This article describes the theoretical premises and methodology presently being used in the development of the PuertoTerm database on Coastal Engineering. In our project there are three foci, which are highly relevant to the elaboration of lexicographic and terminological products: (1) the conceptual organization underlying any knowledge resource; (2) the multidimensional nature of conceptual representations; and (3) knowledge extraction through the use of multilingual corpora. In this sense we propose a frame-based organization of specialized fields in which a dynamic, process-oriented event frame provides the conceptual underpinnings for the location of sub-hierarchies of concepts within a specialized domain event. We explain how frames with semantic and syntactic information can be specified within this type of framework, and also discuss issues regarding concept denomination and terminological meaning, based on the use of definitional schemas for each conceptual category. We also offer a typology of images for the inclusion of graphic information in each entry, depending on the nature of the concept.