A Data Model for the Panama Paleontology Project

The basic unit of this data model is a collection site. Sites at which one or more samples or specimens are collected receive an age determination and have an associated list of taxon occurrences. The resulting relational database will include new data such as the following:

(1) Biostratigraphic determinations (presently combined in a Comments field) will be kept in the AGE DETERMINATION table and combined in the AGE OF SITE table with reference numbers of reports that can eventually be scanned for the database.

(2) Sample age data will be kept as the original zone designation if the information is returned in this way by biostratigraphers. The ages of each zone will be kept in a lookup table (not shown in the model) and accessed by a function giving oldest and youngest ages for any combination of microfossil zones, so changes in zonal age determinations can be used to reassign the age of a sample. Actual interpretations of dates will be done manually and flagged.

(3) The ENVIRONMENT DETERMINATION table will record researchers' determinations of paleobathymetry and depositional environment and will be used in a manner similar to the age determination.

(4) The CORRELATED SITE table will aid in combining sites into larger groups. Because paleontologists work at a relatively large chronologic and geographic scale, we often wish to examine faunal patterns at the scale of all taxa from the same age and formation but different localities.

(5) The STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION table will put information about sections, sites and relative position in stratigraphic (= chronologic) order to get this data to researchers more quickly.

The model's entities (= tables in the database) and attributes (= fields in the database) are defined below.

DEFINITIONS OF ENTITIES AND ATTRIBUTES

by Karl W. Kaufmann

The following contains precise descriptions of each entity and its attributes. The entity names are in upper case letters and are preceded by a number corresponding to the numbers on the boxes in the figure. Entity names are followed by a description and then a short list of one or more attributes which provides the primary key for the entity. Then the attributes, starting with the primary key, are listed after each entity name, along with their descriptions. The domain is the set of possible values an attribute may have. The statement "not null" indicates that the field must have some value other than blank or zero. In some cases, a default value for the attribute is given.
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1 SAMPLE

A collection of fossils, rocks, or sediment taken from a single SITE (see definition of SITE below). It can include both loose fossils, fossils in matrix, and drilled cores for paleomagnetic analysis. The entire SAMPLE must be collected on a single trip and only one person is identified as the collector.
Primary key: Project sample number
Foreign key: Site Visit Number
Alternate key: Collector Sample Code + Collector ID

1.1 Project sample number: The number identifying each SAMPLE collected by a PPP participant. Numbers are assigned by the data manager in the order in which they are inventoried at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).
Domain: PSN000001-PSN999999. Not null.

1.2 Site Visit Number: Tells on which SITE VISIT the SAMPLE was collected.
Domain: Same as SITE VISIT. Site Visit Number. Not null.

1.3 Collector Sample Code: The private sample code used by each collector and recorded in his field notes. The codes are unique for each collector and in many cases have been used for many years preceding this project. The combination of Collector Sample Code and Collector ID is unique and serves as an alternate key to SAMPLE. This key is not used within the database, but will be useful for investigators needing to combine PPP data with their own records. An assistant taking SAMPLEs assigns his supervisor's code.
Domain: Numbers, characters, spaces and "-" up to 12 characters long. Not null.

1.4 Collector ID: The initials of the person collecting the SAMPLE. The initials are unique for each person in the project and in case of conflict are assigned by the data manager. SAMPLEs taken by an assistant are assigned the supervisor's initials. Together with Collector Sample Code, uniquely identifies the SAMPLE collected.
Domain: Same as PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE.Curator. Not null.

1.5 Sample Type: The type of SAMPLE collected. Types are:

micro = small bag of sediment used for microfossils
strib = large bulk SAMPLE kept at STRI for processing
basb = large bulk SAMPLE sent to the Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, for processing
spec = specimens collected individually from sediments in place
float = specimens collected individually from sediments not in place
litho = indurated rock sample, e.g. basalt, coquina
pmag = drilled core for paleomagnetic analysis
unknw = type unknown to the data manager
Domain: The above codes, all lower case. Not null.

1.6 Number of Bags: SAMPLEs are usually put into one or more cloth bags in the field.
Domain: Integers 1 to 99. Default is 1.

1.7 Collection Date: The date the SAMPLE was collected. Sometimes, collections are made at a SITE over a period of several days, so different SAMPLEs may be collected on different dates from the same SITE VISIT. Hence Collection Date is an attribute of SAMPLE, not SITE VISIT.
Domain: All calendar days since the beginning of the project. Not null.

1.8 Process Date: The date that either : 1) a specimen or float SAMPLE was washed, glued, sorted, and boxed or 2) the date that a micro, basb, or strib SAMPLE was cooked and washed. (A second processing step called preparation appears as an attribute to PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE.) The date can be approximate. If null, SAMPLE has not been processed or SAMPLE is not of a type that needs processing.
Domain: True or false. Can be Null. Default is false.

1.9 Lithological Description: A description of the lithology of the SAMPLE by the person who collected it.
Domain: Up to 80 characters. Default is blank.

1.10 Lost?: True if SAMPLE is lost.
Domain: True or false. Not null. Default is false.

1.11 Sample Comments: Includes information on preservation, lost SAMPLEs, whether a SAMPLE was barren for calcareous nannoplankton, bryozoans, etc.
Domain: Up to 80 characters. Default is blank.
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2 PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE (Supertype)

A group of fossils, such as foraminifera, calcareous nannoplankton, gastropods, or corals from a SAMPLE, or a collection for a paleomagnetic analysis. These are sent to members of the project with the corresponding specialization. Material remaining after one or more PROCESSED SUBSAMPLEs are extracted is also considered a PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE.
Primary key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number
Foreign key: Project Sample Number

2.1 Project Sample Number: Tells from which SAMPLE the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE came.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Project Sample Number. Not null.

2.2 Subsample Number: A unique number starting from 1 for each Project Sample Number assigned by the data manager when the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE is prepared. In reports, the Subsample Number is connected to the Project Sample Number with a dash, e.g. PSN000234-2.
Domain: Integers from 1 to 99. Not null.

2.3 Taxon Type: The code for a general group of taxa are included in the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE. Different SAMPLE.Sample Types have different sets of Taxon Types that are allowable.
For SAMPLE.Sample Type = micro:

ben = benthic foram faunal slide
pla = planktonic foram slide
nan = slide prepared for nannofossils
ost = ostracode slide

For SAMPLE.Sample Type = strib, basb, spec or float:

acor = ahermatypic corals
barn = barnacle
bry = bryozoans
cor = corals
clam = clams
crab = crabs
ech = echinoderms
hcor = hermatypic corals
mol = mollusks
sna = snails

For SAMPLE.Sample Type = micro, strib or basb:

orig = original sample material
wood = pieces of wood

For SAMPLE.Sample Type = pmag:

pmag = paleomagnetic sample
Domain: The above codes, all lower case. Not null.

2.4 Repository ID: The code for the current physical location of the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE. Codes are:

basel = Naturhistorisches Museum Basel
stri = Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
fiu = Florida International University
ui = University of Iowa
usgs = U.S. Geological Survey
usnm = U.S. National Museum of Naturel History
uwn = University of Wisconsin at Madison
Domain: The above codes, all lower case. Not Null

2.5 Curator ID: The initials of the person responsible for the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE. If a participant's initials are not unique, the data manager will assign a code. The currently used codes are:

afb = Ann Budd
agc = Anthony Coates
ahc = Alan Cheetham
dhg = Dana Geary
hjd = Harry Dowsett
jbj = Jeremy Jackson
jwt = Jann Thompson
lmb = Laurel Bybell
lsc = Laurel Collins
pj = Peter Jung
sdc = Steven Cairns
tc = Timothy Collins
tmc = Thomas Cronin
Domain: Unique set of initials (up to 4 letters) for a participant in the project.

2.6 Transfer Date: The date that the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE was sent to the curator.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collection Date. Not null.

2.7 Preparation Date: The date a particular group was picked from washed residue of a micro, basb, or strib SAMPLE; was picked for a particular group; or the date a specimen or float SAMPLE was washed, glued, sorted, and/or put in boxes. If null, SAMPLE was not prepared.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collection Date. Default is null.

2.8 Barren?: True if a PROCESSED SAMPLE is found to have no fossils relevant to its Taxon Type.
Domain: True or False. Default is False.
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3 AGE DETERMINATION (Subtype of PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE)

Planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannoplankton from a SAMPLE can be used to determine an age for a SITE. A paleomagnetic measurement of polarity, in conjunction with the local pattern of polarities from other SAMPLEs in the same stratigraphic sequence, can further refine the age. The geologic age returned may often not correspond exactly to that obtained from another PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE, because of the limits of each dating system, but by combining them, the youngest and oldest possible ages may be determined even more precisely than the results of the individual determinations taken alone. There is substantial collaboration among the participants on individual SAMPLEs before they return their results.
Primary key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number
Foreign key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number

3.1 Project Sample Number: Tells to which SAMPLE the AGE DETERMINATION applies.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Project Sample Number. Not null.

3.2 Subsample Number: Together with Project Sample Number, tells which PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE was used for the determination.
Domain: Same as PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE.Subsample Number. Not null.

3.3 Zone/Age Determined: The age determined by examination of a PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE by a specialist. Usually, this is from calcareous nannoplankton, planktonic foraminifera, or from a paleomagnetic sample combined with previous biochronologic results. The format of the returned age is variable. It can consist of a calcareous nannoplankton zone (e.g., NN17), a planktonic foraminifera zone (N12), an absolute age (3.5 Ma) or a range, consisting of any combination of these (NN16-NN17, 3.5 Ma-3.2 Ma, N12-3.5 Ma). Note that even a zone designation can include an absolute age if the proper index fossil is found (or not found) indicating that only a part of a zone is present in a SAMPLE. This format for ages is well established and easily understood by the users, but does not lend itself to SQL queries. Application specific functions (Youngest and Oldest) use the appropriate lookup table to find the currently established ages for zones and return either the youngest or the oldest age for any of the formats above. These functions are then used to fill in the derived attributes in the table corresponding to the AGE OF SITE entity.
Domain: 11 characters and digits, the minus sign, blank, and decimal. The letters are NN or N which must precede a two digit integer (with a leading zero if necessary), or Ma, which must precede a decimal number from 0.0 to 9.9. The minus sign is used as a connector when a range is given. Not null.

3.4 Documentation Code: The reference to the document submitted by a participant which contains his findings from a PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE. All such documents are given a catalog number and stored as a paper record at several institutions. Eventually these documents will be scanned and stored as bitmaps in the database.
Domain: Catalog number or numbers used for documents from participants.

3.5 Table Entry Date: The date that a value for Zone/Age Determined was entered into the database, or if corrected or updated, the date of the last change. This information is used in conjunction with Interpretation Date in the AGE entity to determine whether Youngest Age and Oldest Age need to be re-interpreted.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collection Date. Default is current date. Not null.

3.6 Valid?: Whether an AGE DETERMINATION is considered in error and not to be used in interpreting the age of a SITE. This attribute is marked as False in those cases.
Domain: True or false. Not null. Default is true.

3.7 Age Comment: Comments about the age determination.
Domain: 80 characters or numbers
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4 ENVIRONMENT DETERMINATION (Subtype of PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE)

Many types of PROCESSED SUBSAMPLEs are used to determine the depositional environment for the SAMPLE. For some PROCESSED SUBSAMPLEs, such as benthic foraminifera, a determination of paleowater depth is possible as well.
Primary key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number
Foreign key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number

4.1 Project Sample Number: Tells to which SAMPLE the ENVIRONMENT DETERMINATION applies.

4.2 Subsample Number: Together with Project Sample Number, tells which PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE was used for the determination.

4.3 Environment Determined: The text of the ENVIRONMENT Determination returned by a participant. May be blank but only if Depth Determined is blank.
Domain: Up to 40 characters. Default is blank.

4.4 Depth Determined: The paleowater depth determination returned by a participant. Is blank if nothing is returned.
Domain: Up to 40 characters. Default is blank.

4.5 Documentation Code: The reference to the document containing the findings from the SAMPLEs. (See note about these documents for AGE DETERMINATION.Documentation Code).
Domain: Catalog number, or numbers, for documents from participants.

4.6 Table Entry Date: The date that a value for Environment Determined or Depth Determined was entered into the database, or if corrected or updated, the date of the last change to either. Both need to be considered together in interpreting the ENVIRONMENT of SITE.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collection Date. Default is current date. Not null.

4.7 Valid?: Whether an ENVIRONMENT DETERMINATION is considered in error and not to be used in interpreting the ENVIRONMENT OF SITE. This attribute is marked as False if either Environment Determined or Depth Determined is not considered Valid.
Domain: True or false. Not null. Default is true.

4.8 Environment Comment: Comments about Environment Determination or Depth Determination.
Domain: 80 characters or numbers
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5 TAXON OCCURRENCE

A record that a particular taxon was found in a PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE. There is a one-to-many relationship between PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE and TAXON OCCURRENCE. All of the TAXON OCCURRENCEs taken together for a given PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE can be considered a species list for that subsample.
Primary key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number + Researcher ID + Taxon ID
Foreign key: Project Sample Number + Subsample Number
Foreign key: Researcher ID + Taxon ID

5.1 Project Sample Number: Tells the Project Sample Number in which this TAXON OCCURRENCE was found.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Project Sample Number

5.2 Subsample Number: Together with Project Sample Number, tells the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE in which this TAXON OCCURRENCE was found.
Domain: Same as PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE.Subsample Number

5.3 Researcher ID: Tells the code for the researcher who is using this Taxon ID.
Domain: Same as TAXON NAME.Researcher ID

5.4 Taxon ID: Together with Researcher ID, identifies which taxon has occurred in the PROCESSED SUBSAMPLE. This Taxon ID is not necessarily the currently used code, but rather it will always match the code that was used at the time the sample was analyzed. The currently used Taxon ID, and that taxon's full name, is resolved by the many to one relationship to TAXON NAME, and by that entity's many to one relationship to itself.
Domain: Same as TAXON NAME.Taxon ID

5.5 Abundance Code: A collector specific estimate of abundance in the SAMPLE, appropriate for the particular taxon and type of SAMPLE.
Domain: 12 characters and/or numbers.
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6 TAXON NAME

Taxa identified in a SAMPLE are given a code which is used to record their occurrence. This entity records this code, the Taxon ID, and the full name which it represents. The code may represent the name of a family, a genus, species and subspecies or even an informal designation, such as "urchin spine" or "unknown coral fragment". Using a full genus and species appellation for recording and entering species observed in a SAMPLE, and for analyzing the data afterwards, is both time consuming and error prone. Here, 8 letter abbreviations are used in the database. Experience shows that this is long enough so that a person familiar with a particular group can easily decipher it, yet not so short that it is ambiguous. Often, scientific names differ in only one or two letters out of many. It is easier to check whether one of 8 letters is in error than to see if one of 20 letters is in error. In producing summary reports for internal use and when reviewing the names on a computer screen, 8 letter abbreviations are much easier to read and to format into tables. A good data entry program should require typing only one to three letters to enter the full 8 letter code. To keep track of changes to the currently used name for a taxon, this entity enters into a recursive relationship with itself, using Current Taxon ID as part of a foreign key to look up the current full name of any taxon recorded in the database. This method of resolving the currently used name of a taxon is not a substitute for a taxonomic database (e.g. Paleobank or NMITA). Maintenance of this data cannot be done automatically by accessing a such taxonomic databases, since most changes to Current Taxon ID will be to record the substitution of a scientific name for an informal designation of a taxon, or the correction of an error in identification. It is the responsibility of each researcher to maintain the names of the taxa with which he is working.
Primary key: Researcher ID + Taxon ID
Foreign key: Researcher ID + Current Taxon ID. This compound foreign key is used in a one to many recursive relationship to resolve the Current Taxon ID given the originally used Taxon ID.

6.1 Researcher ID: Tells which person is responsible for maintaining a particular list of Taxon IDs. This code may represent several researchers if they want to collaborate on maintaining a list. This attribute allows each person to develop his own set of Taxon IDs without having to ensure that they are different from all others in the project.
Domain: Up to 8 letters. Not null.

6.2 Taxon ID: An abbreviation representing the taxonomic name used at the time a particular specimen is recorded. This name will never be changed so that the name in the database will always refer to what is actually written down on the original data sheet. This avoids confusion in case the name currently used changes several times.
Domain: Eight letters, both upper and lower case, and digits 0 to 9. These should be legal column (field) names for the most commonly used databases.

6.3 Current Taxon ID: Tells which Taxon ID is currently in use for a given Taxon ID. Often, a researcher will change the name for a taxon, either to correct an error in identification, to reflect a more precise identification, or because of a change in the taxonomy. By recording the currently used name for an obsolete name, the new name can automatically be used when reports are printed, and when taxon abundance totals are calculated. Merely substituting the new code for the old in the database can cause great confusion and destroys information about the history of names used for a particular taxon. Substitution like this is never a good idea. The rules for changing the Current Taxon ID are as follows: Whenever Current Taxon ID is changed for an existing Taxon ID, a new instance must be added to this entity. This new instance must have the same value for both Taxon ID and Current Taxon ID. The other information in the original instance, including Name1, Name2, and Name3, is left unchanged to preserve the history of changes to the Taxon ID and its full name. If yet another change is made to Current Taxon ID, then another instance is added and both previous instances must have Current Taxon ID updated. There is a recursive relationship between this entity and itself which allows a reference to the old Taxon ID to return the Current Taxon ID, along with the current full name. All instances then, where Taxon ID and Current Taxon ID are different represent obsolete usages. To prevent ambiguity in archived species lists, the combination of Researcher ID and Taxon ID, even for obsolete usages, must remain unique. This means that a Taxon ID, such as CoralSp, cannot be recycled once a more accurate identification is supplied for the original usage.
Domain: Same as Taxon ID.

6.4 Name1: A genus name, a higher TAXON NAME, or a short unstructured description.
Domain: Not Null. Up to 20 letters. Can include '?' .

6.5 Name2: A species name, the letters 'Sp.' possibly with a letter or number after, or a continuation of a short description from Name 1.
Domain: Up to 20 letters. Can include '?'. Default is blank.

6.6 Name3: A sub-species name, the letters 'Ssp.' possibly with a letter or number after, or a continuation of a short description from Name1. Name1, Name2, and Name3 taken together are referred to in this paper as the full name.
Domain: Up to 20 letters. Can include '?'. Default is blank.
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7 SITE VISIT (Supertype)

A visit to a single SITE by one or more persons at the same time where one or more SAMPLEs are taken. If two people taking different kinds of SAMPLEs agree that their SAMPLEs are equivalent in age because of their close proximity on the outcrop they are considered to be from the same SITE VISIT. Since SAMPLEs are considered equivalent in age if their upper and lower ranges in the section are the same, if one SAMPLE spans only a small part of the vertical extent of another SAMPLE, such as a microfossil sample taken next to a very large coral head, then the two SAMPLEs are considered to be from different SITE VISITs. It is also possible that two SAMPLEs are taken that are of equivalent age but that fact may not be known to the data manager when the Site Visit Number is assigned, and they will receive different Site Visit Numbers. The primary key for SITE VISIT, Site Visit Number, is also known as the PPP_Number and is used to identify collections in published work.
Primary key: Site Visit Number (PPP_number)

7.1 Site Visit Number: The code assigned to the SITE VISIT. Having one number for all SAMPLEs corresponding to the same time range in the section facilitates reference to the age ultimately returned by the collectors of those SAMPLEs by providing a publishable number at an early stage. It is possible that two SAMPLEs collected at exactly the same time and place could receive different Site Visit Numbers because of the way they were handled during collection and subsequent processing.
Domain: PPP-000001 to PPP-999999

7.2 Site Number: Tells to which SITE the SITE VISIT belongs.
Domain: The set of existing SITE VISIT numbers, but with the prefix S instead of PPP.
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8 FORMER SITE VISIT NUMBER (Subtype of SITE VISIT)

Early in the project, SAMPLEs were assigned what was called a "default CJ number" to identify the same entity that the SITE VISIT number now identifies. Older labels on stored SAMPLEs and references in field notes use this code. An even earlier code, not used on sample labels, may be found in Coates field notes.
Primary key: Site Visit Number

8.1 Site Visit Number: Tells which SITE VISIT the FORMER SITE VISIT NUMBER refers to.
Domain: 12 characters. Not null.

8.2 Former Site Visit Number: The "Default CJ number" on some labels and in some field notes. No longer assigned.
Domain: 12 characters Default is blank.

8.3 Obsolete Site Visit Number: The code found only in Coates' early field notes. No longer assigned.
Domain: 12 characters. Default is blank.
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9 SITE OVERLAP

A correspondence between a current SITE VISIT and an earlier or concurrent instance of a SITE VISIT to that SITE or to an adjacent SITE. Examples of a correspondence are: a current SITE VISIT being considered exactly the same as another; a current SITE VISIT being a subset or superset of another; or a current SITE VISIT being close to but not overlapping another. This entity is used to produce user views of the data with equivalent and closely associated SITE VISITs listed close to each other to aid in grouping the SAMPLEs by time interval.

9.1 Documentation Code: An identifier for a written note describing how the current Site Visit is related to another. Normally, the note is from a field notebook and the owner, volume, page, and line numbers are given. This field must be unique, but is otherwise unstructured.
Domain: 20 letters or numbers. Not null.

9.2 Current Site Visit Number: Tells which current SITE VISIT has entered into an association.
Domain: Same as SITE VISIT.Site Visit Numbers.

9.3 Referenced Site Visit Number: Tells which SITE VISIT is referred to in documentation about a previous, or a concurrent, SITE VISIT.
Domain: Same as SITE VISIT.Site Visit Codes.

9.4 Overlap Type: How the two SITE VISITs are associated. The judgement of how the collections are related is made by the person collecting the SAMPLE. Sometimes a collection of macrofossils will be made from a SITE visited the previous year and these will be considered "equivalent" and an Overlap Type will be assigned indicating this. The codes are:

equiv = The current SITE VISIT is considered equivalent to another one.
part = The current SITE VISIT is a part, or a subset, of another one.
cont = The current SITE VISIT contains, or is a superset, of another one.
near = The current SITE VISIT is close to but not overlapping another one.
Domain: The above codes, all lower case. Not null.
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10 SITE (Supertype)

A part of an outcrop from which one or more SAMPLEs have been taken, all having the same upper and lower stratigraphic boundaries. The lateral extent of the SITE can be as large as feasible while still maintaining the same upper and lower boundaries. Typically, microfossil sample SITEs are six centimeters or less in diameter while some bulk, float, and specimen sample SITEs may extend for tens of meters along a bedding plane and be a meter or so in (stratigraphic) thickness. If a return visit is made to a site after an extended period of time and larger SAMPLEs (bulk, specimen, etc) are collected, the collector may record that the site was that same as that visited previously. But micro samples are normally too small and too precise in their upper and lower bounds to be considered equivalent if collected at different times, so the collector will generally record that the new SITE is near but not exactly the same as a previous collection. The code for identifying the SITE uses the digital part of the Site Visit Code from the first visit, preceded by the letter 'S'. If the SAMPLE is being collected for the first time this will have the same digital component as the Site Visit Code. (e.g., PPP001234 and S001234).
Primary key: Site Number
Foreign key: Map Locality ID + Locality Number

10.1 Site Number: Tells which SITE was visited. The default indicates that no Site Number has been assigned. Site Numbers are assigned in batches, after the data for new SAMPLES have been entered.
Domain: Same as SITE VISIT.Site Visit Number except that the digital part is preceded by 'S' instead of 'PPP'. Default is 'S000000'.

10.2 Map Locality ID: Tells approximately where on a map a SITE is found.
Domain: Same as Locality.Map Locality ID. Not null.

10.3 Locality Number: Together with Map Locality ID, uniquely identifies the LOCALITY in which a SITE is found.
Domain: Same as LOCALITY.Locality Number. Not null.

10.4 Stratigraphic ID: Tells from which STRATIGRAPHIC UNIT a SAMPLE was taken.
Domain: Same as STRATIGRAPHIC UNIT.Stratigraphic ID. Not null.

10.5 Section Number: Tells the STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION in which the SITE found.
Domain: Same as STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION.Section Number. Default is 0.

10.6 Correlated Site Code: Tells to which CORRELATED SITE this SITE has been assigned.
Domain: Same as CORRELATED SITE.Correlated Site Number

10.7 Position in Section: The position of the SITE in the composite section, measured in meters from the bottom and adjusted for dip and local differences in section thickness.
Domain: Numbers from 0.0 to 999.9. Not null.

10.8 Latitude: The latitude of the SITE, using decimal notation, as accurately as can be measured. Currently, location is measured to within 100m using a map or a GPS receiver. Latitude and longitude can be expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds where required by using a function to make the conversion on the fly.
Domain: Numbers from 8.0000 to 11.0000 and 0. Default is 0.00000, indicating a missing value.

10.9 Longitude: The longitude of the SITE, using decimal notation, as accurately as can be measured.
Domain: Numbers from -86.00000 to -77.00000, and 0. Default is 0.00000, indicating a missing value.
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11 STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION

A diagram showing the stratigraphic relationship among SITEs, to scale. The Chief Stratigrapher, Coates, will decide which SITEs can be grouped together into any given STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION. A SITE may belong to only one STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION, or it may remain ungrouped.
Primary key: Section Number

11.1 Section Number: The number assigned to the STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION.
Domain: Integers from 0 to 999. Default is 0.

11.2 Section Name: A name given to the STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION
Domain: Up to 20 characters. Not null.

11.3 Depositional Basin: A geographic area with a common river drainage.
Domain: Up to 20 characters. Not null.
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12 STRATIGRAPHIC UNIT

The smallest established subdivision of the rocks in the study area.
Primary key: Stratigraphic ID

12.1 Stratigraphic ID: A code identifying the Group, Formation, and Member. Since formation names are unique in the study area, the code consists of an abbreviation of the formation name, and if used, the member name. Includes a code for unknown.
Domain: Up to 12 characters.

12.2 Group: The established name of the group. Can be 'unknown'. Blank indicates that a group name is not used.
Domain: Group names. Default is blank.

12.3 Formation: The established name of the formation. Can be 'unknown'. Cannot be blank.
Domain: Formation names. Not null.

12.4 Member: The established name of the member. Can be 'unknown'. Blank indicates that a member name is not used.
Domain: Member names. Default is blank.

12.5 Group Sequence: A decimal number indicating the position of the group in the geological column. It, and the following two attributes, are used to display the names in stratigraphic rather than alphabetic order. The smallest numbers correspond to the youngest rocks. Blank is 0, 'unknown' is 99.9.
Domain: Integers from 1.0 to 99.9. Not null.

12.6 Formation Sequence: A decimal number indicating the position of the formation within the group. 'unknown' is 99.9.
Domain: Integers from 1.0 to 99.9 Not null.

12.7 Member Sequence: A decimal number indicating the position of the member within the formation. Blank is 0, 'unknown' is 9.9.
Domain: Integers from 0.0 to 9.9 Default is 0. Not null only if STRATIGRAPHIC UNIT.Member is not null.
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13 LOCALITY

The local area where the outcrop is found. The location of an outcrop is described by a reference to a place name (Map Locality Name) that can be found on a topographic map. To further define the location, a Detailed Locality is used which consists of short directions on how to reach a particular outcrop. Together, they generally locate the outcrop to within about 100 meters. More than one SITE can be found in a given LOCALITY.
Primary key: Map Locality ID, Locality Number

13.1 Map Locality ID: A short code combining Map Locality Name and the Region together. It identifies a limited area on a 1:50000 map where one or more sites exist. With Locality Number, it uniquely identifies the location of the SITE.
Domain: 14 characters. Characters with diacritical marks are excluded. Not null.

13.2 Locality Number: All of the Detailed Localities having the same Map Locality ID are assigned a Locality Number, starting with 01 for each different Map Locality ID.
Domain: Two digits, 0-9. Not 00 and not null.

13.3 Map Locality Name: A name that can be found on a 1:50000 topographic map (such as Isla Coln or Ro Azul) which identifies a small area.
Domain: Any name on a map up to 20 characters.

13.4 Detailed Locality: Short directions on how to reach the outcrop. Examples are "300 meters north of the bridge over the Ro Azul" or "50m downstream from Site PPP000123".
Domain: Up to 80 characters.

13.5 Country: An abbreviation that tells the country in which the SITE is found. The abbreviations currently in use are: Pan (Panama), CR (Costa Rica), Nic (Nicaragua) , Ecu (Ecuador).
Domain: The above codes. Not null.

13.6 Region: A subdivision of a country.
Domain: Established names of subdivisions of countries. Up to 12 characters.

13.7 Ocean: An abbreviation that tells into which ocean the streams flow.
Domain: P (Pacific) or C (Caribbean). Not null.
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14 AGE OF SITE (Subtype of SITE)

The composite geologic age of a specific SITE, as interpreted from the information returned from AGE DETERMINATIONs. Sometimes this information is contradictory so that the AGE OF SITE cannot be calculated automatically from individual AGE DETERMINATIONs. It requires an experienced researcher to make the final interpretation. Available valid ages from nanno-plankton, forams, and paleo-magnetic analyses are presented to the person making this interpretation, as well as the maximum and minimum possible ages in millions of years. These are listed as derived attributes in this entity since the information is available elsewhere in the database. In cases where there is no direct information about a SITE, an AGE is interpolated from the position of the SITE relative to nearby directly dated SITEs.
Primary key: Site Number

14.1 Site Number: Tells to which SITE the AGE OF SITE refers.
Domain: Same as SITE.Site Number. Not null.

14.2 Youngest Age: The youngest composite age in Ma interpreted for a SITE by an experienced researcher.
Domain: Decimals from 0.0 to 9.9.

14.3 Oldest Age: The oldest composite age in Ma interpreted for a SITE by an experienced researcher.
Domain: Decimals from 0.0 to 9.9

14.4 Person Making Interpretation: The initials of the person who made the age interpretation.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collector ID. Not Null.

14.5 Interpretation Date: The date the interpretation was made. If this date is earlier than the date that any AGE DETERMINATION was last entered into the database for this SITE, the AGEs will have to be reinterpreted.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collection Date. Not null.

14.6 Interpolated?: Whether the AGE OF SITEs were obtained by interpolation from other nearby SITEs.
Domain: True or false. Default is false.

14.7 Age Comment: Comments about the dating process.
Domain: Up to 80 characters. Default is blank.

(The following attributes are derived from the AGE DETERMINATION entity and a zone/age age lookup table (not shown in the figure). The database fields will be filled in by the computer to aid the person interpreting the data.)

14.8 Nanno-Plankton Zone/Age: From AGE DETERMINATION.Zone/Age Used if there is an AGE DETERMINATION from calcareous nannoplankton.
Domain: All values of AGE DETERMINATION.Zone/Age Determined for calcareous nannoplankton.

14.9 Planktonic Foram Zone/Age: From AGE DETERMINATION.Zone/Age Used if there is an AGE DETERMINATION from planktonic foraminifera.
Domain: All values of AGE DETERMINATION.Zone/Age Determined for planktonic foraminifera. Default is blank.

14.10 Nanno & Foram Oldest Age: The oldest age possible given the available nanno-plankton and planktonic foraminifera AGEs. This information is calculated by the computer from all available AGE DETERMINATIONs and a lookup table (not shown in figure 1) with the most recent ages of the zone boundaries.
Domain: Decimals from 0.0 to 99.9. Default is 99.9

14.11 Nanno & Foram Youngest Age: The youngest age possible. See description of Nanno % Foram Oldest Age.
Domain: Decimals from 0.0 to 99.9. Default is 99.9.

14.12 Paleo-Magnetic Age: From AGE DETERMINATION.Zone/Age. Used if there is an AGE from paleomagnetic data.
Domain: All values of AGE DETERMINATION.Zone/Age Determined for paleomagnetic Taxon Types.
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15 ENVIRONMENT OF SITE (Subtype of SITE)

The composite depositional environment for a specific SITE including paleowater depth. Like AGE OF SITE, an experienced researcher is needed to make the final interpretation from all available reports of AGE DETERMINATION.
Primary key: Site Number

15.1 Site Number: Tells which SITE has this environment.
Domain: Same as SITE.Site Number. Not null.

15.2 Paleo-Depth: The paleowater depth determination for the SITE. This is an uncoded attribute, reflecting concisely the best estimate of the Person Making Interpretation.
Domain: Up to 20 characters. Default is blank.

15.3 Paleo-Environment: The depositional environment, excluding depth, for the SITE. This is an uncoded attribute, reflecting concisely the best estimate of the Person Making Interpretation.
Domain: Up to 80 characters. Default is blank.

15.4 Person Making Interpretation: The experienced participant making the interpretation of both Paleo-Depth and Paleo-Environment.
Domain: Same as SAMPLE.Collector ID. Not null.

15.5 Interpretation Date: The date the interpretation of the ENVIRONMENT was made. This information will be used in conjunction with ENVIRONMENT DETERMINATION.Table Entry Date to determine if a re-interpretation is necessary.
Domain: Same as Sample.Collection Date. Not null.

15.6 Environment Comment: Comments about the interpretation of the ENVIRONMENT.
Domain: Up to 80 characters. Default is blank.
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16 CORRELATED SITE

A group of SITEs with similar AGEs. The Chief Stratigrapher, Coates, will group SITEs to provide coarser divisions of time for the use of project participants.
Primary key: Correlated Site Number

16.1 Correlated Site Code: A code identifying a group of similarly aged SITEs.
Domain: Integers from 1 to 999.

16.2 Defined Youngest Age: The youngest age, in Ma, of SITEs assigned to the CORRELATED SITE.
Domain: Decimals from 0.0 to 9.9. Not null.

16.3 Defined Oldest Age: The oldest age, in Ma, of SITEs assigned to the CORRELATED SITE.
Domain: Decimals from 0.0 to 9.9.

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DEFINITIONS

The following words are used consistently in the names of entities and attributes to modify the remainder of the name.
code: A set of letters and numbers associated with an attribute or entity.
ID: A code which is a short abbreviation of a longer name and which is designed to be easily identifiable by a user familiar with the domain of entities or attributes that it describes.
number: A code consisting primarily of digits, sometimes with a fixed set of letters prepended, assigned in numerical order.
type: One of a short set of codes used to describe a particular class of attributes.
date: A particular calendar day, expressed in Foxpro British date format, dd/mm/yyyy. Dates refer to events connected with the activities of the PPP participants.
age: Time expressed in millions of years before the present.
zone/age: Time expressed either as an index fossil zone, a geological age, or in millions of years before the present.
?: This symbol indicates that an attribute takes on logical values, true or false.