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British Oceanographic Data Centre

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  • An Alternative Framework to Assess Marine Ecosystem Functioning in Shelf Seas (AlterEco) will utilise a small fleet of submarine and surface autonomous vehicles combined with ongoing observational programmes to capture a seasonal cycle of physical, chemical and biological measurements on repeat transects over ~150km in the North Sea between November 2017 and January 2019. This dataset contains near real-time hydrographic measurements through the water column obtained from submarine Slocum gliders and Seagliders. The submarine vehicles have also been equipped with auxiliary sensors such as turbulence probes, nutrient sensors and acoustic sensors. Data from these platforms will be converted into the international 'Everyone's Gliding Observatories (EGO)' exchange format. This dataset will also contain measurements taken from CTDs deployed on eight cruises to provide calibration data for the autonomous vehicles. AlterEco involves collaboration between scientists at a number of organisations (National Oceanography Centre (NOC, lead), University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Liverpool (UoL), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). In addition, there are a number of UK and international project partners.

  • This dataset consists of image mosaics of submarine canyons off Morocco collected using TOBI side-scan sonar on RV Maria S. Merian cruise MSM32, which occurred between 25 September and 30 October 2013. Imaging was conducted using a TOBI deep tow sidescan sonar, a high-resolution 2D seismic system consisting of a 150m long 88 channel digital streamer and a standard GI-gun. This cruise formed the field component of NERC Discovery Science project ‘How do submarine landslides disintegrate and form long run-out turbidity currents in the deep ocean, and how erosive are these flows?’ The study aimed to generate the first ever field dataset tracing a large-scale submarine landslide and its associated sediment-gravity flow from source-to-sink. This resulting dataset will aim to answer three important science questions: 1) How quickly do large submarine landslides disintegrate into long run-out sediment flows, and how is this process influenced by shape of the slope? 2) How efficiently do landslides remove failed material, i.e. what proportion of landslide debris is deposited on the slope and how much transforms into a flow that is transported distally? 3) How much sediment is incorporated into the flow through seafloor erosion, and where does most of this erosion take place? The Discovery Science project was composed of Standard Grant reference NE/J012955/1 and was led by Professor Russell Barry Wynn (National Oceanography Centre, Science and Technology). Funding ran from 07 June 2013 to 06 June 2014. Data have been received by BODC as raw files from the RRS James Cook and are available on request from BODC enquiries.

  • This dataset comprises hydrographic data from conductivity and temperature sensors deployed at fixed intervals on moorings within the water column or close to the sea bed on benthic frames. The measurements were collected at five sites within the Faroe – Shetland channel during the FS Poseidon cruise PO328 between 07 and 23 September 2005. The data have been processed, quality controlled and made available by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). The data were collected as part of the Slope Mixing Experiment, a Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL) core Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded project, which aimed to estimate slope mixing and its effects on waters in the overturning circulation. Detailed in situ measurements of mixing in the water column) were to be combined with fine resolution 3-D and process models. The experiment was lead by POL, in collaboration with the School of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor; the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS); the University of Highlands and Islands and the Institute of Marine Studies (IMS) at the University of Plymouth. The Slope Mixing Experiment dataset also includes conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiles, moored Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP), vessel mounted ADCP sensors as well as 3-D and process models. These data are not available from BODC.

  • 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.

  • This dataset consists of ~18000 scanned images (available to download in .jpg, but high resolution .tiff images are also available) from historical UK tide gauge ledgers. In 1993 the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) acquired the registers from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC). These registers were in the form of large, leather‐bound volumes dating back to 1853 for Hilbre Island and 1857 for Georges Pier. The earlier books for Georges Pier and Hilbre Island contain 1/4 hourly heights and the remaining volumes mainly list high and low waters. Some of the ledgers include metrological data alongside the tidal information. There was also one ledger from the port of Sheerness. There were 142 books included in this project. The majority of the sites were in the Mersey Estuary, with one in the Thames Estuary. The sites are listed below, with the time period covered (gaps not shown): Dutton Locks Lower Gauge, River Weaver (53.28778,-2.62111) 1897-1917 Dutton Locks Upper Gauge, River Weaver (53.35111,-2.90694) 1897-1906 Eastham Lock, Mersey (53.3167,-2.9499) 1892-1981 Fiddlers Ferry (53.36667,-2.65) 1891-1974 Frodsham Bridge, River Weaver (53.30167,-2.70833) 1891-1917 Garston Dock, Mersey (53.40528,-2.99444) 1892-1917 George’s Pier, Liverpool (53.28333,-2.85) 1857-1912 Hale Head, Mersey (53.38333,-2.6) 1891-1917 Hilbre Island (53.3833,-3.2276) 1853-1987 Liverpool, Gladstone Dock (53.44969,-3.018) 1971-1981 Liverpool, Princes Pier (53.4083,-2.9983) 1971-1981 Stanlaw, Mersey (53.39556,-3.00833) 1891-1917 Sheerness (51.44564,0.74344) 1832-1849 Tranmere (53.3756,-2.9978) 1974-1981 Warrington, Mersey (53.28722,-2.6225) 1891-1912 Waterloo (53.4125,-3.0031) 1986-1987 Widnes, Mersey (53.32361,-2.79306) 1892-1917 Woodside Landing, Birkenhead (53.35,-2.73333) 1847-1897 The ledger scanning was put out to tender. Most of the ledgers were quite old and fragile, the books had to be preserved in their original format and binding and care had to be taken to prevent further deterioration as they were irreplaceable. It was specified in the tender that a specialist organisation was required with a proven track record of handling antique books. They had to use an archival quality overhead flatbed book scanner/ planetary scanner to preserve the pages and spines of the books. Some of the ledgers were quite large and required a scanner that could accommodate them without damage. The aim of this project was to digitise and scan historic analogue chart and manuscript sea level records held in the archive of the British Oceanographic Data Centre and to make these records available to the wider community. These data are unrepeatable scientific measurements and we want to encourage their reuse. Extending back and infilling tide gauge records will help with, among other things, climate change research, storm surge predictions and coastal land movement studies. BODC received a grant from the JISC eContent Capital Programme 2011-13, Strand B: Mass Digitisation to carry out the scanning of the ledgers.

  • The Ocean Surface Mixing, Ocean Sub-mesoscale Interaction Study (OSMOSIS) data set contains a variety of oceanographic measurements including a year long time series of the properties of the ocean surface boundary layer and its controlling 3D physical processes. The core observations include measurements of temperature, salinity, nutrients, currents and shear harvested from a suite of instrumentation including CTDs, ocean gliders, drifter buoys and moored sensors. OSMOSIS data were collected during three cruises. The first cruise undertook preliminary exploratory work in the Clyde Sea (September 2011) to hone techniques and strategies. The following cruises carried out mooring deployments and recovery in the vicinity of the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) observatory (in late Summer 2012 and 2013 respectively). Additional opportunist ship time being factored in to support the ambitious glider operations associated with OSMOSIS. This multiple year study will combine traditional observational techniques, such as moorings and CTDs, with the latest autonomous sampling technologies (including ocean gliders), capable of delivering near real-time scientific measurements through the water column. The OSMOSIS data set will contain high-resolution vertical measurements, which will shed light on the complex turbulent processes that drive the deepening of the OSBL and similarly the sub-mesoscale processes promoting OSBL re-stratification. Continuous mooring and glider measurements over a complete annual cycle will also provide invaluable insight into how the OSBL evolves over time. The NERC OSMOSIS Consortium brings together scientists from various UK research centres including the University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Reading, Bangor and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

  • The Christchurch Harbour Macronutrients Project is one of four consortium projects funded by the NERC through the Macronutrient Cycles Programme. The overall goal of the Macronutrients Programme is to quantify the scales (magnitude and spatial/temporal variation) of Nitrogen and Phosphorus fluxes and the nature of transformations through the catchment under a changing climate and a perturbed Carbon cycle. ‘The catchment’ is defined as covering exchanges between the atmospheric, terrestrial and aqueous environments, with the limit of the aqueous environment being marked by the seaward estuarine margin. The aim of the consortium research project is to better understand the behaviour of macronutrients over a range of temporal and spatial scales including the effect of storm events in the Hampshire Avon and Stour rivers and Christchurch Harbour estuary in Dorset. Data collection spans from October 2012 to January 2017. The Christchurch Harbour Macronutrients Project intensively monitored the river inputs and exchange of nutrients at the estuary mouth as well as looking at sediment re-suspension and the role of phytoplankton in macronutrient cycling within the estuary. By using a number of state of the art continuous monitoring techniques and modelling approaches, the scientists produced an accurate assessment of the impact of nutrients entering the estuary during short term storm increased flows in the two rivers. Previously, most water quality monitoring in rivers and estuaries has taken place at fixed times that are spaced too far apart to capture storms when they occur. This is the first project in the UK to intensively monitor water quality in estuaries using sensors and weather prediction technology to anticipate a storm. The Project PI is Duncan Purdie (Ocean and Earth Sciences, NOC).

  • 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 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).

  • Nitrogen Fixation was determined from samples collected during CTD profiles at the surface and chlorophyll maximum once per day from the North Atlantic at approximately 24.5 degrees North on cruise D346 between 5th January and 19th February 2010. The samples were incubated at sea-surface temperature for 24 hours, filtered onto ashed-GF/F's and dried in oven at 50 degrees for further 24 hours. The data are being used as part of a wider study in the role iron has in nitrogen fixation. David Honey collected these data as part of his PhD, supervised by Martha Gledhill and Eric Achterberg.