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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1056444

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Surface temp/sal
Instrument Type
Non-toxic sea water supply  continuous water samplers
Instrument Mounting research vessel
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Prof Torsten Kanzow
Originating Organization National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) Rapid Climate Change Programme

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier PO343_PRODQXF_SURF
BODC Series Reference 1056444

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2006-10-04 08:07
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2006-10-15 17:59
Nominal Cycle Interval 60.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Southernmost Latitude 23.75417 N ( 23° 45.3' N )
Northernmost Latitude 28.42467 N ( 28° 25.5' N )
Westernmost Longitude 24.29900 W ( 24° 17.9' W )
Easternmost Longitude 13.21883 W ( 13° 13.1' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.05 to 0.1 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 2.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 2.0 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Sea Floor Depth -
Sea Floor Depth Source -
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Fixed common depth - All sensors are grouped effectively at the same depth which is effectively fixed for the duration of the series
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum Approximate - Depth is only approximate
Sea Floor Depth Datum -


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
AADYAA011DaysDate (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ011DaysTime (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
ALATAS011DegreesLatitude north relative to WGS84 by Ashtech GPS
ALONAS011DegreesLongitude east relative to WGS84 by Ashtech GPS
PSALSG011DimensionlessPractical salinity of the water body by thermosalinograph and computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm and calibration against independent measurements
TEMPHU011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the water body by thermosalinograph hull sensor and NO verification against independent measurements

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

Open Data

These data have no specific confidentiality restrictions for users. However, users must acknowledge data sources as it is not ethical to publish data without proper attribution. Any publication or other output resulting from usage of the data should include an acknowledgment.

If the Information Provider does not provide a specific attribution statement, or if you are using Information from several Information Providers and multiple attributions are not practical in your product or application, you may consider using the following:

"Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0."

Narrative Documents

Non-toxic (underway) sea water supply

A source of uncontaminated near-surface (commonly 3 to 7 m) seawater pumped continuously to shipboard laboratories on research vessels. There is typically a temperature sensor near the intake (known as the hull temperature) to provide measurements that are as close as possible to the ambient water temperature. The flow from the supply is typically directed through continuously logged sensors such as a thermosalinograph and a fluorometer. Water samples are often collected from the non-toxic supply. The system is also referred to as the underway supply.

RAPID Cruise PO343 Underway Surface Hydrography Instrumentation

The thermosalinograph was used to continually measure surface temperature and salinity during the cruise. The sensor is situated at the bow of the ship two metres below the surface.

RAPID Cruise PO343 Underway Meteorology, Surface Hydrography and Navigation Series

Cruise details

Dates 4 October - 17 October 2006
Principal Scientific Officer Dr Torsten Kanzow (NOC,S)
Cruise Report Kanzow, T. O. and Cunningham, S, A. Collins, J.(ed), 2008. FS Poseidon Cruises P343 04 Oct - 17 Oct 2006 and P345 28 Nov - 07 Dec 2006. RAPID-MOC Autumn 2006 Eastern Boundary and Mid-Atlantic Ridge Moorings Refurbishment Cruises. Southampton, UK, National Oceanography Centre Southampton. (National Oceanography Centre Southampton Cruise Report, 28).

Cruise PO343 sailed from and returned to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. The cruise was primarily run as an Eastern Boundary and Mid-Atlantic Ridge moorings refurbishment cruise for the RAPID-MOC programme, which monitors the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26.5°N.

Data Processing Procedures

Underway sea surface hydrography, meteorology and ship's navigation data are merged into common files using (UTC) as the primary linking key. Any additional data calibrations are applied as appropriate and are discussed in the individual instrument sections.

Data were transferred to BODC's in-house NetCDF format, QXF, through the BODC Underway Data System (BUDS). During transfer data were time averaged to 60 second intervals. The transfer process also includes the flagging of data which fall outside of the range of acceptable values for each parameter.

Each data channel is visually inspected on a graphics workstation and any spikes or periods of dubious data are flagged as suspect. The capabilities of the workstation screening software allow all possible comparative screening checks between channels. The system also has the facility of simultaneously displaying the data and the ship's position on a map to enable data screening to take oceanographic climatology into account.

RAPID Cruise PO343 Underway Surface Hydrography Processing

Originator's Processing

Seawater was continually pumped from the bow of the ship (at a depth of about 2 m) through the temperature and conductivity sensors throughout the cruise.

Data were transferred along with meteorological data daily from the ship's computer system. An executable program was run daily to transfer the data from CSV to PSTAR format.

BODC Processing

All 1 second sea surface hydrographic data were transferred from PSTAR format into BODC internal format (QXF) to allow use of the in-house visualisation tool (EDSERPLO). Data were averaged to 1 minute. Reformatting and data calibration was carried out, and is discussed in the individual instrument sections below. Each data channel was visually inspected and any spikes or periods of dubious data flagged as suspect. The capabilities of the screening software allows comparative screening checks between channels.


The underway salinity channel was calibrated at BODC using 16 data samples from the ships uncontaminated water supply, of which 2 were deemed suspect. Statistical analysis determined that a regression analysis calibration was not required, instead a mean offset was applied.

The calibration equation was: PSALSG01 = PSALSU01 + 2.5373


Only 5 data samples were available for the calibration of the temperature. This was not deemed enough to produce a reliable calibration so the data remain uncalibrated.

Project Information

Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) Programme

Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) is a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The programme aims to improve our ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

Scientific Objectives

  • To establish a pre-operational prototype system to continuously observe the strength and structure of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC).
  • To support long-term direct observations of water, heat, salt, and ice transports at critical locations in the northern North Atlantic, to quantify the atmospheric and other (e.g. river run-off, ice sheet discharge) forcing of these transports, and to perform process studies of ocean mixing at northern high latitudes.
  • To construct well-calibrated and time-resolved palaeo data records of past climate change, including error estimates, with a particular emphasis on the quantification of the timing and magnitude of rapid change at annual to centennial time-scales.
  • To develop and use high-resolution physical models to synthesise observational data.
  • To apply a hierarchy of modelling approaches to understand the processes that connect changes in ocean convection and its atmospheric forcing to the large-scale transports relevant to the modulation of climate.
  • To understand, using model experimentation and data (palaeo and present day), the atmosphere's response to large changes in Atlantic northward heat transport, in particular changes in storm tracks, storm frequency, storm strengths, and energy and moisture transports.
  • To use both instrumental and palaeo data for the quantitative testing of models' abilities to reproduce climate variability and rapid changes on annual to centennial time-scales. To explore the extent to which these data can provide direct information about the thermohaline circulation (THC) and other possible rapid changes in the climate system and their impact.
  • To quantify the probability and magnitude of potential future rapid climate change, and the uncertainties in these estimates.


Overall 38 projects have been funded by the RAPID programme. These include 4 which focus on Monitoring the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), and 5 international projects jointly funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Research Council of Norway and NERC.

The RAPID effort to design a system to continuously monitor the strength and structure of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is being matched by comparative funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative projects reviewed jointly with the NERC proposals. Three projects were funded by NSF.

A proportion of RAPID funding as been made available for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as part of NERC's Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). The SBRI aims to stimulate innovation in the economy by encouraging more high-tech small firms to start up or to develop new research capacities. As a result 4 projects have been funded.

Monitoring the Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26.5N (RAPIDMOC)

Scientific Rationale

There is a northward transport of heat throughout the Atlantic, reaching a maximum of 1.3PW (25% of the global heat flux) around 24.5°N. The heat transport is a balance of the northward flux of a warm Gulf Stream, and a southward flux of cooler thermocline and cold North Atlantic Deep Water that is known as the meridional overturning circulation (MOC). As a consequence of the MOC northwest Europe enjoys a mild climate for its latitude: however abrupt rearrangement of the Atlantic Circulation has been shown in climate models and in palaeoclimate records to be responsible for a cooling of European climate of between 5-10°C. A principal objective of the RAPID programme is the development of a pre-operational prototype system that will continuously observe the strength and structure of the MOC. An initiative has been formed to fulfill this objective and consists of three interlinked projects:

  • A mooring array spanning the Atlantic at 26.5°N to measure the southward branch of the MOC (Hirschi et al., 2003 and Baehr et al., 2004).
  • Additional moorings deployed in the western boundary along 26.5°N (by Prof. Bill Johns, University of Miami - project MOCHA) to resolve transport in the Deep Western Boundary Current (Bryden et al., 2005). These moorings allow surface-to-bottom density profiles along the western boundary, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and eastern boundary to be observed. As a result, the transatlantic pressure gradient can be continuously measured.
  • Monitoring of the northward branch of the MOC using submarine telephone cables in the Florida Straits (Baringer et al., 2001) led by Dr Molly Baringer (NOAA/AOML/PHOD) - Western Boundary Time Series (WBTS) project.

The UK-led monitoring array system was recovered and redeployed annually until 2008 under RAPID funding. From 2008 until 2015 the array continued to be serviced annually under RAPID-WATCH funding. From 2015 until 2021 the array was serviced under RAPID-AMOC funding. Since 2022 the servicing of the array has continued to be funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The US-led projects are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (MOCHA project) and NOAA Office of Climate Observations (WBTS project).

The array will be focussed on three regions, the Eastern Boundary (EB), the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and the Western Boundary (WB). The geographical extent of these regions are as follows:

  • Eastern Boundary (EB) array defined as a box with the south-east corner at 23.5°N, 25.5°W and the north-west corner at 29.0°N, 12.0°W
  • Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) array defined as a box with the south-east corner at 23.0°N, 52.1°W and the north-west corner at 26.5°N, 40.0°W
  • Western Boundary (WB) array defined as a box with the south-east corner at 26.0°N, 77.5°W and the north-west corner at 27.5°N, 69.5°W


Baehr, J., Hirschi, J., Beismann, J.O. and Marotzke, J. (2004) Monitoring the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic: A model-based array design study. Journal of Marine Research, Volume 62, No 3, pp 283-312.

Baringer, M.O'N. and Larsen, J.C. (2001) Sixteen years of Florida Current transport at 27N Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 28, No 16, pp3179-3182

Bryden, H.L., Johns, W.E. and Saunders, P.M. (2005) Deep Western Boundary Current East of Abaco: Mean structure and transport. Journal of Marine Research, Volume 63, No 1, pp 35-57.

Hirschi, J., Baehr, J., Marotzke J., Stark J., Cunningham S.A. and Beismann J.O. (2003) A monitoring design for the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 30, No 7, article number 1413 (DOI 10.1029/2002GL016776)

Data Activity or Cruise Information


Cruise Name PO343
Departure Date 2006-10-04
Arrival Date 2006-10-17
Principal Scientist(s)Torsten Kanzow (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
Ship FS Poseidon

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

No Fixed Station Information held for the Series

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
B nominal value
Q value below limit of quantification