Seawater Oxygen Isotopes Community

The oxygen isotope ratio of seawater (δ18Osw) is a powerful tracer of the global water cycle. For this reason, water isotopic ratios have been measured in a wide variety of research programs examining precipitation and atmospheric water vapor, however, no such coordinated observing network exists for seawater δ18O. The oxygen isotope ratio of seawater provides valuable information on ocean circulation (upwelling and advection), the exchange of water between the ocean and atmosphere (precipitation and evaporation), and continental ice sheet volume on glacial-interglacial and longer timescales. Observational seawater δ18O data are needed for benchmarking isotope-enabled Earth system models and are also essential for the calibration of paleoclimate proxies of past ocean variability based on the δ18O of marine carbonates.

During the last decade, a growing number of new seawater δ18O data sets have been published and yet there is currently no active repository dedicated to archiving seawater δ18O data. This has resulted in an increasing number of ‘hidden’ data sets that are not archived in a public data repository or are spread across multiple platforms that are not targeted to seawater δ18O data.

In recognition of the value of seawater δ18O data to the broader Earth science community, this EarthChem community was created to serve as a dedicated and actively curated data repository for seawater δ18O data with standardized metadata that is consistent with FAIR data standards.

This effort was initiated in 2020 by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) CoralHydro2k team with support from the PAGES Data Stewardship Scholarship.

It builds on earlier activities in the 1990s to gather δ18Osw data that resulted in the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Global Seawater Oxygen-18 Database.

Submission Guidelines

The following information is considered the minimum required metadata that should be included with all seawater δ18O data upon submission to this community.

  • Submitter information (name, affiliation, contact information)
  • DOI (if published data)
  • Latitude (decimal degrees)
  • Longitude (decimal degrees)
  • Site name and description
  • Collection date (per sample)
  • Depth (meters below sea level)
  • Delta 18O
  • Delta 18O units
  • Standard (e.g., VSMOW, PDB)

Additional recommended metadata includes but is not limited to:

  • Cruise ID
  • Station ID
  • Collection time
  • Lab ID
  • Sample ID
  • Instrument type and/or ID (e.g., cavity ring down spectroscopy or isotope ratio mass spectrometer)
  • Delta 2H
  • Temperature
  • Salinity
  • Instrumental and analytical precision
  • IGSN if available

Data Template

Download Template