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British Oceanographic Data Centre

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  • This collection comprises physical measurements of the water column and surface waters, together with supporting discrete chemical and biological datasets. The data were obtained from the Irish Sea and in the sea off western Scotland over 4 periods: 17 and 23 August 2011 and 06 - 07 March 2012, all collected on Seiont IV cruises and 15 - 22 June 2012 obtained using the RV Prince Madog. These datasets and their collection methods are as follows: 1) LISST particle size data - A LISST 100X type C laser diffraction instrument was lowered in a frame from the ship and the depth-averaged volumes of particles in 32 size classes in a water column from the surface to a depth of 10 m (or the bottom, where shallower) were measured. 2) CTD profiles of conductivity, temperature, sigma-theta and salinity. At each station, a CTD with attached rosette was lowered, with data measurements taken. 3) SPM, mineral SPM, chlorophyll and CDOM water sample data. At each station a surface water sample was collected either in a bucket or in a rosette sampler on the CTD and triplicate sub-samples were filtered and subsequently dried and weighed, baked (at 500°C for 3 hours to remove organic material) and weighed again. 4) CDOM discrete samples taken from CTD and underway. Surface water samples collected at each station were filtered through 0.2 μm filters and the spectral variation of the absorption coefficient of the dissolved material in the filtrate was measured in a 10 cm cell in a Shimadzu 1600 dual-beam spectrophotometer, using distilled water as a reference.. 5) Water column inherent optical property profiles. Measurements of beam attenuation were made using a Sea Tech T1000 transmissometer (20cm pathlength) fixed to the CTD on the RV Prince Madog. At some stations, vertical profiles of downwelling irradiance and upwelling radiance were made with a PRR radiometer. These cruises formed the fieldwork component of the NERC-funded project “Measurement of the abundance and optical significance of sub-micron sized particles in the ocean”. The project aimed to use different magnifications and commercially available in-situ particle sizing instruments to create a package of instruments for measuring the undisturbed particle size distributions from 0.2 μm to 1 mm. This package will first be used in a turbulence tank to 'film' the flocculation process. The insight this gives will be used to construct new theoretical models of the particle size distribution. Because the camera also measures the shape of the particles, differences between observed and calculated optical properties can be compared, for the first time, to particle shape. Finally, the complete dataset will be collated to determine what size particles, under what conditions, are primarily responsible for the signals seen in visible band satellite images of the oceans. The NERC-funded project was held under lead grant reference NE/H022090/1 with child grants NE/H020853/1 and NE/H021493/1. The lead grant was held at Bangor University, School of Ocean Sciences by Professor David Bowers and ran from 01 April 2011 to 31 March 2014. Grant NE/H020853/1 was held at the University of Plymouth, School of Marine Science and Engineering by Dr. William Alexander Nimmo Smith and ran from 01 October 2010 to 30 September 2013. Finally, grant NE/H021493/1 was held at the University of Strathclyde Physics Department by Dr. David McKee and ran from 01 April 2011 to 31 March 2014. All data have been received by BODC as raw files from the RV Prince Madog and Seiont IV, processed and quality controlled using in-house BODC procedures.

  • The data set comprises those data collected on UK World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) cruises. The cruises completed to date have collected data either in the North Atlantic (RRS Charles Darwin 58, 59, 62, 62a, 68 and 78; RRS Discovery 223, 230 and 233) or in the Southern Ocean (RRS Discovery 199, 200, 201, 207, 213 and 214; RRS James Clark Ross 0a, 0b, 10, 16 and 27). Conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) data are held from all 20 cruises. 14 out of the 16 shipborne acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data sets are held, those from RRS Discovery 230 and RRS James Clark Ross 0b are still to be received. 4 out of the 6 lowered ADCP data sets are held, those from RRS Discovery 230 and 233 are still to be received. 3 out of the 4 SeaSoar data sets are held, with that from RRS Discovery 223 still to be received. 12 out of 13 eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT) data sets are held, with that from RRS James Clark Ross 0a still awaited. All main water bottle data sets have been received apart from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) tracer data from RRS Discovery 223, 230 and 233. All of the main underway data sets thermosalinograph, meteorology, etc.) are held apart from thermosalinograph data from RRS James Clark Ross 0b.

  • The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) sea level data set comprises data collected from approximately 160 tide gauge sites distributed around the world. The data are usually hourly heights of sea surface elevation, although some were collected and supplied at higher frequencies (i.e. 6 or 15 minute intervals) or as pressure values rather than elevations. The data are primarily from 1990 to 1998 (the WOCE period), but the dataset also includes historical data as a number of the tide gauges had been operating for many years. The total volume of data held is 3550 site years. A few sites have data extending back over 50 years and many over 20 years. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) was responsible, as a WOCE Data Assembly Centre (DAC), for assembling, quality controlling and disseminating this comprehensive sea level data set. Data were supplied by Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, the UK and the USA. Data quality control was carried out with the aid of sophisticated screening software which allows rapid inspection of the data. The sea level data were tidally analyzed and the residuals inspected. Parameters other than sea level, for example atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperature, were also visually inspected. This quality control identified spikes and gaps in the data in addition to timing problems and datum shifts. Any problems identified were resolved with the data supplier. Qualifying information accompanying the data was also checked and data documentation assembled. The data can be downloaded from the BODC web site, or made available on CD-ROM.

  • The databank comprises more than 50,000 profiles of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) or salinity-temperature-depth (STD) profiles collected during 100s of research cruises by UK laboratories, since 1969. The majority of profiles were collected in the North East Atlantic but data are available from elsewhere including for example the Indian Ocean, the South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Many profiles have been measured in shelf seas (often around the UK) but some are deep ocean profiles which may contain data to a depth of 5000m. Data are normally supplied to the British Oceanographic Data Centre as time or depth averages resulting in vertical resolutions between 0.5 dbar and 10 dbar, with casts collected in shallow water typically having a higher vertical resolution.

  • The data set comprises time series of non-directional surface wave spectra from moored buoys and shipborne wave recorders at fixed locations. Individual spectra comprise some 60 or so estimates of wave energy at a range of spectral frequencies, computed from 20 to 30 minute recordings of the sea surface displacement/heave. The spectra are computed at intervals ranging from 1 to 3 hours. Data holdings comprise 500 recording months of data from some 14 sites across the continental shelf areas around the British Isles and the NE Atlantic between 1976 and 1995. Observation periods at specific sites vary from 4 months to 6 years. Data from the following sites are included in the data set: Holderness offshore (53 55.9N, 000 01.4E 01; Mar 1986 - 31 Mar 1987); Holderness nearshore (53 55.7N, 000 03.5W; 01 Mar 1986 - 30 Jun 1986); West Bexington (50 38.1N, 002 42.5W; 01 Nov 1983 - 31 Mar 1985; 01 May 1985 - 26 Feb 1986; 01 May 1986 - 30 Apr 1987); West Bexington (50 36.0N, 002 39.6W; 01 Sep 1987 - 01 Apr 1988); Eddystone (50 10.0N, 004 15.0W; 01 Jan 1976 - 31 Dec 1981); Kinnairds Head (57 55.8N, 001 54.1W; 01 Feb 1980 - 30 Dec 1981); Scilly Isles (49 51.8N, 006 41.0W; 01 Apr 1979 - 31 Jul 1979; 01 Feb 1980 - 31 Dec 1982; 01 Apr 1983 - 31 Dec 1983); South Uist deep water (57 17.8N, 007 53.6W; 01 Aug 1980 - 31 Dec 1982); South Uist offshore (57 18.2N, 007 38.3W; 28 Feb 1976 - 30 Nov 1982); South Uist inshore (57 19.8N, 007 27.2W; 01 Apr 1978 - 31 Jul 1982); Channel Lightvessel( 49 54.4N, 002 53.7W; 01 Mar 1986 - 30 Jun 1987; 01 Apr 1988 - 30 Nov 1988); Dowsing Lightvessel (53 34.0N, 000 50.2E; 01 Jul 1985 - 31 Dec 1985; 01 Feb 1986 - 30 Jun 1986; 01 Sep 1986 - 30 Apr 1987; 01 Jul 1987 - 31 Dec 1987); Ocean Weather Ship Lima (57 00.0N, 020 00.0W; 01 Jan 1984 - 30 Jun 1988; 01 Aug 1988 - 31 Dec 1988); Seven Stones Lightvessel (50 03.8N, 006 04.4W; 01 Jan 1985 - 28 Feb 1986; 01 May 1986 - 31 Mar 1987; 01 May 1987 - 31 May 1987; 01 Oct 1987 - 31 Oct 1987; 01 Dec 1987 - 31 Dec 1987). The data originate almost exclusively from UK laboratories and are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Data collection is ongoing at some sites (for example, Seven Stones Lighvessel) but these data are not managed by BODC. They are part of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) wavenet network.

  • The data set comprises time series of wave height and period data from in-situ wave recorders at fixed locations. Principal parameters are significant/characteristic wave height and mean zero crossing period - usually derived from the analysis of 20 or 30 minute recordings taken at intervals of the order of 3 hours. Data holdings include over 1500 recording months of data from some 60 sites across the continental shelf areas around the British Isles and the NE Atlantic between 1954 and 1995. Recording periods vary from 2 months at some sites to over 15 years. The longer series are noted here: Channel Lightvessel (49 54.4N, 002 53.7W; 01 Sep 1979 - 31 Dec 1985); Dowsing Lightvessel (53 34.0N, 000 50.2W; 01 May 1970 - 30 Apr 1971; 01 Nov 1975 - 30 Jun 1981; 01 Jan 1982 - 31 Dec 1982; 01 Jan 1984 - 31 Dec 1984); Ocean Weather Ship Lima (57 00.0N, 020 00.0W; 01 Jan 1975 - 31 Dec 1983); Saint Gowan Lightvessel (51 30.0N, 004 59.8W; 01 Aug 1975 - 31 Jul 1976; 01 Dec 1976 - 31 Dec 1983); Seven Stones Lightvessel (50 03.8N, 006 04.4W; 31 Jan 1962 - 31 Jan 1963; 01 Jan 1968 - 31 Dec 1969; 01 Jul 1971 - 30 Jun 1974; 01 Apr 1975 - 31 Dec 1985). The data originate primarily from UK and Irish laboratories and are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Data collection is ongoing at some sites (for example, Seven Stones Lighvessel) but these data are not managed by BODC. They are part of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) wavenet network.

  • 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.

  • The GEBCO Grid is a global terrain model for oceans and land at 30 arc-second intervals which was developed and first released in 2009 by the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) as GEBCO 08. The current release is GEBCO 2014, released in December 2014 and updated in March 2015. GEBCO is an international group of experts who work on the development of a range of bathymetric (accurate mapping of the sea floor) data sets and data products. The bathymetric portion of the grid is largely based on a database of ship-track soundings with interpolation between soundings guided by satellite-derived gravity data. Data sets developed by other methods are also included where they improve the grid. The land portion of the grid is largely based on the US Geological Survey's SRMT30 data set, developed with data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM). For the area around Antarctica, the land data are taken from the Bedmap2 data set. The grid is accompanied by a Source Identifier (SID) Grid which identifies which cells in the GEBCO Grid are based on soundings or existing grids and which have been interpolated. The data sets are updated as new bathymetric compilations are made available. Both grids are freely available to download, in netCDF; data GeoTiff and Esri ASCII raster formats, from the web. Free software is available for viewing and accessing data from the grids in netCDF and ASCII data formats. The grids are also included as part of the GEBCO Digital Atlas DVD.

  • The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) One Minute Grid is a global terrain model for land and sea at one arc-minute intervals. The grid is largely based on the bathymetric contours contained in the Centenary Edition of the GEBCO Digital Atlas, existing grids are used in some areas. The land areas are based on the Global Land One-km Base Elevation (GLOBE) Project data set. The grid was originally released in 2003 and updated in 2008 to include data from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO), for the region north of 64N and also updates for shallower water regions off India, the Korean Peninsula and around South Afriaca, using data extracted from Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs). The grid is available to download, in netCDF format, for free from the internet. Free software is available for viewing and accessing data from the grid in netCDF and ASCII. This includes an option to export the grid in an ASCII form suitable for conversion to an ESRI raster. The grid is also included in the GEBCO Digital Atlas DVD. It is not intended to make any further updates to this data set. In 2009, GEBCO released a new bathymetric grid, the GEBCO_08 Grid. This is a global terrain model at 30 arc-second intervals. It is largely based on a database of ship-track soundings with interpolation between soundings guided by satellite derived-gravity data.

  • The dataset comprises scanned images of historical analogue charts and data ledgers from eight tide gauge sites around the UK. The sites include: Sheerness, Belfast, and several sites around Liverpool managed by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company namely, Eastham, Gladstone, Hilbre, Princes Pier, Tranmere and Waterloo. The Sheerness ledger data represents some of the earliest records of sea level data in the UK and cover the periods - January 1870 to December 1881, July 1882 to October 1894 and December 1929 to April 1941. Data availability for the other sites are: Belfast analogue charts - 27 November 1901 to 24 May 1902; Princes Pier ledgers: - 1941 to 1950, 1951 to 1960 and 1961 to 1970; Eastham, Gladstone, Hilbre, Princes Pier, Tranmere and Waterloo ledgers: - 1982 to 1988. The data recorded in some of the ledgers also describe meteorological measurements for example, air pressure, air temperature, wind speed and direction, and precipitation and evaporation. Funding to rescue these historical sea level data came from the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN) and the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).These images have now been added to the National Oceanographic Database and are freely available to registered users (subject to licence agreement).