SESAR² Vocabularies

This page contains the controlled or recommended vocabularies used for select SESAR² metadata fields.  Controlled lists are marked with an asterisk (*).

See the SESAR² Quick Guide for the complete list of SESAR² metadata fields and their definitions.

If you have questions about metadata content, please contact the SESAR² Curator at info@

Registration Metadata

Sample Type (Object) *

SESAR² registers specimens and related sampling features collected from the natural environment.

  • Core – long cylindrical cores
  • Core Catcher – material recovered from the core catcher of a sedimentary core and which is treated as a separate section from the core.
  • Core Half Round – half-cylindrical products of along-axis split of a whole round
  • Core Piece – material occurring between unambiguous [as curated] breaks in recovery.
  • Core Quarter Round – quarter-cylindrical products of along-axis split of a half round.
  • Core Section – arbitrarily cut segments of a “core”
  • Core Section Half  – half-cylindrical products of along-axis split of a section or its component fragments through a selected diameter.
  • Core Slab – rectangular prism of material taken from a core where one dimension is significantly shorter than the others.
  • Core Sub-Piece – unambiguously mated portion of a larger piece noted for curatorial management of the material.
  • Core U-Channel – long rectangular prism of material for continuous measurement.
  • Core Whole Round – cylindrical segments of core or core section material.
  • CTD – a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth) cast sample.
  • Cuttings – loose, coarse, unconsolidated material suspended in drilling fluid.
  • Dredge  – a group of rocks collected by dragging a dredge along the seafloor.
  • Experimental Specimen– a synthetic material used during an experiment
  • Grab – a sample (sometimes mechanically collected) from a deposit or area, not intended to be representative of the deposit or area.
  • Hole – hole cavity and walls surrounding that cavity.
  • Individual Sample – a sample that is an individual unit, including rock hand samples, a biological specimen, or a bottle of fluid.
  • Oriented Core – core that can be positioned on the surface in the same way that it was arranged in the borehole before extraction.
  • Other – a sample that does not fit any of the existing type designations. It is expected that further detailed description of the particular sample will be provided.
  • Rock Powder – a sample created from pulverizing a rock to powder.
  • Site – a place where a sample is collected.
  • Terrestrial Section – a sample of a section of the near-surface Earth, generally in the critical zone.

Is your sample not in the list?

If you would like to register a sample type that is not listed above, please contact

Material *

Material that the sample consists of “Rock”, “Mineral”, “Liquid>aqueous”

  • Biology
  • Gas
  • Ice
  • Liquid>aqueous
  • Liquid>organic
  • Mineral
  • NotApplicable
  • Organic Material
  • Other
  • Particulate
  • Plant Structure
  • Rock
  • Sediment
  • Soil
  • Synthetic

Descriptive Metadata

Sub-Object Type*

If the object type for a sample is Individual Sample or Experimental Specimen, users may elect to enter a sub-object type.

Individual Sample

  • Bead Bead pressed from a powder.
  • Chemical Fraction- Parts of a parent sample separated chemically.
  • Cube- Equidimensional prism of material.
  • Culture- Biological material cultured in geological material.
  • Cylinder- Cylinders of material.
  • Gas- A gaseous material.
  • Liquid- A liquid material.
  • Mechanical Fraction- Parts of a parent sample separated mechanically.
  • Powder- Fine-grained (<62 micron), dry, granular material.
  • Slab- Rectangular prism of material where one dimension is significantly shorter than the others.
  • Smear- A toothpick sample suspended in liquid and fixed on slide.
  • Specimen- Material of any shape or form selected for specific characteristics of interest.
  • Squeeze Cake- Solid fraction remaining after forced expulsion of interstitial fluids from a source sample; typically has the shape of a cylindrical disc.
  • Thin Section- A sub-millimeter thick slice of material mounted on a glass slide.
  • Toothpick- Minute amount of material taken for observation.
  • Wedge- Sample form factor named for the tool used to extract it. Typically 5-20 ml in volume.

Experimental Specimen

  • Thin Section
  • Other

Classification (Rock) *

Formal categorization of sample.

Click here for complete list.

Classification (Mineral) *

Formal categorization of sample.

Click here for complete list.

Classification (Biology) *

Formal categorization of sample.

  • Macrobiology
  • Macrobiology>Coral
  • Microbiology

Biology classifications are under review. If you would like to take part in the discussion, contact

Collection Method

Method by which a sample was collected.

  • Blasting
  • Camera SledCamera tow
  • Coring
  • Coring>BoxCorer
  • Coring>CameraMounted
  • Coring>DrillCorer
  • Coring>FreeFallCorer
  • Coring>GravityCorer
  • Coring>GravityCorer>Giant
  • Coring>GravityCorer>Pilot
  • Coring>HandHeldCorer
  • Coring>KastenlotCorer
  • Coring>MultiCorer
  • Coring>PistonCorer
  • Coring>PistonCorer>Giant
  • Coring>RockCorer
  • Coring>SideSaddleCorer
  • Coring>SubmersibleMountedCorer
  • Coring>TriggerWeightCorer
  • Coring>VibratingCorer
  • Dredging
  • Dredging>Chain Bag
  • Dredging>ChainBagDredge
  • Experimental Apparatus
  • Grab
  • Grab>HOV
  • Grab>ROV
  • Manual
  • Manual>Hammer
  • Probe
  • Sediment trap
  • Suspended sediment
  • Unknown


Country where the sample was collected

Click here for complete list.

Navigation Type*

We follow the MGDS Navigation Type list.

  • DGPS
  • DVL
  • DVL:Renav
  • DVL:Renav:Confirmed
  • DVL/LBL:Renav
  • DVL/LBL:Renav:Confirmed
  • DVL/USBL:Renav
  • GPS
  • GPS:Assumed
  • GPS/WireOut
  • LBL
  • Locale
  • NotApplicable
  • NotProvided
  • USBL

Physiographic feature

Type of physical feature that your sample was collected from

  • abyssal feature
  • alluvial fan
  • anticline
  • aquifer
  • arch (natural formation)
  • arroyo
  • badlands
  • bank (hydrographic)
  • bar (physiographic)
  • basin
  • bay
  • beach
  • bight
  • canyon
  • cape
  • cave
  • channel
  • cirque
  • cliff
  • continental divide
  • continental margin
  • crater
  • delta
  • drainage basin
  • drumlin
  • dune
  • earthquake feature
  • estuary
  • fault
  • fault zone
  • flat
  • floodplain
  • fold (geologic)
  • fracture zone
  • gap
  • gulf
  • gut
  • hydrothermal vent
  • ice mass
  • isthmus
  • karst area
  • lake
  • lava field
  • ledge
  • massif
  • mesa
  • mineral deposit area
  • moraine
  • mountain
  • mountain range
  • mountain summit
  • ocean trench
  • outcrop
  • plain
  • plateau
  • playa
  • reef
  • ridge
  • rift zone
  • roadcut
  • seamount
  • sea
  • stream
  • submarine canyon
  • syncline
  • thermal feature
  • valley
  • volcano

Platform and Launch types

Type of platform for the cruise.

  • AUV
  • Ship
  • HOV
  • ROV
  • Small craft
  • Submersible / HOV