UGR researchers put a geophysical database of Antarctica at the disposal of the scientific community

An international group of scientists, led by Professor of Earth Physics Jesús M. Ibáñez Godoy from the University of Granada (UGR), has made available to the whole scientific community, through a public, free access database, the results of a geophysical research they carried out on Deception Island, Antarctica.

The database, located in the Australian Antarctic Data Center, contains the models derived from the studies associated with the TOMO-DEC project, carried out in Antarctica by the UGR. During the experiment, active and passive seismic signals as well as bathymetric, magnetic and Earth’s gravity field data were recorded simultaneously. The database can be accessed via the following link:

According to Professor Ibáñez Godoy, “one of the great challenges of the scientific community is to be in a position to share the data and models with the rest of researchers, not only through scientific articles. A different mindset is required in order to make all databases accessible, without limit, so that the findings can be tested, reproduced and even improved by the entire international community”. Each time a researcher accesses the database, it must be cited and mentioned, thus increasing the visibility of the University of Granada.

TOMO-DEC experiment

The TOMO-DEC experiment carried out studies on the geophysical activity on Antarctica. Credit: University of Granada

The database has been published through an article in Nature Scientific Data, a journal belonging to Nature Publishing Group, thus increasing its international impact and visibility. The article is authored by Professor Ibáñez Godoy along with other professors from the Andalusian Institute of Geophysics, University of Granada, such as Javier Almendros and Gerardo Alguacil; Carmen Benítez, professor at the Department of Signal Theory, Telematics and Communications; and researchers who were PhD students of the UGR: Alejandro Díaz, Janire Prudencio, Daria Zandomeneghi and Araceli García. Barclay and Wilcock, also authors of the article, belong to the universities of Columbia and Washington, respectively.

It is the first time that such a large amount of diverse data associated with a research project is freely shared. To this end, the researchers have counted with the collaboration of the Australian Antarctic Data Center, which has acted as data exchange center. This philosophy of freely accessible data is one of the goals of the Spanish KNOWAVES project (led by UGR professors Carmen Benítez and Jesús M. Ibáñez Godoy) as well as the European project EPOS, of which professor Ibáñez Godoy is representative. Project EPOS is at the same time associated with the Italian INGV working group focused on multidisciplinary experiments on active volcanoes.

The TOMO-DEC experiment, carried out in 2005 on Deception Island, was a milestone for the UGR’s Andalusian Institute of Geophysics in relation to Antarctic studies. This experiment has fostered the production of a large number of renowned scientific papers, additional projects and doctoral theses.

The experiment was conceived through international and multidisciplinary collaboration and led by UGR professor Ibáñez Godoy, who used various marine and land-based platforms in Antarctica (the Spanish oceanographic vessel Hespérides along with the Spanish scientific Antarctic base Gabriel de Castilla and four temporary camps). TOMO-DEC researches were carried out at the Deception Island volcano. Seismic signals, magnetic and gravimetric field records, seabed topography studies and other geophysical data were obtained.