Diatom Paleolimnology Data Cooperative

NOAA Paleoclimatology Program

The NOAA Paleoclimatology Program has added the Diatom Paleolimnology Data Cooperative (DPDC) to the set of paleoclimatology proxy databases currently held and distributed by the National Geophysical Data Center.

Some initial datasets contributed by J. P. Bradbury, D.F. Charles, R.B. Davis, S. Fritz, J.C. Kingston, P.R. Sweets, and M.W.Whiting, are already being entered into the database, and other investigators are in the process of data submission.  We are currently accepting diatom core and surface sediment data for admission to the DPDC and invite researchers to cooperate in this effort.  The success of this effort depends on the voluntary submissions of the diatom paleoecological community!  

We need you!

Submitting to the DPDC


Following the recommendations from a workshop held at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1993, the NOAA Paleoclimatology Program funded a proposal to form the Diatom Paleolimnology Data Cooperative submitted by Donald F. Charles of the Academy, P. Roger Sweets of the University of Louisville, and Timothy J. Sullivan of E&S Environmental Chemistry of Corvallis, OR.  Principal programmer is Kellie B. Vaché, also of E&S Environmental Chemistry.

Please see: Sullivan, T.J. and D.F. Charles. 1994. The feasibility and utility of a paleolimnology/paleoclimate data cooperative for North America. Journal of Paleolimnology 10: 265-273.


It is the belief of NOAA and the DPDC creators that this data cooperative will be an effective research tool for paleoecologists, paleoclimatologists, and diatomists by disseminating information, promoting new data syntheses, assisting in beginning new investigations, efficient use of existing data, and archiving data in a central source, among other uses.


Core data and calibration data will both be accepted into the DPDC.  We have designed the DPDC to hold detailed information about a project.  The basic data, such as diatom counts, dates, site locations, and physical and chemical environmental variables will be recorded along with derived or secondary information such as inferred variables. There are tables designed to hold much of the underlying, supportive  information: e.g., taxonomic information, inference techniques, raw data and techniques concerning dating, worker names and addresses, textual notes on many fields, etc.   The amount of information about a project that can be entered is probably limited only by the amount the investigator is willing to contribute.

Database structure

The database of the DPDC is now structurally complete.  It is an ACCESS database.  Tables and fields are a combination of the experience of the P.I.s and NOAA with several databases, specifically the PIRLA, NADED (North American Diatom Ecological Database from ANSP), and the various paleoclimatology databases sponsored by NOAA - specifically the North American Pollen Database.  John Keltner of NOAA will eventually incorporate the DPDC into the National Geophysical Data Center's multiproxy paleoecological database.  

Data availability

Data entered to the DPDC will be freely available in several forms, principally as database ready ASCII files. Other formats may be made available in the future, partially dependent on the needs of users.  Also, as more data are added to the data cooperative, the information will become available in the interactive formats and programs designed for the NGDC, such as PaleoVu, SiteSeer, and ShowTime.  These programs allow investigators to see and view data by selecting sites displayed on a geographical map, and to search different parameters for available data.  We hope to have datasets available to investigators within several months.


Obviously, diatom paleolimnologists will have many detailed individual questions about the DPDC.  We have already begun to compile a Frequently Asked Questions sheet on the DPDC to answer these questions.

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Last updated: 24 May, 1997
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~diatom/dpdc/dpdc.html
Page design and comments: P. Roger Sweets
Copyright 1995, The Trustees of Indiana University