General Data Screening carried out by BODC
BODC screen both the series header qualifying information and the parameter values in the data cycles themselves.
Header information is inspected for:
- Irregularities such as unfeasible values
- Inconsistencies between related information, for example:
- Times for instrument deployment and for start/end of data series
- Length of record and the number of data cycles/cycle interval
- Parameters expected and the parameters actually present in the data cycles
- Originator's comments on meter/mooring performance and data quality
Documents are written by BODC highlighting irregularities which cannot be resolved.
Data cycles are inspected using time or depth series plots of all parameters. Currents are additionally inspected using vector scatter plots and time series plots of North and East velocity components. These presentations undergo intrinsic and extrinsic screening to detect infeasible values within the data cycles themselves and inconsistencies as seen when comparing characteristics of adjacent data sets displaced with respect to depth, position or time. Values suspected of being of non-oceanographic origin may be tagged with the BODC flag denoting suspect value; the data values will not be altered.
The following types of irregularity, each relying on visual detection in the plot, are amongst those which may be flagged as suspect:
- Spurious data at the start or end of the record.
- Obvious spikes occurring in periods free from meteorological disturbance.
- A sequence of constant values in consecutive data cycles.
If a large percentage of the data is affected by irregularities then a Problem Report will be written rather than flagging the individual suspect values. Problem Reports are also used to highlight irregularities seen in the graphical data presentations.
Inconsistencies between the characteristics of the data set and those of its neighbours are sought and, where necessary, documented. This covers inconsistencies such as the following:
- Maximum and minimum values of parameters (spikes excluded).
- The occurrence of meteorological events.
This intrinsic and extrinsic screening of the parameter values seeks to confirm the qualifying information and the source laboratory's comments on the series. In screening and collating information, every care is taken to ensure that errors of BODC making are not introduced.