The operation of WDC-MARE was terminated in 2012 due to transition and reorganization of WDC to WDS (World Data System). 2013 Pangaea became a member of WDS instead.
During the International Geophysical Year of 1957-1958, the World Data Center (WDC) system was created; in 1968, ICSU (International Council of Science), providing the umbrella of the system, established a panel to coordiante and monitor the activities of the centers. Head of the panel in 2006 was Hartmut Graßl, MPI Hamburg (successor of Ferris Webster, University of Delaware). The WDC system consisted of over fifty designated data centers, which collect, manage, and distribute a wide range of defined geophysical, solar and environmental data. As the first german center the World Data Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (WDC-MARE) was founded in 2001. It was maintained by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM).
WDC-MARE was aimed at collecting, scrutinizing, and disseminating data related to Global Change in the fields of environmental oceanography, marine geosciences, and marine biology. It focused on georeferenced data (numeric, text, and any kind of binary objects) using the data library PANGAEA as its long-term archive both at the national and international level. PANGAEA is operated as a library and publishing system for georeferenced data from earth system research. WDC-MARE with PANGAEA provided expertise in information handling and data management as a partner in research projects. Data collections of projects were published on CD-ROM in the WDC-MARE Reports. The reports were distributed to about 400 libraries worldwide, in particular to help bridging the Digital Divide in countries with limited Internet access.
The data covered the world oceans, ranging from the lower atmosphere - surface ocean exchange, the full water column, marine sediments with parameter from biological, chemical, physical and geological oceanography. A significant proportion consists of data from XBT, CTD and bottle profiles. Some data are time series or from moorings, the holdings include plankton and benthos data and a collection of sediment core and ocean floor images. Major contributions were
- Oceanographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean
- Compilation of JGOFS data
- Mirror of WOCE
- Compilation of silica data for EU-project ORFOIS
- Marine meteorology along cruise tracks of RV Polarstern
- WDC-MARE was a member of the German WDC-Cluster.
- 2010-05-07 WDC-MARE was added to the historic collection of the Library of Congress