NOAA announces new Deepwater Horizon oil spill searchable database web tool
Veterinarian Dr. Brian Stacy prepares to clean an oiled Kemp's Ridley turtle. Veterinarians and scientists from NOAA, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and other partners working under the Unified Command captured heavily-oiled young turtles as part of ongoing animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts. (Credit: NOAA and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.)
The DIVER announcement plays a part in the Department of Commerce’s goal of unleashing its vast resources of environmental data and delivering on one of its key priorities — transforming data capabilities and supporting a data-driven economy. NOAA is a constituent agency of the Commerce Department.
“NOAA pledged from the start of the Deepwater event to be as transparent as possible with the data collected,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The DIVER data warehouse approach builds upon that original pledge, and is another significant step in making NOAA’s environmental data available for the research community, resource managers and the general public.”
DIVER provides unprecedented flexibility for filtering and downloading validated data collected as part of the ongoing Natural Resources Damage Assessment and response. These data collections now include more than 53,000 samples that have resulted in 3.8 million analytical determinations. Previously, validated data were being posted on www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov as soon as they were available, but in discrete files rather than inegrated through a tool like DIVER.
The DIVER data warehouse was built using industry standards for open source big-data approaches to integrating and synthesizing various types of data, such as chemistry results, photos, instrument collections, dolphin and oyster information from multiple data sources.
The custom query tool, “DIVER Explorer,” allow users to refine questions and explore large datasets online. Query results are presented with maps, charts, tables, metadata and export options. A major focus of the DIVER system is providing access to integrated datasets, the foundation for scientific analysis and decision-making.
DIVER was initially built to support the efforts of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees to assess the risk and injury to natural resources, and support restoration and assessment of lost recreational use. The expansion of the tool for public access builds upon the commitment made by NOAA during the oil spill response to provide transparent access to validated NRDA data.
The new DIVER tool also provides information about the actual data sets, and NOAA’s approach to creating “common data models,” which support data synthesis and analysis. By providing detailed access to the NRDA data schemas and field definitions, NOAA hopes to foster increased collaboration across the scientific community.
The DIVER system currently provides access to nearly four million validated results of analytical chemistry from over 53,000 samples of water, tissue, oil and sediment collected to support the Deepwater Horizon NRDA. DIVER datasets come from federal, state, academic and non-government organizations, and include response and historical data collection efforts.
As additional datasets become publicly available they will be accessible through DIVER, as well as NOAA’s Environmental Response Management Application Gulf Response, and the Gulf Spill Restoration website, maintained by NOAA on behalf of the Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustees.
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