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2013 Delaware Geological Survey Data Preservation Proposal

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Project Status: 
Project Contact(s): 
Stefanie J. Baxter
Project Contact(s): 
William "Sandy" Schenck

This project proposal focuses on the conversion of paper well and outcrop records to a digital format so that they can both be preserved, and is the first step towards making them available through the internet. Limited work has been conducted to transfer just the well descriptive log data to a digital format encompassing only about 10% of the total amount of 38,000 well records. Other than geographic coordinates, less than one percent of 5,000 outcrop descriptions and hand auger boring descriptions are in a digital format. The DGS Paper well schedules were created in such a way that they serve as a folder on which data about the well/boring geographic position, construction, depth, samples taken, water quality information, and finishing are written. Much of these data are keyed into our Oracle WATSYS database. However, a fair amount of ancillary data that have great historical significance are put into the well schedule and then filed with the schedule in a cataloged binder system for retrieval. The same is true of our outcrop records, but they are single sheets where the back of the sheets hold description data for outcrops and sketches that are impossible to data base, but are historically valuable as many locations are now lost to development.

Based on the events faced by the Vermont Geological Survey during the August 2011 flooding and loss of many records, the DGS realized that these irreplaceable “extras” included with many well schedules and outcrop descriptions, along with margin notations and comments from decades of researchers stand a chance of being lost if a disaster such as a fire or water damage from a fire were to affect these one of a kind paper records. If we could scan these records now, there would be a digital copy of the data and this could serve as a backup in case of irreparable damage. It would also be the first step in allowing the DGS to begin making these historical data available to researchers and our stakeholders.

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