April 30, 2024
Research Highlight

Open Data Fosters Exchange of Information Across Coastal Interfaces

A new open-access dataset includes 16 data types from 52 coastal terrestrial-aquatic transects, focusing on biogeochemical variables

Researchers sample wetland soils outside

Consortium researchers sample wetland soils as part of Exploration of Coastal Hydrobiogeochemistry Across a Network of Gradients and Experiments (EXCHANGE) Campaign 1.

(Photo courtesy of Kyle Derby | Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

The Science

Exploration of Coastal Hydrobiogeochemistry Across a Network of Gradients and Experiments (EXCHANGE) is a consortium of scientists interested in improving understanding of the biogeochemical exchange between water and land in coastal systems. In EXCHANGE Campaign 1 (EC1), researchers collected water, soil, and sediment samples at 52 sites in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions. This work highlights version one (v1) of the key EC1 baseline datasets that are currently published for open access.

The Impact

Open access and interoperable coastal biogeochemical datasets are needed to predict how coastal systems will respond to global change. Community-driven programs are one such approach to acquiring these datasets. The EXCHANGE consortium is an open science, community-driven program that spans traditional research and physical domains that can advance synthesis and modeling efforts across coastal interfaces.


Cohesive datasets across geographically distributed sites can be used to examine the transferability of coastal ecosystem biogeochemical processes. The EXCHANGE consortium collaborated on study design for EC1, including how data were collected, to increase comparability of datasets across sites. Soils, sediments, and surface waters from across the coastal terrestrial-aquatic interface were analyzed for a variety of biogeochemical variables, ranging from common water quality and soil physicochemical properties to advanced molecular level characterizations. All data underwent quality control steps to ensure data quality. The consortium also analyzed the datasets across regions to understand when, where, and why variability existed. We encourage others to use these data for subsequent analyses and to deposit their code in an open-source repository, which aids in furthering our collective knowledge about coastal interfaces.

PNNL Contacts

Vanessa Bailey, Vanessa.Bailey@pnnl.gov, COMPASS-FME PI

Allison Myers-Pigg, allison.myers-pigg@pnnl.gov, primary author, corresponding author

Stephanie Pennington, stephanie.pennington@pnnl.gov, co-primary author


The EXCHANGE project is part of Coastal Observations, Mechanisms, and Predictions Across Systems and Scales - Field Measurements and Experiments (COMPASS-FME), a multi-institutional project supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research as part of the Environmental System Science Program. A portion of this research was performed at the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL), and the MRCAT/EnviroCAT beamline at the Advanced Photon Source, both Office of Science User Facilities operated for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.


Published: April 30, 2024

Myers-Pigg, A.N., Pennington, S.C., Homolka, K.K. et al. “Biogeochemistry of upland to wetland soils, sediments, and surface waters across Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes coastal interfaces.” Sci Data 10, 822 (2023). [DOI: 10.1038/s41597-023-02548-7]

Pennington S C ; Alford S ; Back M P ; Bailey V ; Baldwin A ; Bolinger J ; Bowe M ; Boyanov M I ; Cianci-Gaskill J A ; Conroy N A ; Cooper M J ; Day D ; Demeo A ; Derby K ; Detweiler D ; Devres-Zimmerman S ; Eberhard E ; Gedan K ; Haaf L ; Homolka K K ; Johnson E ; Kemner K M ; Khan A ; Kirwan M ; Kittaka P ; Koontz E ; Langley A ; Leff R ; Lerberg S ; Lewis A M ; Malkin S ; Marcarelli A M ; McMurray S E ; Messerschmidt T ; Michael T C ; Michael H A ; Minor E C ; Moye B ; Mozdzer T J ; Neubauer S ; Norris C G ; O'Loughlin E J ; Otenburg O ; Pain A ; Patel K F ; Philben M ; Phillips E ; Pratt D ; Regier P ; Jr J A R ; Sage L ; Sandborn D ; Smith S ; Smith A ; Soin-Voshell S ; Song B ; Sprague-Getsy A ; Laurent K S ; Staver L ; Stearns A ; Stetten L ; Swerida R ; Theuerkauf E J ; Tully K ; Vargas R ; Ward N D ; Watson E ; Weilminster C ; Myers-Pigg A N (2023): EXCHANGE Campaign 1: A Community-Driven Baseline Characterization of Soils, Sediments, and Water Across Coastal Gradients. COMPASS-FME, ESS-DIVE repository. Dataset. doi:10.15485/1960313 accessed via https://data.ess-dive.lbl.gov/datasets/doi:10.15485/1960313 on 2024-02-09