NCEI is responsible for stewardship, archival, and dissemination of geological and geophysical data from the global sea floor and lakebeds. Data are compiled from both national and international sources through cooperative programs and exchange agreements, including through the World Data Center system.
NCEI is the national long-term archive for data and metadata pertaining to underway geophysical data and marine geological samples collected with U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funds. This role is outlined in NSF11060 Policy for Oceanographic Data. NCEI also acts as an international data archive and exchange point for data in the World Data System, operating the World Data Service for Geophysics.