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Collection of geophysical and oceanographic data from several cruises dedicated to the repeated mapping and monitoring of three UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - Haig Fras, Whittard Canyon and the Darwin Mounds. Data were collected during the following 2018-2020 cruises: JC166/7, DY103, DY108/9, DY120 and DY106. Data collection took place at three of the UK’s MPAs - Haig Fras Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in the Celtic Sea, Whittard Canyon submarine complex, which includes The Canyons MCZ, situated off the south west UK continental shelf and Darwin Mounds Special Area of Conservation (SAC), situated in the northern Rockall Trough. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) was used to collect photographic data, sidescan sonar and multibeam bathymetry. Other data included shipboard multibeam bathymetry data; moored ADCP, CTD and sediment trap datasets from repeat mooring deployments; ROV video, pushcores and specimen samples; settling plate experiments; box cores and mega cores; BioCam imagery. The MPAs under investigation had been previously surveyed on cruises JC035 (2009) and JC125 (2015) hence these cruises formed part of the Fixed Point Observations Underpinning Activity. Here repeated observations and surveys of MPAs and their surroundings aim to provide insight into the development and recovery of benthic ecosystems following natural and/or anthropogenic impacts. The data collection was undertaken by scientists at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and formed part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS) Programme (NERC grant reference NE/R015953/1).
The dataset comprises a wide range of physical and biogeochemical oceanographic and atmospheric parameters, plus additional biological measurements and observations. Hydrographic parameters include temperature, salinity, current velocities, fluorescence and attenuance, while biogeochemical and biological analyses of water samples provided measurements of dissolved gases, hydrocarbons, sulphur species, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), halocarbons, nutrients, pigments, bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Bird identification and cetacean abundance studies were also undertaken, as were tracer release experiments using both inert chemical (sulphur hexafluoride, SF6) and bacterial (Bacillus globigii) tracers. Meteorological data were also collected, including concentrations of various chemicals, supplemented by standard measurements of air temperature, pressure, irradiance, humidity and wind velocities. The data were collected in the North Atlantic Ocean and North Sea between 1996 and 1998, as follows: Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Ireland (June-July 1996 and May 1997); southern North Sea (October-November 1996); and North Eastern Atlantic between the UK and Iceland (June-July 1998). The data were collected during four cruises (RRS Challenger CH127, CH129, CH133 and RRS Discovery D234) using a variety of equipment, including instrumentation deployed at sampling stations (e.g. conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profilers) and underway sensors that ran throughout each cruise, yielding continuous measurements of both hydrographic and meteorological parameters. Discrete air and water samplers were also used to measure atmospheric and hydrographic parameters throughout each cruise. The data collection periods were associated with individual ACOSE air-sea exchange experiments: two Eastern Atlantic Experiments (EAE96 and EAE97); ASGAMAGE in the southern North Sea; and the North Atlantic Experiment, NAE. ACSOE was a 5-year UK NERC Thematic Research Programme investigating the chemistry of the lower atmosphere (0 - 12 km) over the oceans. The Marine Aerosol and Gas Exchange (MAGE) study group was the only component of the ACSOE Project that included measurements in the marine environment. ACSOE data management was a shared responsibility between the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) and the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). BODC handled the management of ship data as well as all other data collected in the water column during the ACSOE/MAGE cruises. BODC assisted in the onboard collection and subsequent working up of ship data, and assembled all marine data in BODC's relational database carrying out quality control and data processing as required. ACSOE was led by Prof. Stuart Penkett of the University of East Anglia and cruise principle scientists included representatives of the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and the University of East Anglia.
The dataset contains a diverse range of environmental data ranging from estuary properties including geomorphology, water depth and habitat characterisation to detailed time series of parameters such as salinity and chemical and nutrient concentrations. The data are stored in a database containing a directory of existing data sources for estuaries; data for the broad properties of 79 UK estuaries; and detailed hydrodynamic, bathymetric, and sedimentary information for six estuaries: Blackwater, Humber, Mersey, Ribble, Southampton Water and Tamar. The data range from 1965 to 2002 and include both historic datasets and those collected during a recent effort (1997-2002) to enhance our knowledge of estuaries. Data collection employed a variety of instrumentation and techniques, including water, biota and sediment sample collection and analysis and the deployment of hydrographic instruments such as sea level, temperature, salinity and optical backscatter recorders. The Estuaries Research Programme (ERP) began in 1997 with the EMPHASYS project, which aimed to improve our understanding of processes operating in estuaries and use this knowledge to enhance broad scale modelling techniques that can be applied to estuarine processes. This work was funded by the Environment Agency/Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Flood and Coastal Defence Research and Development Programme. The data are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and are available on CD-ROM.