MetPetDB: A database for metamorphic geochemistry

Frank S. Spear, Benjamin Hallett, Joseph M. Pyle, Sibel Adali, Boleslaw K. Szymanski, Anthony Waters, Zak Linder, Shawn O. Pearce, Matthew Fyffe, Dennis Goldfarb, Nickolas Glickenhouse, Heather Buletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We present a data model for the initial implementation of MetPetDB, a geochemical database specific to metamorphic rock samples. The database is designed around the concept of preservation of spatial relationships, at all scales, of chemical analyses and their textural setting. Objects in the database (samples) represent physical rock samples; each sample may contain one or more subsamples with associated geochemical and image data. Samples, subsamples, geochemical data, and images are described with attributes (some required, some optional); these attributes also serve as search delimiters. All data in the database are classified as published (i.e., archived or published data), public or private. Public and published data may be freely searched and downloaded. All private data is owned; permission to view, edit, download and otherwise manipulate private data may be granted only by the data owner; all such editing operations are recorded by the database to create a data version log. The sharing of data permissions among a group of collaborators researching a common sample is done by the sample owner through the project manager. User interaction with MetPetDB is hosted by a web-based platform based upon the Java serviet application programming interface, with the PostgreSQL relational database. The database web portal includes modules that allow the user to interact with the database: registered users may save and download public and published data, upload private data, create projects, and assign permission levels to project collaborators. An Image Viewer module provides for spatial integration of image and geochemical data. A toolkit consisting of plotting and geochemical calculation software for data analysis and a mobile application for viewing the public and published data is being developed. Future issues to address include population of the database, integration with other geochemical databases, development of the analysis toolkit, creation of data models for derivative data, and building a community-wide user base. It is believed that this and other geochemical databases will enable more productive collaborations, generate more efficient research efforts, and foster new developments in basic research in the field of solid earth geochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberQ12005
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Database
  • Geochemistry
  • Geoinformatics
  • Metamorphic petrology


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