EUROCORE addresses a fundamental problem relating to marine sample data management within Europe and will enable, and streamline, exploitation of an important, existing raw data resource - the very large number of sediment cores collected by, and stored at, European research centres, universities and core repositories.
After they have served the primary data requirement for which they were collected, seafloor samples are normally stored in controlled environments for further use. Tens of thousands of marine sediment cores are dispersed in archives throughout Europe, yet it is currently very difficult for end-users of seabed data to find out what seafloor samples have been collected and stored throughout the countries of the European Union.
EUROCORE will establish a European core meta-directory on the Internet and a demonstration case for direct access to data sets from the meta-directory level.
Within the European Seas, EUROCORE will focus on cores and dredges collected seaward of the continental shelf (>200 m water depth) and those data held at European universities, research institutes and marine stations.
However, EUROCORE will collect meta-data on cores taken outside European waters, providing the cores were collected by, and are stored at, European institutions.
EUROCORE will contribute core meta-data to an integrated central-access searchable database, maintained on linked servers, together with EUMARSIN.
The project will greatly enhance secondary use of this dispersed data resource and will benefit marine scientists throughout Europe and worldwide. Its wide approach and worldwide coverage will enhance the international importance of the database and contribute to increasing Europe's profile in international marine science.
The EUROCORE Consortium will also form the nucleus of a Europe-based Core Curators Group who through regular meetings will be able to update the database, both in content and design, solicit end-user needs, discuss common issues in core curation and foster wider collaboration both within Europe and internationally.