Historical sea level data now available
25 January 2011
BODC announces the availability of historical sea level data from charts and ledgers, made possible with funding from the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN), matched by BODC funds.
BODC was in possession of several large historic sea level datasets in the form of scanned images of tide gauge charts and ledgers. These images have been added to the National Oceanographic Database and are now freely available to registered users (subject to a licence agreement).
These scanned images are from eight tide gauge sites around the UK. The ledgers for Sheerness contain some of the earliest records (1870 onwards) of sea level data in the UK. Other ledgers came from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, and include several sites around Liverpool. The tide gauge charts are from Belfast.
Long-term sea level records have a wide range of scientific and practical applications. They are important to climate change studies (to give an indication of sea level rise), operational oceanography (looking at storm surges and tides) and civil engineering (flood defences) amongst others.