HUB Earth and Environment


"Research Data - describe it or dump it."

The HMC Hub Earth and Environment deals with the research data of the Helmholtz Association's research field of the same name. The Research Field Earth and Environment is one of the pioneers in implementing structured data management.

Helmholtz Earth and Environment data are generated by an extremely wide range of measurement instruments, platforms, sensors and laboratories and are produced during measurement campaigns, expeditions, permanent measurement facilities or by simulations and models. These include environmental data collected by research vessels or off-shore measurement platforms, chemical measurements of soil, water or air samples, remote sensing with images from the air, or from deep-sea robots, physical measurements e.g. of the Earth's surface using seismic techniques, and many more. Geographic information systems also play a major role.

Traditionally, an infrastructure for managing research data is well developed in the individual institutes. There is a very active research data community curating research data. A variety of high-quality data products exist that are publicly and freely available. Some examples of these are listed here under Use Cases.

Challenges for HMC in the Earth and Environment domain are the multidimensionality of the data collected. For example, the spatial, but also the temporal classification of data, i.e. what is the age of a sample, and where exactly was it taken at what height/depth, often plays an important role. On the other hand, a better standardization in the description of data products needs to be achieved. An improved interoperability of research data is another important goal.

The Helmholtz research area Earth and Environment is located at the following Helmholtz Centres:

  • Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

  • Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ)

  • Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT)

  • GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig

  • Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

The HMC Hub Earth and Environment maintains personnel in Potsdam, Leipzig, Bremerhaven and Kiel. See the Team pages for contact information.

For more information see our general poster (PDF) on HMC and the Hub earth and Environment.