Natural Environment Research Council Designated Data Centres

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  • To reconstruct the maternal demographic history of the populations of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos using genetic profiles obtained from colonial era skeletal material and hair collections. The project had two main technical arms: to obtain authentic DNA data from well-handled museum collections of human material, which were a priori presumed to be heavily contaminated; to use the data to fill in lacuna in the genetic landscape left by large-scale demographic decline caused by disease and social disruption associated with the modern era. The major aim of the interpretative phase of the project was to obtain realistic estimates for the date of settlement of these island groups based on genetics because of the absence of reliable archaeological evidence. The main aim of this research was to determine whether the Andaman islanders were part of a very early radiation from Africa or arrived to their archipelago much later. The Nicobars were included in the research to have a comparative data set from the same region from people with a different phenotype. The data set is comprised of mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and coding region Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.

  • The project aim was to develop process-based computer simulations of the dispersal of Homo erectus out of Africa. This involved developing realistic constraints on the patterns of vegetation and the effects of changes in global sea level. It was assumed that this migration out of Africa could be investigated through the paradigm of a single migration event, starting around 2 millions of years ago and arriving in Dmanisi around 1.8 millions of years ago. The data archived here consists of the vegetation patterns used in constructing the simulations and the patterns of climate variability used to constrain the variations in sea level and vegetation change. From these data it is possible to reproduce the simulation results. Simulation results are available from J.K. Hughes, A. Haywood, S.J. Mithen, B.W. Sellwood, P.J. Valdes (In Press) Investigating Early Hominin Dispersal Patterns : developing a framework for climate data integration. Journal Of Human Evolution.

  • The spectacular botanical preservation and long occupation of Qasr Ibrim, Egypt make this site archaeobotanically matchless. 600 samples have been collected over 20 years covering a timespan of c. 1000 BC - AD 1800. The project has particularly focussed on the period AD 100-400 during which several new summer crops including sorghum, cotton, lablab and sesame first appear. These new crops are thought to be associated with the introduction of new irrigation technology, specifically a device known as the saqia, an ox-driven water wheel from which descends a conveyor belt to which pots are attached. It has never before been possible to examine this crucial change archaeologically and this project has allowed the investigation of when and how this great change happened. This has major implications for the history of agriculture in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

  • This research sought to explore the pattern of population movement (direction, rate, permanency) along a hypothesised route from Africa to Australasia during Oxygen Isotope Stage 4. Using GIS-based analyses and hypothetical models of population movement, potential routes out of East Africa were generated and examined. The goal of these analyses was to assess the viability of particular routes, and consider them in terms of ecological and geographical constraints. As a result, several routes through Africa, Arabia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australasia were proposed and evaluated. These routes have been further examined with regards to archaeological site location, the timing of human presence in South Asia, and biological indicators of human diversity.

  • The data set comprises 2193 profiles of turbidity from an area of the Severn Estuary (UK) between the Shoots and Bridgwater Bay between 1974 and 1978. The data were collected as analogue records of continuous vertical profiles on a time series cross-section basis, where possible, over 13.5 hours from a drifting ship. All measurements were collected between 0 m and 39 m depth. The data coverage is derived from 172 stations along 17 survey lines, the density of coverage varying between 1 and 99 records per station. Each analogue record was digitised as approximately 200 pairs of XY coordinates. The X ordinates were then converted to depth (in metres) using a depth calibration and the Y ordinates to parts per million (PPM) of sediment using siltmeter calibration data. The Fluid Mud data bank was designed by the (former) Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (IOS) Taunton, UK, and the data were originally stored at IOS on a PDP 11 computer. They were then moved to an Oracle RDBMS at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and stored as the Bristol Channel Suspended Sediments Data Bank.

  • The data set consists of bathymetric contours, at 100m intervals, from a depth of 100m to 5000m. The data were digitised from two charts of the Northeast Atlantic compiled by geoscientists at the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (IOS), Wormley, Surrey and published by the UK Hydrographic Office, Taunton. Admiralty Chart C6566: Bathymetry of the northeast Atlantic (IOS Sheet 1) - 'Reykjanes Ridge and Rockall Plateau' by A.S. Laughton, D.G. Roberts & P.M. Hunter published in February 1982 and covering the area (47° to 64°N, 13° to 37°W). Admiralty Chart C6567: Bathymetry of the northeast Atlantic (IOS Sheet 2) - 'Continental Margin around the British Isles' by D.G. Roberts, P.M. Hunter & A.S. Laughton published in February 1977 and covering the area (47° to 64°N, 6°E to 18°W). The data set is included in the Centenary Edition of the GEBCO Digital Atlas (GDA) as sheet G.02. Please note that within the GDA data set some areas covered by sheets IOS sheets 1 and 2 have been replaced by higher resolution data sets. Through the GDA software interface the data may be exported in ASCII or shapefile format.

  • The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) Version 4.0 is a gridded continuous terrain model covering ocean and land of the Arctic region. The grid has been compiled from data covering approximately 14.2 percent of the Arctic seafloor with multibeam bathymetry and about 5.5 percent with other sources, excluding digitized depth contours. The grid-cell size (resolution) is 200x200 m on a Polar Stereographic projection, with the true scale set at a latitude of 75 deg N and a central meridian of 0 deg. The horizontal datum is WGS 84 and the vertical datum is assumed Mean Sea Level. IBCAO Version 4.0 has been compiled with support from the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO-Seabed 2030 Project, an international effort whose goal it is to see the entire world ocean mapped by 2030. A geographic version of the Polar Stereographic grid serves as input to the General Bathymetric Chart of Oceans (GEBCO) global gridded terrain model.

  • The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) Digital Atlas (GDA) contains global bathymetric data sets, consisting of the latest versions of GEBCO’s global gridded bathymetric data sets; global bathymetric contour and accompanying trackline control data sets; bathymetric contours and coastlines from the First Edition of the International Bathymetric Chart of the Mediterranean (IBCM); a set of digital global coastlines based on the World Vector Shoreline data set (coastlines south of 60S have been removed) at a range of scales from 1:43 million to 1:250,000; the SCAR coastline of Antarctica (version 3.0) at a range of scales from 1:30 million to 1:250,000; and a digital set of geographically referenced feature names including the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Gazetteer of Geographic Names of Undersea Features. The GEBCO dataset has global coverage and was first released in 1994. The contents of the GDA are updated periodically to include new versions of GEBCO’s bathymetric grids. The GDA is distributed on DVD and includes full documentation and a software interface for viewing and accessing the data sets.

  • This dataset includes two cruises of data collected to investigate Arctic hydrate dissociation as a consequence of climate change and to determine vulnerable methane reservoir and gas escape mechanisms. Work during both JR269A and JR269B was focused on two separate geographical areas. The first of these was west of Prins Karls Forland, in water depths of between 150 and 1200 m. At its landward end, this survey area crosses a region at water depths up to 400 m where a dense concentration of methane escape bubble plumes occur. The second survey area straddles the summit of the Vestnesa Ridge, in water depths of 1180 to 1400 m, and is also the site of methane escape bubble plumes within the water column and of fluid escape chimneys and pockmarks previously imaged at and beneath the sea bed. This area lies approximately 100 km west of the mouth of Kongsfjorden. Data collection took place between August 2011 and July 2012. The research expedition used a deep-towed, very high resolution seismic system to image the small-scale structures that convey gas to the seabed and to detect the presence of gas in the sediments. This was done in conjunction with an electromagnetic exploration system that uses a deep-towed transmitter and receivers on the seabed to derive the variations in electrical resistivity in the sediments beneath the seabed. The observations carried out on the two cruises included; underway, meteorological observations and echo sounder data, multichannel seismic reflection profiling data, wide angle seismic survey data, and ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data, ocean bottom electro-magnetometer data and controlled source electromagnetic surveys (CSEM). The overall objectives of the project were to determine the spatial distribution of gas and hydrate accumulations beneath the sea bed; to investigate and understand gas transport and escape mechanisms, their spatial distribution, and the controls on these; and to quantify gas and hydrate saturation values in situ within the pore spaces of the shallow sediment reservoirs. The research is focused on specific areas where significant accumulations of methane hydrate and active methane venting through the sea floor were observed and documented during the earlier JR211 cruise in 2008. This is a NERC funded project hosted by University of Southampton. The data held at BODC include multichannel seismic reflection, TOPAS sub-bottom profiler and 2D seismic reflection data in SEG-Y format. No further data are expected.

  • This dataset consists of depth-averaged eastward and northward current components. Also present is the sea surface height above sea level. The dataset is a gridded dataset, with grid resolution of 1.85 km. It covers the entire Irish Sea area, with a precise range from -2.7 degrees longitude to -7 degrees longitude and from 51 degrees latitude to 56 degrees latitude. The data are 30 minute averages and cover the period from 01 January 1996 to 01 January 2007. The dataset was generated by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System coupled with the Wave Modelling model (POLCOMS-WAM) as part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) CoFEE project which ran from April 2007 to September 2010. The depth-averaged eastward and northward current components and sea surface height were used as input conditions into a coastal processes and sediment transport model which looked at the response of the north Liverpool coastline to extreme flooding events. The dataset was generated by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (since April 2010, part of the UK National Oceanography Centre). The dataset consists of 264 data files in Climate and Forecast (CF) compliant NetCDF format.