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Content archived on 2024-05-14

Making seismic reflection profiles available to the wider scientific community

Exploitable results

SEISCAN is rescuing the early single channel line-scan seismic reflection records from European deep waters; a data capture exercise in the traditional language of archiving. These early seismic sections only remain as paper records. If they were recorded on magnetic media the ability to replay is no longer available. The costs of re-collecting these surveys, albeit with modern systems, is prohibitive and impracticable. Therefore the information hidden away in these paper archives is a legacy from those early, mainly academic, projects that should be made available for the future. MAST 3 funding of SEISCAN to scan and archive these data recognises the importance of not only organising contemporary research results, but also those that would otherwise be lost. They would be lost because institutions no longer have the resources to manage data that was never archived in the first place. These data contain information still of use for regional reconnaissance, slope stability, hazard assessment and palaeoceanography. Seismic records are being identified by the project continually. These are then scanned and processed into image archives at two specialist centres. Details are posted on the project Web site: Data in any form is personal to either a funding body, collecting institution or, in some cases, an individual. For the project to succeed, confidence is required in the team, in their integrity and their dedication to security. The umbrella of EC funding is best placed to provide the framework for this. The project also required a Pan-European hardware and software strategy with Sun Ultra workstations, AO scanners and software from Caldera Graphics. The SEISCAN project team stresses that their interest is to secure these data for the future and not to gain access to it. That remains the prerogative of the data owners, on whose co-operation the project depends.

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