geographIT®, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc., is implementing a stratigraphic database management system for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. This system offers a statewide view of all of Pennsylvania’s geology and supports seamless data sharing of geological content.

The Bureau maintains all geologic records for the Commonwealth including petroleum and mineral resources, surficial landforms, stratigraphic profiles, and geologic hazards. The Bureau needed a centralized, collaborative way to store and access the vast amount of complex geologic data being collected in the field. EBA developed a centralized database that multiple users can access simultaneously to manage their data.

One challenge was developing a system capable of modeling, storing, querying, and viewing the complex 3-D relationships between stratigraphic profiles and sample data collected from natural outcroppings, oil/gas well drill holes, and mineshafts. The new system accounts for these complexities, helping users store, retrieve, and view bedrock profiles above surface, such as at outcrops, as well as subsurface drill holes, core samples, and mineshaft records.

The stratigraphic database management system is a vast improvement over the Bureau’s previous record keeping system and offers the following additional features:

  • Universal access via a web browser without the need to install software or data on any computer.
  • Project-based security for all geological data, including easy assignment and withdrawal of access permissions to individual users.
  • Historical data capture, with helpful features like generating snapshots for the entire dataset for any point in the past.
  • Ability for researchers and managers to search and extract data efficiently.
  • Ability to associate photographs, images, and external documents to specific geologic records.
  • Use of GIS to visualize geologic information as 2-D maps, as well as 3-D rotatable views.

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