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Lancaster University, Department of Environmental Science

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  • The data set comprises measurements of contaminant concentrations in the blubber of grey seal pups. Samples were collected on the Isle of May, Firth of Forth, East Scotland between 13 November and 02 December 2002. Sixty suckling pups were selected at random from the island's population, weighed, measured and tagged. Pups were recaptured repeatedly before and after weaning, with weight, length and axillary girth being re-measured each time. These measurements were used to estimate blubber reserves based on mass/length, as detailed in Hall et al. (2009). Linear regression was used to derive estimates of pup mass at weaning. Blubber biopsy samples were collected from 57 of the pups when they were first recaptured after weaning. Samples were stored at -20 °C, then extracted using the Soxhlet method. Lipid content was determined gravimetrically while Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to determine wet weight concentrations of contaminants per lipid proportion of the sample. A linear back calculation based on the known rate of contaminant concentration in blubber post-weaning was used to correct values to the concentration at weaning. The data were collected by researchers from the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews and the University of Lancaster Department of Environmental Science. The data are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

  • The data set comprises measurements of contaminant concentrations in the blubber of harbour seals. Samples were collected from five populations around the UK coast: the Wash, southeast England; the Tay estuary, southeast Scotland; the Moray Firth, northeast Scotland; Orkney, north Scotland; and Islay and Jura, southwest Scotland. The data were collected between 24 January and 26 October 2003. Seals were captured on land, hauled out with the use of hand-held hoop nets, or caught at sea in tangle nets deployed from boats. After capture, the seals were weighed and sedated, and classified as adult or subadult on the basis of mass and body length measurements. Animals greater than 110 cm standard body length (nose–tail) were considered to be adult and those between 100 and 110 cm as subadult. Animals less than 100 cm were excluded from the study. One dead seal was also included in the analysis. Blubber biopsy samples were collected and stored at -20 °C, then extracted using the Soxhlet method. Lipid content was determined gravimetrically while Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to determine wet weight concentrations of contaminants per lipid proportion of the sample. The work focused on polybrominated diphenyl ether (PDBE) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in seal blubber. PBDEs are the main components of brominated flame retardant chemicals, and both these and PCBs are thought to increase seal mortality. The five seal populations were chosen following differential mortality during the 2002 phocine distemper epidemic in order to determine whether contaminant concentrations had influenced mortality rates associated with that disease. The data were collected by researchers from the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews and the University of Lancaster Department of Environmental Science. The data are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

  • The dataset contains physical, biogeochemical and biological data, including measurements of water temperature, salinity, fluorescence, dissolved gases and current velocities; plankton samples from nets and plankton recorders; water samples for analysis of nutrients, phytoplankton, radioactivity and biogeochemical parameters; benthic cores; meteorological time series (pressure, temperature, humidity, wind velocities); atmospheric samples and ocean-atmosphere fluxes; and results from incubation experiments. The data were collected north of the Crozet Plateau in the Southern Ocean/Southwest Indian Ocean on RRS Discovery cruises D285 (3rd November - 10th December 2004) and D286 (13th December 2004 - 21st January 2005). Much of the data collection focussed on a series of Major Stations (called M1 to M10), with measurements being collected at these stations every two or three days. Conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) casts were undertaken at each station, providing both hydrographic data and water samples from a range of depths. Other work at each Major Station included zooplankton nets, Longhurst-Hardy Plankton Recorder (LHPR) tows, sediment coring and Argo float deployment. In between Major Stations some additional CTD casts were undertaken. The SeaSoar oceanographic undulator provided further hydrographic data, while hull-mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) provided current velocity data across the survey area. In addition, continuous underway measurements of hydrographic and meteorological parameters and surface water samples were collected along the cruise track. Five moorings were deployed, one of which was recovered at the end of D286. The other four, including sediment traps, current profilers and CTDs were deployed for one year. CROZEX (CROZet circulation, iron fertilization and Export production experiment) is a complex, multidisciplinary project to examine, from surface to sediment, the structure, causes and consequences of a naturally occurring annual phytoplankton bloom that forms. This collaborative project involved researchers in Ireland and the UK, and was administered by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Southampton. Data are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Much of the CROZEX data processing is ongoing and a number of datasets have yet to be submitted to BODC. The data described here are those presently held by BODC, with the exception of the Argo floats (these data are not expected by BODC and should be accessible via the Argo website) and the four year-long mooring deployments (data from these will be submitted to BODC in the future).

  • The dataset contains a variety of atmospheric measurements including time series of air temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, irradiance and humidity. A comprehensive atmospheric sampling programme provided measurements of atmospheric particulates, aerosols and gases, including hydrocarbons, nitrogen, oxygen, ozone and sulphur species, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrous and hydrochloric acids. Additional measurements of photolysis rates and ion and radical concentrations were also collected. The data were collected from the vicinity of the north Norfolk coast between 1994 and 1997. The bulk of the data were collected during two field campaigns in the winter (October/November) of 1994 and the summer (May/June) of 1995. During these campaigns data were collected continuously from the University of East Anglia (UEA) Atmospheric Observatory at Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast. The widest range of parameters is available for this station. An instrumented vessel (MV Guardian) was stationed offshore to provide a second sampling site to allow changes in a given air mass to be monitored. The Imperial College London Jetstream Research aircraft made one flight during each campaign to provide a link between the two surface stations and four additional flights in 1996 and 1997. The River-Atmosphere-Coast Study (RACS) was the component of the LOIS programme looking at processes from the river catchment into the coastal sea. Professor John Plane from the Environmental Sciences Department at UEA was the scientific co-ordinator of this sub-project of LOIS. The data are held by BODC as a series of ASCII data files conforming to the NASA AMES 1001 format together with a PDF document that describes the data set.

  • This dataset includes physical, biological and biogeochemical measurements of both the water column and seabed sediments. Hydrographic data include temperature, salinity, attenuance, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), sound velocity and current velocities, while biogeochemical analyses of water samples provided measurements of nutrients and biological sampling provided measurements of zooplankton abundance. A large number of benthic parameters were measured, including concentrations of substances such as nutrients, metals and carbon in both sediments and sediment pore waters. Benthic fauna were also studied, while rates of sedimentation flux were quantified. These oceanographic and benthic data were supplemented by satellite ocean colour imagery. The data were collected in the North Atlantic Ocean at the Mouth of Rockall Trough, Hatton-Rockall Basin and the Flank of Feni Drift between August 1997 and June 1999 over four cruises, comprising a preliminary site assessment (CD 107 August, 1997) followed by two process cruises (CD 111, April-May 1998, and CD 113, June-July 1998). A further cruise (CH 143) was part-funded by BENBO to retrieve moorings. The data were collected using a variety of instrumentation, including shipboard deployment of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profilers with attached auxiliary sensors, benthic samplers, landers, cameras and incubation chambers, water samplers and continuous underway sensors. These were supplemented by moored sensor and satellite data. The BENBO programme was led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science/Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory involved researchers from Southampton Oceanography Centre, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Lancaster University, Leeds University, Edinburgh University, Cambridge University and the University of Wales, Bangor.