Data Center Description
The Geosciences Network (GEON) project is a collaboration among a dozen PI institutions and a number of other partner projects, institutions, and agencies to develop cyberinfrastructure in support of an environment for integrative geoscience research. GEON is funded by the NSF Information Technology Research (ITR) program.
The key integrative science theme in GEON is a more quantitative understanding of the 4-D evolution of the North American lithosphere. The cyberinfrastructure in GEON is required to support an inherently distributed system—since the scientists, who are users as well as providers of resources (e.g., data, tools, and computing and visualization capabilities), are themselves distributed. Furthermore, GEON is required to tackle the extreme heterogeneity among data and tools, across a wide range of earth science sub-disciplines and disciplines.
A number of integrative science themes provide the initial guiding applications for realizing this cyberinfrastructure. These include (1) gravity modeling of 3D geological features such as plutons, using semantic integration of (igneous) rock and gravity databases, and other geological and geophysical data, (2) study of active tectonics via integration of LiDAR data sets, data on distribution of faults and earthquakes, and geodynamics models, and (3) study of lithospheric structure and properties across diverse tectonic environments via the integration of geophysical, petrologic, geochronologic, and structural data and models.
The GEON distributed system is based on a “service-oriented architecture (SOA)”. Advanced information technologies have been developed to support “intelligent” search, semantic data integration, and visualization of multidisciplinary information spaces and 4D earth science data. The environment provides access to high performance computing platforms for data intensive analysis as well as for compute-intensive model execution. The GEON Portal provides users with a convenient, Web-based interface to access the various resources.
The core GEON cyberinfrastructure is generic in nature and broadly applicable beyond the Geosciences to a variety of other science disciplines as well as other application domains. Indeed a number of geosciences and other projects are significantly leveraging a range of technologies that have been developed in GEON.