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Data archiving is a process that supports long-term storage of scientific data and methods used to read or interpret it.
In the field of data management, the terms "archive" and "repository" often are used interchangeably. Within the Federal government, however, the term "archive" is specific to the mission and activities of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Archives are created for long-term storage of historically important data that are no longer needed for immediate access. Backups are created to restore data and continue operations in case of disasters (e.g. deletion, catastrophic equipment loss).
The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center archives remotely sensed images of the Earth's land surface. These data are acquired by civilian satellites and aircraft and used to study a wide range of natural hazards, global environmental change, and economic development and conservation issues.
Available data include:
Learn about the High Density Digital Tape (HDDT) Landsat Data Recovery process at EROS:
The USGS Survey Manual chapter SM 502.9 - Fundamental Science Practices: Preservation Requirements for Digital Scientific Data requires data be preserved in accordance with the USGS records disposition requirements and the Federal Records Act 36 CFR 1220.14. When creating permanent Federal records, consider long-term preservation needs and select formats that will facilitate storage or transfer to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The USGS Survey Manual chapter SM 431.1 - Records Management Program describes the USGS Records Management Program objectives and assigns responsibilities for records management.