Marine micropaleontology must in the future provide more precise chronologic and paleoenvironmental information, which in turn must be based on better, more consistent taxonomic and distributional data. Better tools for synthesis and standardization of this data are needed, as the ever expanding published literature is rapidly becoming unmanageable by purely manual compilation methods. The micropaleontology group at the ETH has developed a large relational database of marine microfossil data to partially meet this need. It currently contains biogeographic data on the distribution in Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) holes of nearly 8,000 species of Cenozoic planktonic foraminifera, radiolaria, diatoms and calcareous nannofossils. The database also includes full stratigraphic occurrence (range chart) data for these fossil groups from more than 100 selected Neogene holes. A particular feature of the database is that all sample information and species names in the original reports are linked to newly created, updatable, comprehensive age models and synonymy lists which reflect modern chronology and taxonomic usage. Searches of the database automatically make use of this information in producing reports. Species ' occurrences, including first and last occurrence information, can be further analyzed using external spreadsheet and statistics packages; plotted by mapping programs; or displayed by a new program which creates composite age-range charts.
Key wordsmicropaleontology Neogene chronology taxonomy DSDP ODP
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