(Oceanographic Expedition Managment System)

Novel software for oceanographic cruise planning, execution and results database management

Faced with the need to integrate the results of dozens of cruises performed by the Gulf of Mexico’s Research Consortium (CIGOM) financed by Mexico’s CONACYT-SENER Hydrocarbon fund (2015-2022), we developed a software package with an online interface that:

  1. Supports detailed expedition planning
  2. Allows for real-time documentation of the outcome of a cruise or monitoring plan
  3. Couples discrete hydrographic data from CTDs with sample inventories
  4. Generates cruise reports including detailed sample inventories
  5. Implements a common data structure for storing a wide variety of data ranging from hydrography to biogeochemical parameters, rate measurements, contaminants and community composition following the classification of WORMS
Planing your expedition

The system provides a group of tools to plan an expedition: catalogs to manage the instruments and crew on board, custom interfaces to plot a detailed schedule of sampling which includes course, statitions and depths to visit during the expedition.

Sampling managment

During the expedition the system can be used online or bring on board in an offline laptop to review the expedition plan and easily confirm the samples obtained in constrast to what was planed. The system is also very flexible to accomadate any last minute change and record the exceptions in the metadata.

Data capture

The system provides capture templates which come with the samples successfully obtained and aditional enviromental data from instruments obtained during the expedition. The data is stored in SQL and nonSQL databases acording to the complexity of such data, which can range from discrete geochemical data points to taxonomic lists obtained through metabarcoding.

Data query

In order to promote the collaboration and data discovery, the system implements a group of filters that provide dynamic options based on the data being selected. This helps the user to easily search data without previus knowledge of the database content. The filtered results can be exported in several formats.

Current effort

Although SGEO was created to fulfill CIGoM necessities, the success of the system motived us to adapt the system with the capacity to host multiple projects, regions and diferent types of expeditions. We are also looking foward to connect our system with international initiatives of data analysis and visualization tools.

Contact us if you are interested in using the system for your projects or collaborate with us:

Dr. Sharon Herzka -

Technical Support -

For more information about other areas of the CIGoM project visit the website

Explanatory video