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University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science

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  • Coastal flooding caused by extreme sea levels can produce devastating and wide-ranging consequences. The ‘SurgeWatch’ v1.0 database systematically documents and assesses the consequences of historical coastal flood events around the UK. The original database was inevitably biased due to the inconsistent spatial and temporal coverage of sea-level observations utilised. Therefore, we present an improved version integrating a variety of ‘soft’ data such as journal papers, newspapers, weather reports, and social media. SurgeWatch2.0 identifies 329 coastal flooding events from 1915 to 2016, a more than fivefold increase compared to the 59 events in v1.0. Moreover, each flood event is now ranked using a multi-level categorisation based on inundation, transport disruption, costs, and fatalities: from 1 (Nuisance) to 6 (Disaster). For the 53 most severe events ranked Category 3 and above, an accompanying event description based upon the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence framework was produced. The database contains 57 files: 1 XLSX file, 54 PDF files and 1 CSV file. The first file is a spreadsheet (XLSX) containing the list of all 329 coastal flood events in the database categorised according to the severity scale that we devised. The second and third files are PDF documents containing the short commentaries for all Category 1 and 2 events. There are an additional 53 PDF files containing the longer event commentaries for events ranked Category 3 and higher. A final CSV file contains the digitised storm tracks for the 53 Category 3 and higher events. Each of these files is self-describing and is accompanied by extensive metadata. SurgeWatch v2.0 provides the most comprehensive and coherent historical record of UK coastal flooding. It is designed to be a resource for research, planning and management and education. Haigh et al. (2017) provides more detail. Collation of the database and the development of the website was funded through a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) impact acceleration grant. The database contributes to the objectives of UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) consortium project FLOOD Memory (EP/K013513/1).

  • The iGlass project (using Inter-GLacials to Assess future Sea-level Scenarios) data set will comprise: acquisition of new relative sea-level data (sediments and microfossils - diatoms and foraminifera) from estuarine environments, speleothems (cave deposits), corals as well as chemical composition of marine plankton shells (foraminifera) contained in sediment cores, from around the world; palaeodata synthesis of interglacial sea level and climate; and modelling of isostatic, climate and sea-level changes and interactions during past interglacials. The iGlass consortium aims to better understand the processes of ice-sheet and sea-level response to climatic forcing using data from the recent geological past. The data will cover the time period between 427 and 115 thousand years before present covering Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5, 7, 9 and 11. The dataset currently includes the synthesis of high-latitude air and sea surface temperature from the last Interglacial MIS5 between 115 and 130 thousand years before present. Sediment coring and the analysis of microfossils within these, will acquire new sea-level data. There will be geophysical modelling of vertical land movements and gravitational effects, which cause deviations of regional sea level from the global mean trend. Investigation of climate/ice-sheet/sea-level interactions using both observations and modelling, to reveal the underlying processes. Coring will take place in Norfolk and the Red Sea and speleothems will be investigated in Bermuda. Data synthesis and some model output will concentrate on the high northern and southern latitudes; other model output will be global. iGlass is funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and comprises the following research institutions; University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre (NOC), University of York, University of Oxford, University of Durham, University of Bristol, University of Reading, University of Cambridge and British Antarctic Survey (BAS). It also includes two academic partners; University of Ottawa and Australian National University and three the non-academic partners; UKCIP, Environment Agency and Willis Ltd. There are also external researchers based at Oregon State University and National Center for Atmospheric Research. Currently the synthesis of high-latitude air and sea surface temperature from the last Interglacial MIS5 and the synthesis of coral indicators of past sea-level change are available from BODC. Other data will be added in due course.

  • This dataset includes high-definition video imagery, hydrographic and navigation data from the Isis remotely operated vehicle (ROV). These data were then used to perform a biometric and reproductive analysis on Kiwa tyleri sp. which also forms part of the dataset. Four hydrothermal vent and cold seep sites were sampled during thirty one ROV dives: south of Bird Island on the South Georgia shelf, the E2 and E9 segments of the East Scotia Ridge, and the Kemp Seamount. The dives were undertaken between 10th January 2010 and 12th February 2010 during the RRS James Cook research cruise JC042 (7th January - 24th February 2010). The Isis ROV was equipped with a high-definition video camera, a CTD package, an Ultra Short Baseline navigation system and a suction sampler. The data were produced as part of the NERC Consortium Grant project Chemosynthetic Ecosystems in the Southern Ocean (ChEsSo), which funded a total of four cruises (JR224, JC042, JC055 and JC080). The dataset contributed to the project aims to search for, identify and intensively study hydrothermal vent and cold seep sites in the eastern Scotia Sea. The existing dataset was produced by scientists from the University of Southampton and technicians from the National Oceanography Centre. Additional data for these cruises may become available in the future. Please note that the access restrictions for video imagery, hydrographic and navigation data are currently unknown. The biometric and reproductive analysis data are unrestricted and accessible through the Published Data Library.

  • The dataset combines fluorescent time-lapse sediment profile imaging (f-SPI) and diffusion gradient thin gels (DGT) to examine, in situ, the link between an important benthic ecosystem process (bioturbation) and ecosystem functioning (trace metal cycling) in Loch Creran, Scotland. The dimensions of the fg-SPI faceplate were 15x21.5cm (=322.50cm2), but after subtraction of the area occupied by the two DGT gels (=74cm2) the field of view reduces to 9x21.5cm (=248.5cm2). The camera (Nikcon D100, 2000 x 3000 pixels = 6 megapixels effective resolution = 75x75um per pixel) was set to an exposure of 1/60 f=2.0 and film speed equivalent to ISO 400. For each time-lapse sequence images were taken every 5 minutes for a period of 96h (n=1152 images per deployment). Three time-lapse movies are presented here to accompany Teal et. al. 2012 Biogeosciences. Data produced by Dr Lorna Teal (Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies, IJmuiden), Dr Ruth Parker (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science), and Dr Martin Solan (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton).

  • 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 measurements of underway meteorology, navigation and sea surface hydrography. A survey of the Caribbean Sea around Montserrat was undertaken from 03 to 16 December 2007. Data were collected on RRS James Cook cruise JC018. Navigation data were collected using an Applanix POSMV system and meteorology and sea surface hydrography were collected using the NMF Surfmet system. Both systems were run through the duration of the cruise, excepting times for cleaning, entering and leaving port, and while alongside. These cruises formed the field component of NERC project "The impact of submarine diagenesis of tephra on seawater chemistry". The objective of the research was to test the hypothesis that early diagenetic alteration of recent, subaerial, volcanogenic material in the submarine environment has a significant impact on the global biogeochemical cycles. A secondary objective was to map the distribution of volcanogenic material in the upper 1 metre of sediments around the island of Montserrat. The Discovery Science project was composed of Standard Grant reference NE/D004020/1 as the lead grant with child grant NE/N001125/1. The grant ran from 24 July 2007 to 23 December 2009 and is held by the University of Southampton, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. The project was led by Professor Martin Ralph Palmer with co-investigators Professor Damon Andrew Teagle and Professor Rachel Ann Mills. The underway discrete salinity samples data and the underway navigation, meteorology and sea surface hydrography data have been received by BODC as raw files from the RRS James Cook, processed and quality controlled using in-house BODC procedures and will be made available online in the near future. No further data are expected from this cruise.

  • This database, and the accompanying website called ‘SurgeWatch’ (, provides a systematic UK-wide record of high sea level and coastal flood events over the last 100 years (1915-2014). Derived using records from the National Tide Gauge Network, a dataset of exceedence probabilities from the Environment Agency and meteorological fields from the 20th Century Reanalysis, the database captures information of 96 storm events that generated the highest sea levels around the UK since 1915. For each event, the database contains information about: (1) the storm that generated that event; (2) the sea levels recorded around the UK during the event; and (3) the occurrence and severity of coastal flooding as consequence of the event. The data are presented to be easily assessable and understandable to a wide range of interested parties. The database contains 100 files; four CSV files and 96 PDF files. Two CSV files contain the meteorological and sea level data for each of the 96 events. A third file contains the list of the top 20 largest skew surges at each of the 40 study tide gauge site. In the file containing the sea level and skew surge data, the tide gauge sites are numbered 1 to 40. A fourth accompanying CSV file lists, for reference, the site name and location (longitude and latitude). A description of the parameters in each of the four CSV files is given in the table below. There are also 96 separate PDF files containing the event commentaries. For each event these contain a concise narrative of the meteorological and sea level conditions experienced during the event, and a succinct description of the evidence available in support of coastal flooding, with a brief account of the recorded consequences to people and property. In addition, these contain graphical representation of the storm track and mean sea level pressure and wind fields at the time of maximum high water, the return period and skew surge magnitudes at sites around the UK, and a table of the date and time, offset return period, water level, predicted tide and skew surge for each site where the 1 in 5 year threshold was reached or exceeded for each event. A detailed description of how the database was created is given in Haigh et al. (2015). Coastal flooding caused by extreme sea levels can be devastating, with long-lasting and diverse consequences. The UK has a long history of severe coastal flooding. The recent 2013-14 winter in particular, produced a sequence of some of the worst coastal flooding the UK has experienced in the last 100 years. At present 2.5 million properties and £150 billion of assets are potentially exposed to coastal flooding. Yet despite these concerns, there is no formal, national framework in the UK to record flood severity and consequences and thus benefit an understanding of coastal flooding mechanisms and consequences. Without a systematic record of flood events, assessment of coastal flooding around the UK coast is limited. The database was created at the School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton with help from the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, the National Oceanography Centre and the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Collation of the database and the development of the website was funded through a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) impact acceleration grant. The database contributes to the objectives of UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) consortium project FLOOD Memory (EP/K013513/1).

  • 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 Alberta 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.

  • As part of the the CHIMNEY project (NERC grant NE/N016130/1), multibeam bathymetry data were collected during RRS James Cook cruise JC152 to a subsea chimney structure in the northern North Sea around Scanner Pockmark in August-September 2017. Multibeam data were acquired using a Kongsberg EM-710 multibeam echosounder and processed by the JC152 Science Party. In conjunction with seismic profile data acquired on the same cruise, these data will help scientists understand the surface and internal structure and origin of the chimney structure. This will facilitate estimation of the permeability of the chimney and its surroundings, and enable leakage pathways to be determined. The potential for past oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers to be used as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) reservoirs of atmospheric CO2 can subsequently be explored. The safety of storing CO2 in such reservoirs is dependent on fully exploring the risks of any leakage via such chimney structures, which the CHIMNEY project will investigate. CHIMNEY is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and involves scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and the University of Edinburgh. Investigators will work closely with project partners GEOMAR, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, CGG and Applied Acoustics. The project is complementary to the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project: Strategies for Environmental Monitoring of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage (STEMM-CCS).

  • This dataset comprises 89 hydrographic data profiles, collected by a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) sensor package, during April - June 2004 along the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT), a distance of almost 13,500 km, from the Falkland Islands to the UK. A complete list of all data parameters are described by the SeaDataNet Parameter Discovery Vocabulary (PDV) keywords assigned in this metadata record. The data were collected by the University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science as part of the Atlantic Meridional Transect (Phase2) programme.