Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1014496

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Waves (statistics)
Instrument Type
Datawell directional waverider buoy  wave recorders
Instrument Mounting moored surface buoy
Originating Country France
Originator Dr Valerie Quiniou-Ramus
Originating Organization Total S.A.
Processing Status QC in progress
Project(s) SIMORC

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier CONGOMOHOWAV
BODC Series Reference 1014496

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2009-06-19 11:30
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2009-07-14 11:00
Nominal Cycle Interval 1800.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 5.04010 S ( 5° 2.4' S )
Longitude 11.44280 E ( 11° 26.6' E )
Positional Uncertainty 0.01 to 0.05 n.miles
Minimum Sensor Depth 0.0 m
Maximum Sensor Depth 0.0 m
Minimum Sensor Height 597.0 m
Maximum Sensor Height 597.0 m
Sea Floor Depth 597.0 m
Sensor Distribution Fixed common depth - All sensors are grouped effectively at the same depth which is effectively fixed for the duration of the series
Sensor Depth Datum Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface
Sea Floor Depth Datum Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface


BODC CODE Rank Units Short Title Title
AADYAA01 1 Days Date(Loch_Day) Date (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ01 1 Days Time(Day_Fract) Time (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
ACYCAA01 1 Dimensionless Record_No Sequence number
GAVGVA01 1 Metres AvWaveHt_WR Average height of waves on the water body by waverider
GDPXVA01 1 Degrees Spectral_max_dirn_wave Direction at spectral maximum of waves on the water body by waverider
GMXLCA01 1 Metres MaxWvlvl_Wvr Maximum level of waves on the water body by waverider and automated record analysis
GTCACA01 1 Seconds AvWvcrstPer_Wvr Average crest period of waves on the water body by waverider and automated record analysis
GTDHVA01 1 Metres Hs_WR Significant height of waves {Hs} on the water body by waverider
GTPKVA01 1 Seconds WavePeriodSpecMax_WR Period at spectral maximum of waves on the water body by waverider
GTZAVA01 1 Seconds Tz_WR Average zero crossing period of waves {Tz} on the water body by waverider
TEMPPR01 1 Degrees Celsius Temp Temperature of the water body

Definition of Rank

  • Rank 1 is a one-dimensional parameter
  • Rank 2 is a two-dimensional parameter
  • Rank 0 is a one-dimensional parameter describing the second dimension of a two-dimensional parameter (e.g. bin depths for moored ADCP data)

Problem Reports

No Problem Report Found in the Database

Data Access Policy

SIMORC data access conditions

The data collated and held at BODC on behalf of the SIMORC project are restricted. However, the data will be available to download from the Official SIMORC Website, as part of the project protocol. The data set will initially include data from the oil companies TOTAL, Shell and BP.

Narrative Documents

Datawell Directional Waverider Buoy


The Datawell Datawell Directional Waverider is a 90cm diameter spherical buoy which measures wave height, period and direction. The directional measurement is based on a translational principle so that horizontal motions rather than wave slopes are measured. Consequently the measurement is independent of buoy roll motions and a relatively small spherical buoy may be used. A single point vertical mooring ensures adequate symmetrical horizontal buoy response to resolve small motions at low frequencies. Two 15m lengths of rubber cord are normally included in the mooring. Data are transmitted to a shore based station and/or an Argos satellite.


Principles of Measurement

The Directional Waverider measures vertical accelerations by means of an accelerometer placed on a gravity stabilised platform. This platform is formed by a disk which is suspended in the fluid within a plastic sphere placed in the bottom of the buoy. Two vertical coils are wound around the plastic sphere and one small horizontal coil is placed on the platform. The pitch and roll angles are defined by the amount of coupling between the fixed coils and the coil on the platform. This coupling is measured. The result of the measurement gives the sine of the angles between the coil axes (x and y axes) and the horizontal plane (=platform plane). The fluxgate compass measures the components of the Earth's magnetic field in the direction of the x, y and z axes. All of these measurements define the buoy's position with respect to fixed (north, south and vertical) coordinates.

A transformation matrix of the relation between vector components in buoy coordinates and fixed coordinates is formed. The acceleration of the buoy is measured in the x and y directions (two fixed accelerometers) and in the vertical direction (accelerometer mounted on a stabilised platform).

With the help of the transformation matrix and these measured accelerations, the accelerations in the north-south and east-west directions can be calculated. All the analogue outouts of the sensors are filtered using a low-pass filter with a cut-off frequency of 1.5Hz. At this frequency, the buoy's motions are already strongly attenuated due to the small wavelengths compared to the buoy's dimensions (geometric attenuation).

The filter outputs are sampled at a rate of 3.84Hz. As transformation calculations are performed at this rate by the on-board processor, the three accelerations are available at the same rate. By means of further digital processing, the acceleration data are filtered (low-pass 10th order filter with a cut-off at 0.6Hz) and double integrated to give three translation signals in the frequency range 0.033Hz - 0.6Hz (3dB) (0.05Hz - 0.55Hz 0.31dB). These translation signals are transmitted over the radio link in real time.

A complete spectrum is calculated every half hour. Parameters are calculated at each of 64 frequency points (0.025Hz - 0.100HZ at 0.005Hz intervals and 0.110Hz to 0.580Hz at 0.010Hz intervals). The parameters calculated at each frequecny point are: mean direction, angle of spread, second harmonics of angular energy distribution check factor and relative power density.


Datawell bv, Zomerlustraat 4, 2012 LM Haarlem, the Netherlands (1995). Operation and Service Manual for "Directional Waverider" from serial no. 30109 and including 30076, 30101, 30106, 30108.

Waverider Wave Measuring Buoy

A waverider buoy measures waves by floating on the surface of the sea and measuring its own vertical motion in response to passing waves. The buoy contains an accelerometer which is stabilised in the vertical plane for storm and swell wave frequencies by means of a short length of chain attached to the bottom of the buoy. A length of rubber cord links this chain to the rest of the mooring.

In general a waverider buoy will contour the sea surface and generate a heave signal to an accuracy of better than five percent. This signal is used to amplitude modulate a 27-30 MHz radio signal which is transmitted continuously; this signal can be received by the recording device at a range of up to 50 km depending on local conditions.

For more information on waverider buoys see Driver (1980) (from which the above text has been taken).


Driver, J.S. (1980).
A guide to sea wave recording. Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, Report No. 103, pp 91 (16 figs).

BODC Processing

Data were received by BODC in an Excel spreadsheet. This was converted to a CSV file and then reformatted to QXF format using BODC transfer function 383. The following table shows how the variables within the files were mapped to the appropriate BODC parameter codes:

Original parameter name Original Units Description BODC Parameter Code BODC Units Comments
Time (assumed GMT) DD-MON-YY hh:mm:ss Date and time (GMT) AADYAA01 + AAFDZZ01 Day number and day fraction Conversion by transfer
Hs cm Significant wave height GTDHCA01 m /100
Have cm Average wave height GAVGVA01 m /100
Hmax cm Maximum wave height GCMXLCA01 m /100
Tz seconds Zero upcrossing period GTZAVA01 seconds  
Tp seconds Peak period GTPKVA01 seconds  
TCrest seconds Crest period GTCACA01 seconds  
DirPeak degrees True Wave direction at spectral peak GDPXVA01 degrees True  
SeaTemp degrees C Water temperature TEMPPR01 degrees C  

The maximum and average wave heights were measured at half hourly intervals, exactly on the half hour. All the other parameters were measured 5 minutes earlier, but have been given a nominal time the same as that for the maximum and average heights to simplify the data. A battery voltage was also given in the source data file, but was not transferred as this remained constant throughout the deployment at 7 volts.

Following transfer to QXF, the data were screened using BODC's in-house visualisation software, EDSERPLO.

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:

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:

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:

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.

Project Information

System of Industry Metocean data for the Offshore and Research Communities (SIMORC)

The EU-funded SIMORC project is a collaborative effort between MARIS (Netherlands), BODC (UK), the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and IOC-IODE to provide a harmonised and quality controlled metocean data set from data collected by oil and gas producers, accessible through the SIMORC protocol.

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2009-06-19
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2009-07-14
Organization Undertaking ActivityTotal S.A.
Country of OrganizationFrance
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierMohoWave
Platform Categorymoored surface buoy

SIMORC Directional Waverider Buoy Deployment Congo Moho

The position of the waverider buoy was 5.04011° S; 11.4428° E in a water depth of 597 metres.

The Datawell directional waverider buoy serial number 30656 was deployed on behalf of TOTAL at Congo Moho on 15th June 2009. After one month, realtime communication with the waverider buoy was lost and it was confirmed to have separated from its mooring. It had probably been trawled. The waverider buoy was subsequently recovered and found to be in good working order and the recorded data were successfully downloaded.


Cruise Name 2009
Departure Date 2009-06-12
Arrival Date Unknown
Principal Scientist(s)Guislain BĂ©cu (GEMS Survey Ltd)
Ship MV Polar Prince

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NameMoho, Congo
CategoryOffshore location
Latitude5° 16.80' S
Longitude11° 22.80' E
Water depth below MSL865.0 m

SIMORC: TOTAL Congo Moho Fixed Station Document

This site consists of a Floating Production Unit (FPU), located in the Moho field, offshore Congo. Various deployments were taken from or near this site:

The nominal position of the site is 5.28° S; 11.38° E with an assumed water depth (taken from GEBCO) of 865 metres.

BODC Quality Control Flags

The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:

Flag Description
Blank Unqualified
< Below detection limit
> In excess of quoted value
A Taxonomic flag for affinis (aff.)
B Beginning of CTD Down/Up Cast
C Taxonomic flag for confer (cf.)
D Thermometric depth
E End of CTD Down/Up Cast
G Non-taxonomic biological characteristic uncertainty
H Extrapolated value
I Taxonomic flag for single species (sp.)
K Improbable value - unknown quality control source
L Improbable value - originator's quality control
M Improbable value - BODC quality control
N Null value
O Improbable value - user quality control
P Trace/calm
Q Indeterminate
R Replacement value
S Estimated value
T Interpolated value
U Uncalibrated
W Control value
X Excessive difference

SeaDataNet Quality Control Flags

The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:

Flag Description
0 no quality control
1 good value
2 probably good value
3 probably bad value
4 bad value
5 changed value
6 value below detection
7 value in excess
8 interpolated value
9 missing value
A value phenomenon uncertain