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OCE Approved Data and Sample Repositories

US Federal National Data Centers

The final repositories for OCE funded data are the following designated Federal National Data Centers. Data are to be submitted according to formats and via the media designated by the National Center. Note that some program specific data repositories will take care of submission of data to these National Data Centers for long term data archiving. Please contact the data managers at the program specific data management centers or the cognizant Program Officer for the award for additional information if necessary.

A. National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

NCEI is a consolidation of the former National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), and National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC).

  • General Information:
  • Oceanographic and Coastal Data
    1. Ocean Physical Data: Temperature, salinity, light transmission or attenuation, currents, waves, pressure, sea level, and sound speed.
    2. Ocean Chemistry Data: Nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates, nitrites and silicates; chemical tracers such as helium, tritium, freon and argon; pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, organochloride and organophosphorus pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. Data may represent chemicals in water samples or biota.
    3. Ocean Biology Data: Primary productivity; concentrations of pigments in phytoplankton, such as chlorophyll-a; species lists; biomass of phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos and nekton; and bioluminescence.

  • Weather and Climate Data
  • Surface meteorological data: meteorological data in appropriate World Meteorological Organization formats as part of the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program: air temperature, sea-surface temperature, dew point temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction, wind and swell waves, weather, short- and long-term radiation, visibility, cloud cover and type, and ice accretion.
  • Paleoclimate and paleoceanographic data (see also information about the NOAA World Data Services for Paleoclimate in Marine Geology and Geophysics Section below)
  • Geophysical Data
  • Geophysical, geological and geochemical data: bathymetry, magnetics, gravity, seismic and other quantitative geophysical data; geological data including station locations, collection/storage locations, preliminary descriptions of seafloor samples recovered, and all descriptions and analytical data, including geochemistry, derived from sediment and rock samples, and data from the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP).

B. National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

Sea ice and other glaciological data: sea ice, icebergs, ice shelves and associated physical oceanographic and meteorological data.

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC)
Campus Box 449
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0449
Phone: (303) 492-6199
Fax: (303) 492-2468

C. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

Carbon dioxide data: archival data for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) CO2 measurements.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008 Building 2040
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6290

Data Management Centers

The data management centers below are NSF-funded and/or approved data repositories for data funded by the indicated program. Questions should be directed to data managers of these facilities and/or the cognizant Program Officer of the award.

A. Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office

BCO-DMO manages oceanographic data from individual scientific investigators and collaborative groups of investigators, makes these data publicly available, and then submits the data for permanent archive in the appropriate national data facility. If desired, data can be embargoed for up to two years from date of acquisition. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) can be assigned to the final version of the data. BCO-DMO routinely deals with the full range of observations and measurements from marine, coastal and Great Lakes research including CTD, biological abundance, meteorological, nutrient, pH, carbonate, PAR, sea surface temperature, heat and momentum flux, sediment composition, trace metals, primary production, and pigment concentration data, experimental and model results, and data with images and movies.

Data management support resources and instructions on how to get started including forms for contributing data and information to BCO-DMO can be downloaded at; see “How to Get Started Contributing Data”.

Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO)
Woods Hole, MA 02543


B. Marine Geology and Geophysics (MGG) Program Data Centers and Repositories

  • The Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance (IEDA) covers solid earth sciences (marine geophysics with the exception of OBS, petrology, sediment geochemistry, vent fluid, geochronological, and others) as well as software, maps, derived data, model output, and other models products related to these data sets.

IEDA facilitates data stewardship, curation, dissemination, and storage on short and intermediate time-frames. The office works with PIs on data quality control using controlled vocabularies to generate metadata records required by Federal agencies so they are searchable by other data search engines. IEDA submits its data to a number of Federal National Data Centers and to the Columbia Library for deep archiving. It supports and encourages data synthesis by providing online, web-based display tools; facilitates interoperability between IEDA and distributed data portals; and facilitates regional, national, and international data and information exchange.

Forms for generating Data Management Plans that are compatible with NSF requirements can be found at: Information on data submission formats and conventions can be found on the IEDA website or by calling and consulting with the data managers (see contact information below).

Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance (IEDA)
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
61 Route 9W
Palisades, NY, 10964 USA

Phone: +1 (845) 365-8506
Fax: +1 (845) 365-8156

  • The Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (IRIS DMC) serves marine seismic data collected by ocean bottom seismometers (OBS). OBS data are screened for data quality control through the OBS Instrument Pool Management Office prior to being made available through the IRIS DMC.

IRIS Data Management Center
1408 NE 45th Street
Seattle, Washington, 98105

  • NOAA’s World Data Service for Paleoclimatology (NOAA-Paleo) archives and distributes a wide range of paleoclimate and paleoceanographic data contributed by scientists around the world. Data submission guidelines and data submission forms designed to meet NSF’s data management requirements are available on-line.

National Centers for Environmental Information
Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
Paleoclimatology Data and Products
Phone: 1-303-497-6280
Fax: 1-303-497-6513

  • EarthRef’s Magnetics Information Consortium (MagIC) provides information technology infrastructures for the international paleomagnetic, geomagnetic and rock magnetic community. Data range from individual measurements to specimen, sample or site level results, and include a wide variety of derived parameters or associated rock magnetic measurements. Existing data can be viewed and saved in several formats.

MagIC Database Team
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0225, USA
1-858-534-3183 (office phone)
1-858-534-5332 (fax)

  • The Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) develops, supports, and disseminates integrated software modules that predict the erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment and solutes in landscapes and their sedimentary basins. CSDMS provides a repository for many different model types deadling with surface earth processes and sediment distribution.

CSDMS Facility
University of Colorado
4001 Discovery Dr.
Office N141C
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone: 303-735-5482
Fax: 303-735-8180
Email (General):

C. National Deep Submergence Facility Data

Data collected by assets of the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF, which at the present time includes the submersible Alvin, ROV Jason and AUV Sentry) is archived at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory-hosted Marine Geosciences Data System managed by IEDA. Visual imagery data from NDSF assets is archived and curated at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who is the operator of the NDSF.

National Deep Submergence Facility, MS#24
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050 U.S.A.

Phone: 508-2892852
NDSF Website:
Data Website:

D. U.S. CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability)

The CLIVAR and Carbon Hydrographic Data Office (CCHDO is a Data Assembly Center (DAC) set up for the purposes of quality control and data synthesis that will submit the final data sets to the national archive (NODC) on behalf of the PIs.  In general, the CLIVAR program requirements for data submission are similar to those found in WOCE Report No.104/93, WOCE Data Management. For more information contact:

UCSD/Scripps Institution of Oceanography
9500 Gilman Drive 0214
La Jolla, CA 92093-0214
Phone: 858-822-1770           

Fax: 858-534-7383

Other Database Activities

A. Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)

The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is a community effort to develop a database of global marine animal and plant distributions. OBIS allows participants to develop distributed databases and serve their own data. This may be a particularly appropriate venue to provide certain classes of biological data (i.e., species level data) and PIs may benefit from data management tools being developed as part of this program.
Further information on OBIS is available at

B. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is a facility of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that hosts GenBank and other molecular databases. Additional information is available at:

Physical Sample Repositories

A. Institutional Repositories for Sediment and Rock Samples

Sediment cores, dredged rocks, grabs, and vent fluids from the seafloor are collected at great cost and are often of benefit to the research community beyond the projects for which they were originally collected. In recognition of the value and use of these samples, the Marine Geology and Geophysics Program provides partial support for a limited number of institutional repositories. These and other similar repositories ensure that samples of sediment and rock collected from the seafloor are properly curated, preserved, and disseminated to qualified researchers. The following are NSF-approved institutional marine sample repositories:

B. Living Culture Facilities

The Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) accepts strains for deposition if the Director or Curator agrees that the strains are a valuable addition to the collection. Examples include strains that are referred to in publications, contain interesting molecular, biochemical or physiological properties, are the basis for taxonomic descriptions, are important for aquaculture, or are from an unusual geographical location or ecological habitat.

Contact information for the NCMA is provided below:
Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA)
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
60 Bigelow Drive P.O. Box 380
East Boothbay, Maine 04544