Primary production in the water column

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  • The COMICS (Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage) project consists of observations, at sea, of particle flux and stable isotopes. It applies organic geochemical and molecular biological techniques to samples collected using nets and traps. The study areas are the tropical Atlantic and Southern Oceans. The results will be combined with models to quantify the flow of carbon in the ocean’s ‘twilight’ zone in order to accurately model global climate change. This ‘twilight’ zone is the part of the ocean between 100m and 1000m below the sea surface, where only a small amount of light from the sun can still penetrate. By investigating carbon dynamics in the ocean interior, COMICS will help to improve predictions of future global climate change. The COMICS project is led by the National Oceanography Centre and is a collaboration between the British Antarctic Survey and the universities of Queen Mary London, Liverpool, Oxford and Southampton. The project received funding from the Natural Environmental Research Council and runs between 2017 and 2022.

  • The Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) dataset consists of pelagic and benthic taxonomic data with supporting data such as sediment size and satellites ocean colour or productivity in UK waters (Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, North Sea and the English Channel). Data were obtained from cruises beginning in April 2014, using a variety of methods such as BONGO nets, trawls, dredges and grabs. These data were used alongside and in various models. MERP addresses key knowledge gaps in marine ecosystem research. The programme developed a more accurate suite of marine ecosystem models providing vital evidence, tools and advice to policy makers and environmental managers, including the development and implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Marine and Coastal Access Act, Marine (Scotland) Act, Common Fisheries Policy and the OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme as well as the work of UK government departments. MERP research supports an ecosystem approach to policy, regulatory and management initiatives. MERP was formerly known as Integrating Macroecology and Modelling to Elucidate Regulation of Services from Ecosystems (IMMERSE) and the WP2 Developing a model based understanding of ecosystem service regulation grants. MERP was created when two grants were combined to make an overarching programme. The MERP consortium includes a blend of early and mid to late career researchers united by large-scale thinking and a multidisciplinary approach. The following partners were involved in the programme: Bangor University, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, National Oceanography Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Queen Mary University of London, Queens University Belfast, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, University of Glasgow, University of Sheffield and the University of Strathclyde.

  • This dataset consists of biogeochemical parameters of nitrate, phosphate, oxygen, chlorophyll-a and phytoplankton concentrations, net primary productivity and attenuation generated by the POLCOMS-ERSEM coupled hydrodynamic-ecosystem model. The modelled dataset is from the Atlantic Margin Model (AMM) implementation, extending from 40.1 to 64.9 degrees latitude north and from 19.9 degrees longitude west to 13 degrees longitude east. The dataset is on a latitude/longitude grid with latitudinal resolution of 12.3 km and longitudinal resolution between 7.8 km and 14.2 km. The data are available as monthly averages saved in annual files for the 38 year period from January 1967 to December 2004. The dataset was generated by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System (POLCOMS) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM). This work is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) National Capability funding in order to investigate the biogeochemical factors which affect primary production in the northwest European continental shelf. The dataset was generated by the UK National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool. The dataset consists of 38 data files in Climate and Forecast (CF) compliant NetCDF format. More information about the modelled data set and its applications can be found in Holt et al. (2012).

  • The data set contains a variety of physical, chemical and biological parameters. Hydrographic profiles provided temperature, salinity, fluorescence, dissolved oxygen and transmissance measurements, which were supplemented by time series of surface ocean and meteorological properties. Time series of current velocities, temperature and sea level were also collected. Biogeochemical and biological analyses of water samples provided nutrient, phytoplankton and zooplankton data, while production data were derived from incubation experiments. The data were collected at seven stations in the Celtic Sea with varying physical and biological characteristics. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th and 29th May 2000, with each station being occupied for 24 hours. Data were collected via shipboard deployment of CTD profilers and undulators with accompanying auxiliary sensors, and discrete water sampling. Further data were obtained from three moorings including acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs), temperature recorders and bottom pressure recorders that were also deployed and recovered during the study period. Measurements were collected during RRS Discovery cruise D246 as part of the multidisciplinary study of the interactions between physical processes and biological production in contrasting pelagic shelf waters. An additional goal of the study was to map the tidal front situated in the St George's Channel. The study was co-ordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the research involved 28 scientists and technicians from 14 separate institutions situated in five different countries. Data are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre.

  • The dataset comprises physical, biogeochemical and biological measurements from the Southern Ocean. The data were collected in the Bransfield and Gerlache Straits and Bellingshausen Sea between 1995 and 1996. Hydrographic casts provided profiles of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, transmittance, chlorophyll and photosynthetically active radiation, while water samples were analysed for bacteria, zooplankton and a biogeochemical parameters such as nutrient concentrations. Sediment cores were also analysed for nutrients, while drifting traps provided sedimentation flux measurements and shipboard experiments yielded production data. The majority of measurements were collected during two consecutive cruises of the BIO Hesperides between early December 1995 and early February 1996. The hydrographic profiles were collected using a CTD and the data were stored as approximately 300 individual ASCII files per cruise, with data stored at 1dbar resolution. Several hundred discrete measurements (water samples and sediment cores) were collected in total. An array of moorings deployed for one year in the Western Bransfield Strait Basin provided sediment trap samples for biological and biogeochemical analysis. The FRUELA project was part of the Spanish contribution to the study of biogeochemical carbon fluxes in the Southern Ocean. Three major zones, with contrasting physico-chemical and biological characteristics were considered: Bellingshausen, including the Northwest Bellingshausen Sea and comprising the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SbyACC); Bransfield, including the Western Bransfield Strait and the northeastern part of the Gerlache Strait; and Gerlache, including the rest of the Gerlache Strait. The research involved a number of Spanish institutions and was coordinated by the University of Oviedo and the Institute of Marine Sciences (CSIC). The data are held by the British Oceanographic Data Centre.

  • This dataset consists of a variety of hydrographic, biological, biogeochemical and meteorological data. Underway automatic sampling followed by flow cytometry was used for assessing mesoscale spatial variability of microorganisms. Coarse-scale (CTD) and fine-scale (PumpCast profiler) vertical distribution of microorganisms was determined, with dominant microbial prokaryotic and eukaryotic groups quantified by flow cytometry. Samples were collected and processed for subsequent molecular identification of flow cytometrically sorted dominant microbes. Abundance of larger microplankton organisms was assessed. Microbial respiration in the twilight zone was studied. Group-specific uptake of bicarbonate, phosphate and different nitrogen compounds was determined and group-specific production and grazing assessed using flow sorting. The ambient turnover rates of phosphate, organic phosphorus and labile dissolved organic matter, e.g. amino acids, was bioassayed. In order to put the microbial community data into context, physical and chemical parameters were measured. A ship mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) was used to collect information about physical, mesoscale spatial context and, when combined with turbulence profiler data, SeaSoar profiler data and data collected using intensive Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) sampling for dissolved inorganic nutrients, may estimate mesoscale nutrient fluxes into the photic zone. PELAGRA neutral buoyancy sediment traps were used to estimate biogenic sedimentation. Samples were collected for particulate calcite, opal, and Particulate Organic Matter (POM) measurements, together with the isotopic composition of Particulate Organic Nitrogen (PON). Data collection was in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre between 9th August and 15th September 2011 during RRS Discovery cruise D369. The data were collected as part of the United Kingdom (UK) Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Oceans 2025 programme (Theme 2). D369 was the last of three National Oceanography Centre 'process study' research cruises to be run by the Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems research group under the NERC Ocean 2025 research programme. The Principal Scientist was Mikhail V Zubkov of National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Data from this cruise are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre.

  • The data set comprises hydrographic and biogeochemical and biological measurements including temperature, salinity, currents, chlorophyll, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon and nitrogen, suspended matter concentrations, nutrients, plankton and fish. The results of primary production experiments are also included. The data were collected from the Bristol Channel, Severn Estuary, Celtic Sea and Plymouth Sound between 1971 and 1983. Measurements were taken over a series of more than 100 cruises, many with more than 50 stations. The most intensive sampling took place before 1975. The original data were collated and stored at Institute for Marine Environmental Research (IMER), which became Plymouth Marine Laboratory in 1988. As this is a large and important data set, which was previously held in an inaccessible format, it was selected for long-term archival at BODC as part of the NERC SEEDCORN programme. The data have been extracted, loaded into a relational database and are available on CD-ROM.

  • The Dynamics of Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) project data set comprises physical oceanographic and hydrographic data, including measurements of turbulence, temperature, salinity and currents, complemented by bathymetric and meteorological data. Data were collected within the Orkney Passage by means of moorings and ship-launched instrumentation. RRS James Clark Ross cruise JR20150309 (JR310 & JR272D) ran from 09 March to 14 April 2015. It was not explicitly a DynOPO cruise, rather it undertook the deployment of a mooring for the project. Moorings were deployed in groups of 5 on CTD casts. RRS James Clark Ross cruise JR16005 ran from 17 March to 08 May 2017 and was the primary fieldwork element of the DynOPO project. The cruise had two main goals: (1) to conduct measurements of the hydrographic properties, velocity and turbulent processes of the Antarctic Bottom Water outflow along its pathway through the Orkney Passage region; and (2) to turn around a set of long-term moorings deployed in the area by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) scientists, including recovery of additional instruments on some of the moorings deployed by DynOPO 2 years previously. Shipboard data collection involved the deployment of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) packages and Lowered Acoustic Doppler Profilers (LADCP) in the study area. Continuous measurements of current velocities (using vessel mounted ADCPs, VMADCPs), bathymetry and surface ocean and meteorological properties were collected throughout. The project received funding under NERC Standard Grants NE/K013181/1 and NE/K012843/1. The lead grant, NE/K013181/1, received funding between 31 March 2015 and 29 February 2020 and was led by Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato (University of Southampton, School of ocean and Earth Science). Grant NE/K013181/1 received funding between 01 October 2014 and 30 November 2018 and was led by Professor Michael Meredith (NERC British Antarctic Survey, Science Programmes). Mooring data collected for the DynOPO project are a component of a long term time series, in association with the Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transports (ORCHESTRA) project, led by Emily Shuckburgh (British Antarctic Survey) since 2016. The time series originally started out as part of the British Antarctic Survey's Long-Term Monitoring and Survey (LTMS) programme, led by Keith Nicholls. Information about the time series can be found at and the ORCHESTRA project . The majority of the data have been received by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) as raw files, processed and will be available online in the near future. Remaining data, which will be received in the near future, include: Turbulence, CTD, ADCP, currents, and salinity samples.

  • The dataset contains physical, biological and chemical oceanographic measurements, and meteorological data. Hydrographic measurements include temperature, salinity, attenuance and backscatter, pH and dissolved oxygen concentrations, while water samples were analysed for concentrations of carbon, nitrogen, hydrocarbons, nutrients and pigments. Samples were also collected for phytoplankton and zooplankton analyses, while results from production experiments are also included in the data set. These oceanographic data are supplemented by surface meteorological measurements. Measurements were taken at sites in the Bellinghausen Sea as part of a 2-ship Eulerian experiment between the 28th of October and the 17th of December 1992. The data were collected via (i) underway sampling (SeaSoar Undulating Oceanographic Recorder (UOR), lightfish, hull-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), meteorology and surface ocean parameters) of which there are 121179 records and (ii) discrete sampling (conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) and expendable bathythermograph (XBT) casts, bottle stations, net hauls, productivity incubations) of which there are over 1000 deployments and experiments. The study aimed to measure the magnitude and variability of carbon and nitrogen fluxes during early summer in the Southern Ocean, with particular emphasis on rates and processes in the marginal ice zone. The data were collected and supplied by UK participants in the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS). The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) are responsible for calibrating, processing, quality controlling and documenting the data and assembling the final data set. Underway data are stored as 1 minute interval time series for each cruise with all parameters merged on date/time. The data are fully quality controlled; checks were made for instrument malfunction, fouling, constancy, spikes, spurious values, calibration errors, baseline and salt-water corrections. The discrete data are stored in a relational database (Oracle RDBMS), chiefly as vertical profiles and are uniquely identified by a combination of deployment number and depth.

  • The dataset contains hydrographic and biogeochemical data, including continuous underway measurements of surface temperature, salinity, nutrients, chlorophyll and attenuance, irradiance and bathymetric depth. Underway dissolved oxygen and/or trace metal measurements were also collected on occasion. Hydrographic profiles of temperature, salinity, transmittance, fluorescence, dissolved oxygen (data often of poor quality) and scalar irradiance were undertaken, and associated water samples were routinely analysed for suspended particulate material (SPM), chlorophyll, nutrients and particulate organic carbon/particulate organic nitrogen (POC/PON). In addition, dissolved and particulate trace metals, production, contaminants, dissolved organic carbon/total dissolved nitrogen (DOC/TDN) were determined in some cases. Benthic measurements were also collected, including benthic flux determinations (microcosm experiments), sediment characterisation, pore water chemistry measurements and the quantification of the benthic macrofauna. The coastal oceanographic data set was collected along the east coast of England between Great Yarmouth and Berwick upon Tweed. Data were collected between December 1992 and July 1995 during a series of 17 RRS Challenger cruise legs. Most cruises covered two survey grids: one from Great Yarmouth to the Humber designed around the distribution of the sandbanks and a second simple zig-zag grid from the Humber to Berwick on Tweed. A large number of anchor stations, usually over one or two tidal cycles, were worked in the vicinity of the Humber mouth or the Holderness coast. Each cruise leg returned underway data and conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) data and water bottle rosette samples from grid nodes. A Lasentech in-situ particle sizer was used to obtain grain size distributions at spot depths for each CTD station on many of the cruise legs. Box and multicorer samples were collected on approximately one third of the cruise legs. The River-Atmosphere-Coast Study (RACS) was the component of the Land Ocean Interaction Study (LOIS) programme looking at processes from the river catchment into the coastal sea. Investigators include representatives of Plymouth University, Southampton University, Liverpool University, University of East Anglia, Newcastle University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and the University of Wales, Bangor. All data sets collected during the RACS Challenger cruises are held by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). All underway and CTD data have been fully calibrated and quality controlled by BODC. The water sample and benthic data sets have been quality controlled by the data originators and submitted to BODC. The data are held in the BODC project database and have been published as part of a fully documented CD-ROM product.