Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1066371
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Open Data supplied by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
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RAPID Cruise CD170 CTD Instrumentation
The CTD unit was a Sea-Bird Electronics 911plus system with primary and secondary temperature and conductivity sensors. The Sea-Bird 24 position Carousel was equipped with 10 litre sampling bottles, manufactured by Ocean Test Equipment Inc.
|Sensor||Serial number||Last calibration date|
|Digiquartz temperature compensated pressure sensor||94756||05/01/2005|
|Sea-Bird 4 conductivity sensor (primary)||3052||30/12/2004|
|Sea-Bird 4 conductivity sensor (secondary)||3054||22/12/2004|
|Sea-Bird 3 temperature sensor (primary)||4489||29/12/2004|
|Sea-Bird 3 temperature sensor (secondary)||4490||28/12/2004|
Distance between the pressure sensor and the bottom of the bottles= 0.23 m
Distance between the pressure sensor and the top of the bottles = 1.27 m
Sea-Bird Electronics SBE 911 and SBE 917 series CTD profilers
The SBE 911 and SBE 917 series of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) units are used to collect hydrographic profiles, including temperature, conductivity and pressure as standard. Each profiler consists of an underwater unit and deck unit or SEARAM. Auxiliary sensors, such as fluorometers, dissolved oxygen sensors and transmissometers, and carousel water samplers are commonly added to the underwater unit.
The CTD underwater unit (SBE 9 or SBE 9 plus) comprises a protective cage (usually with a carousel water sampler), including a main pressure housing containing power supplies, acquisition electronics, telemetry circuitry, and a suite of modular sensors. The original SBE 9 incorporated Sea-Bird's standard modular SBE 3 temperature sensor and SBE 4 conductivity sensor, and a Paroscientific Digiquartz pressure sensor. The conductivity cell was connected to a pump-fed plastic tubing circuit that could include auxiliary sensors. Each SBE 9 unit was custom built to individual specification. The SBE 9 was replaced in 1997 by an off-the-shelf version, termed the SBE 9 plus, that incorporated the SBE 3 plus (or SBE 3P) temperature sensor, SBE 4C conductivity sensor and a Paroscientific Digiquartz pressure sensor. Sensors could be connected to a pump-fed plastic tubing circuit or stand-alone.
Temperature, conductivity and pressure sensors
The conductivity, temperature, and pressure sensors supplied with Sea-Bird CTD systems have outputs in the form of variable frequencies, which are measured using high-speed parallel counters. The resulting count totals are converted to numeric representations of the original frequencies, which bear a direct relationship to temperature, conductivity or pressure. Sampling frequencies for these sensors are typically set at 24 Hz.
The temperature sensing element is a glass-coated thermistor bead, pressure-protected inside a stainless steel tube, while the conductivity sensing element is a cylindrical, flow-through, borosilicate glass cell with three internal platinum electrodes. Thermistor resistance or conductivity cell resistance, respectively, is the controlling element in an optimized Wien Bridge oscillator circuit, which produces a frequency output that can be converted to a temperature or conductivity reading. These sensors are available with depth ratings of 6800 m (aluminium housing) or 10500 m (titanium housing). The Paroscientific Digiquartz pressure sensor comprises a quartz crystal resonator that responds to pressure-induced stress, and temperature is measured for thermal compensation of the calculated pressure.
Optional sensors for dissolved oxygen, pH, light transmission, fluorescence and others do not require the very high levels of resolution needed in the primary CTD channels, nor do these sensors generally offer variable frequency outputs. Accordingly, signals from the auxiliary sensors are acquired using a conventional voltage-input multiplexed A/D converter (optional). Some Sea-Bird CTDs use a strain gauge pressure sensor (Senso-Metrics) in which case their pressure output data is in the same form as that from the auxiliary sensors as described above.
Deck unit or SEARAM
Each underwater unit is connected to a power supply and data logging system: the SBE 11 (or SBE 11 plus) deck unit allows real-time interfacing between the deck and the underwater unit via a conductive wire, while the submersible SBE 17 (or SBE 17 plus) SEARAM plugs directly into the underwater unit and data are downloaded on recovery of the CTD. The combination of SBE 9 and SBE 17 or SBE 11 are termed SBE 917 or SBE 911, respectively, while the combinations of SBE 9 plus and SBE 17 plus or SBE 11 plus are termed SBE 917 plus or SBE 911 plus.
Specifications for the SBE 9 plus underwater unit are listed below:
|Parameter||Range||Initial accuracy||Resolution at 24 Hz||Response time|
|Temperature||-5 to 35°C||0.001°C||0.0002°C||0.065 sec|
|Conductivity||0 to 7 S m-1||0.0003 S m-1||0.00004 S m-1||0.065 sec (pumped)|
|Pressure||0 to full scale (1400, 2000, 4200, 6800 or 10500 m)||0.015% of full scale||0.001% of full scale||0.015 sec|
Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheet.
RAPID Cruise CD170 CTD Processing
A total of 9 full depth CTD casts were performed during the cruise. Rosette bottles were fired at regular intervals during the upcast of each profile in order to obtain salinity samples for calibration.
There were 24 rosette bottles in place during Cast 1. For all other casts, 12 sampling bottles were removed to accommodate a variety of instruments recovered from the moorings serviced during the cruise as part of a pre and post deployment calibration procedure. On casts of appropriate depth, Ixsea acoustic releases were shackled to the outside of the CTD frame to test their release mechanisms at their planned deployment depths.
The raw CTD files were processed manually by the data originator through Sea-Bird SBE Data Processing software. 24 Hz binary (.DAT) files were converted to engineering units and nominal values using manufacturer's calibration coefficients (DATCNV). Coefficients for temperature and conductivity were set to 0, as advancement of these parameters was carried out by the deck unit. The WILD EDIT function was subsequently used to reduce the amount of noise in all CTD profiles. To compensate for conductivity cell thermal mass effects, the files were run through CELLTM, using alpha = 0.03, 1/beta = 7, typical values for this CTD model given in the Sea-Bird literature. The final stage of Sea-Bird processing carried out was TRANSLATE, which generates ASCII versions of the binary .CNV data files.
After initial processing with Sea-Bird software, additional routines were applied to the 24 Hz files in PSTAR and subsequently worked through to the 1 Hz, 10 s and 2 db versions. Text files containing bottle salinity data from the CTD upcast were used to calibrate the CTD primary conductivity channel. Bottle conductivities were re-calculated from bottle salinities and compared with CTD conductivities from the time the bottles were fired. A slope correction was applied to the sensor, as a result of this investigation, to account for sensor drift. The calibration data set excluded samples where (Bottle - CTD conductivity) exceeded specified limits.
BODC post-processing and screening
The processed downcasts, binned to 2 db, were sent to BODC for banking. The data were converted from PSTAR into BODC internal format (a subset of NetCDF) to allow use of in-house visualisation tools. The following table shows how the variables within the original file were mapped to appropriate BODC parameter codes:
|Parameter||Parameter units||Parameter code||Number of stations||Comments|
|Pressure||dbars||PRESPR01||9||Manufacturer's calibration applied.|
|Salinity||-||PSALCC01||9||Data from primary sensor calibrated by data originator with discrete salinity samples.|
|Sigma-theta UNESCO SVAN||Kg m-3||SIGTPR01||9||Regenerated at BODC using data from primary sensors.|
|Temperature||°C||TEMPCC01||9||Verification of data from primary sensor by data originator with SBE35 thermometer.|
|Potential Temperature||°C||POTMCV01||9||Regenerated at BODC using data from primary sensors.|
Reformatted CTD data were visually checked using the in-house editor EDSERPLO. Flags were applied to suspect data points, where necessary.
Once BODC quality control screening was complete, the CTD downcasts were loaded into BODC's ocean database under the ORACLE Relational Database Management System. Data from the secondary temperature and salinity channels were excluded from the series because the primary sensors were calibrated preferentially by the originators and the primary sensors returned better quality data overall.
Cunningham (2006) 'Cruise Report No. 2 RRS Charles Darwin Cruise CD170 and RV Knorr Cruise KN182-2 RAPID Mooring cruise report April - May 2005'
- available here
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.
- 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)
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) 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).
The entire monitoring array system created by the three projects will be recovered and redeployed annually until 2008 under RAPID funding. From 2008 until 2014 the array will continue to be serviced annually under RAPID-WATCH funding.
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)
|Principal Scientist(s)||Stuart A Cunningham (Southampton Oceanography Centre)|
|Ship||RRS Charles Darwin|
Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here
No Fixed Station Information held for the Series
The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:
|<||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.)|
|E||End of CTD Down/Up Cast|
|G||Non-taxonomic biological characteristic uncertainty|
|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|
|O||Improbable value - user quality control|
The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:
|0||no quality control|
|2||probably good value|
|3||probably bad value|
|6||value below detection|
|7||value in excess|
|A||value phenomenon uncertain|
|Q||value below limit of quantification|