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One barrier to research at the boundaries of the traditional Earth sciences is a lack of interoperability among data systems employed in the traditional subdisciplines. Solid Earth scientists (including the hydrology community) have tended to view their datasets as descriptions of discrete objects with attributes that can be stored and manipulated conveniently in a database. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) work well in this environment. On the other hand, the oceanographic and atmospheric sciences (the Fluid Earth Sciences or FES) communities think of data as discrete points in a continuous mathematical function space where the behavior of multiple parameters in space and time is governed by a set of equations.