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V. Vladimirov, V. Miroshnichenko, V. Lyubartsev, S. Piontkovski
Special data base management systems as a tool to store, process, and analyze marine biological and interdisciplinary data. - GLOBEC. First open science meeting. Paris, 17-20 March 1998.


The overall objective of the IGBP is "To describe and understand the interactive physical, chemical and biological processes ... ." However, ocean data sets usually contain a lot of parameters from different sources and with unlike structure (surface spatial distributed measurements, depth distributed vertical profiles, time or towed series, etc.). It is a very complicated task to combine these interdiscipline data sets and to provide the possibility to analyze them jointly. The industry standard database management systems (DBMS) are not enough suitable to perform this task.

A set of the special marine DBMS was developed at the Marine Hydrophysical Institute (Sevastopol, Ukraine) to fulfill the multipurpose interdiscipline management of ocean data using personal computers. The main objective of these systems is to provide easy, quick and effective work with interdiscipline ocean data in oceanography and ecology. Some versions of these systems have the possibilities to manage biological data even at the species level.

The CruBase system was developed to provide the effective management of the oceanographic cruises' data (multi-ship surveys). System permits to load and compactly store all main types of data obtained from research cruises: chemical, hydrooptical, biological, meteorological, etc. The data of up to the 320 measured variables for 3000 stations can be stored in single cruise database. The metadata are also stored together with data of measurements. System gives the possibilities to make the complicated search using multiparameter criteria; prepare data for maps, sections and other standard types of oceanographic data presentation. The main advantage of the system is the possibility to make the cross-parameter queries, for example, to choose the phytoplankton biomass values at the user defined density level, or select the chlorophyll values at the determined transparency range, etc. This system is permanently in use recent years to process and analyze data of the international experiments in the Black Sea region.

Special unique DBMS (OceanBase) was developed to work with large sets of interdisciplinary oceanographic data. It gives to a user a lot of possibilities for quick and comfortable work with the entire database. One can view, process, sort, select, and export all necessary data and metadata using user friendly multi-windows interface (including many graphical possibilities: maps, profiles, histograms, etc.). User can create "virtual" stations combining the data from different cruises according to defined search criteria. Data and information in the windows are cross-linked. For example, clicking at the station position on the map, user obtains immediately: the cursor placed at the corresponding dataset name in the "Data Sets" window, at this station information line in the "Stations" window; values of data at this station in the "Values" window, plots of selected variables for this station in the "Plot" window, etc. Black Sea interdisciplinary historical database has been created within the framework of the NATO TU-Black Sea Project using this system. Database includes all basic physical, chemical and biological variables (116) for the entire Black Sea (8,364,731 data value, 26,035 stations) for 1964-1996.