECP; e) harmonized vocabularies for chemical variables, analytical methods (Others are in development in alignment with emerging efforts of the OneGeochemstry initiative); f) design of the future shared architecture of EarthChem and GEOROC that includes plans for a joint data entry tool for curators and a single data submission platform for researchers to contribute their data to the affiliated domain repositories. 

The ultimate goal of this harmonization between EarthChem, Astromat, GEOROC and MetBase is to make it easier for researchers to access and contribute data. We hope to integrate further systems in the future, building on ongoing collaborations with the Australian Geochemistry Network, the US Geological Survey, SAMIS (Sample Analysis Microinformation System), the GFZ Data Services, and the Sparrow software.

How to cite: Lehnert, K., Klöcking, M., Hezel, D., Profeta, L., Ji, P., and Sturm, A.: Overcoming Fragmentation of Geochemical Data Resources: Collaboration between EarthChem, Astromat, GEOROC, and MetBase, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16683,, 2023.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary material file