Interferometric-sonar, sidescan-sonar, seismic-reflection, and navigation data collected during Woods Hole Science Center (WHSC) cruises are initially stored at sea on either a terabyte server (large-ship operations) or on 200-300 gigabyte external hard drives for small-boat operations. For the large-ship operations, a terabyte server RAID array (level 5) provides real-time terabyte capacity mass storage for geophysical data with immediate access from data processing computers on the high-speed (1000 megabit) network in our seagoing vans (please navigate to the shipboard setup on the tree to the right to access photo images and layout diagrams of the vans). Raw data are backed up to 8mm-tapes and DVDs. Currently, an average of 5- to 20- gigabytes of data are collected in a 24-hour period, depending on the equipment used during a particular survey. This number is continually expanding; as recently as 5 to 10 years ago, a maximum of 2 gigabytes of data were collected daily.
When back in the lab at Woods Hole, the data are transferred to a lab-based terabyte server for archival and on-line internal network access to raw data. A high-capacity tape drive (100 gigabyte) is used as backup and optionally, DVDs are also created. The terabyte server is located behind a firewall for security purposes and only accessible through our internal network.There are t hree possible avenues for data distribution; one or all may be employed for a given data set. Data are published on the Web via a public access server maintained at the WHSC. Print-on-demand CDs or DVDs are published as USGS publications. Third, after data are published, all geospatial data are accessible through the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Internet Map Server (IMS).