Locality Attributes

Locality Attributes in Arctos are used to add descriptive terms to a Locality. These terms are controlled by the vocabulary contained in the ctlocality_attribute_type code table. For a summary of geologic stratigraphy, see the International Stratigraphic Guide —An abridged version

The terms applied using Locality Attributes can generally be summarized in the following groups Stratigraphic Information, Petrology, Biochronology, Public Land Survey System, landholder, and a locality encumbrance attribute for localities that need to be excluded from public view.

Stratigraphic Information

Geologic strata may be classified according to many different properties. Each classification has its own distinctive nomenclature and some also include a hierarchical structure. The following kinds of strata are currently represented in Arctos:


Biostratigraphy is the branch of geologic stratigraphy in which strata are based on the fossil content of the rock bodies. Biostrata can be added to localities using the biostratigraphic zone locality attribute. Biostratigraphic zone values are controlled by the ctbiostratigraphic_zone code table.


Chronostratigraphy is the branch of geologic stratigraphy in which units are based on the time of formation of the rock bodies. International Commission on Stratigraphy chronostrata can be added to localities using the following locality attributes:

Informal chronostrata can be added to localities using the informal chronostratigraphy attribute. Informal chronostratigraphy are published chronostratigraphic units that are not in the International Chronostratigraphic Chart, for example, regional chronostratigraphies. Informal chronostratigraphy values are controlled by the ctchronostrat_informal code table.


Lithostratigraphy is the branch of geologic stratigraphy in which units are based on the lithologic properties of the rock. Lihtostrata can be added to localities using the following locality attributes:


In paleontology, biochronology is the correlation in time of biological events using fossils. In its strict sense, it refers to the use of assemblages of fossils that are not tied to stratigraphic sections (in contrast to biostratigraphy, where they are). The basic unit of biochronology is the biochron, a collection of fossils found together in a rock unit. The following biochron groups are available in Arctos:

Public Land Survey System

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling. Public Land Survey System information can be added to localities using the following locality attributes:


The landholder is the legal landowner or government land administration agency. Landholder values are controlled by the ctlandholder code table. Private property should be designated as private with the “private” landholder attribute and property ownership can be recorded in the attribute remark.

Locality Encumbrance

When it is necessary to hide a locality from public view, use the private (access) attribute. For more on this attribute, see Encumbering Locality.


Locality Attributes attach information to a Locality. Each locality may contain any number of locality attributes. Each Locality Attribute may be accompanied by a determiner (an Arctos Agent), determination date, determination method, units if required, and a remark.

|Name                                  |Null?    |Type| |————————————–|———–|—-| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_ID               |NOT NULL |NUMBER| |LOCALITY_ID                         |NOT NULL |NUMBER| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_TYPE             |NOT NULL |VARCHAR2(255)| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_VALUE            |NOT NULL |VARCHAR2(255)| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_UNITS            |     |VARCHAR2(255)| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_DETERMINER |     |VARCHAR2(255)| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_DETR_DATE        |           |DATE| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_DETR_METHOD      |           |VARCHAR2(255)| |LOCALITY_ATTRIBUTE_REMARK           |         |VARCHAR2(4000)|  


Locality attributes are asserted individually, however, chronostratigraphic terms (Eon/Eonothem, Era/Erathem, System/Period, Series/Epoch, Stage/Age, Substage/Subage) include a hierarchical structure which makes it possible to locate cataloged items attributed to strata which is more specific than the search term.

Site Identifier

Identifiers may be local or come from external resources. When possible, supply an identifier that is persistent and globally unique.


Mindat localities may be represented in Arctos with the url for the Mindat location. Add the site identifier attribute to the locality, enter the Mindat url for the location in the attribute value and enter “Mindat” as the locality attribute determiner.

Edit this Documentation

If you see something that needs to be edited in this document, you can create an issue using the link under the search widget at the top left side of this page, or you can edit directly here.