Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1097216

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Currents -subsurface Eulerian
Instrument Type
Aanderaa RCM 11 Recording Current Meter  current meters
Instrument Mounting subsurface mooring
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Stuart Cunningham
Originating Organization National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Processing Status banked
Project(s) Rapid Climate Change Programme

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier WB2/445
BODC Series Reference 1097216

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2010-03-31 21:30
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2011-04-27 16:21
Nominal Cycle Interval 1800.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 26.51850 N ( 26° 31.1' N )
Longitude 76.74683 W ( 76° 44.8' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor Depth 421.0 m
Maximum Sensor Depth 421.0 m
Minimum Sensor Height 3479.0 m
Maximum Sensor Height 3479.0 m
Sea Floor Depth 3900.0 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 Approximate - Depth is only approximate
Sea Floor Depth Datum Approximate - Depth is only approximate


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
LCEWEL01 1 Centimetres per second CurrVelE_CM Eastward current velocity (Eulerian) in the water body by in-situ current meter
LCNSEL01 1 Centimetres per second CurrVelN_CM Northward current velocity (Eulerian) in the water body by in-situ current meter
PRSTPR01 1 Decibars MidWat_TotPress Pressure (measured variable) exerted by the water body plus atmosphere by semi-fixed in-situ pressure sensor
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

Open Data supplied by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

You must always use the following attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the information: "Contains data supplied by Natural Environment Research Council."

Narrative Documents

Aanderaa Recording Current Meter Model 9/11

The RCM 9/11 is a family of single-point Doppler recording current meters with different casing options to allow working at depths of up to 300 (RCM 9 LW), 2000 (RCM 9 IW) or 6000 (RCM 11) metres. The recording unit is 51.3 cm or 59.5 cm high (RCM 9 and RCM 11, respectively) with a diameter of 12.8 cm.

The RCM is most commonly deployed in an in-line mooring configuration. As it operates under a tilt up to 35° from vertical, it has a variety of in-line mooring applications by use of surface buoy or sub surface buoy. The instrument is installed in a mooring frame that allows easy installation and removal of the instrument without disassembly of the mooring line. The instrument can also be used for direct reading of the various parameters. This is conveniently done due to its compact design, low drag force and easy handling. Data can be stored internally and read after retrieval or be read in real time on deck by use of the profiling cable.

Meter comprises:

A built-in quartz clock allows the time of the first measurement to be recorded in the DSU. The measuring system is made up of a self-balancing bridge with sequential measurement of 10 channels and solid state memory. Channel 1 is a fixed reference reading for control purposes and data identification. Channels 2 and 3 represent measurement of current speed and direction. The direction is found by the use of measurements along two orthogonal axis and linking them to true north by use of an internal compass reading. The instrument can operate continuously or in eight intervals from 1 to 120 minutes. At 60-minute recording interval the operating time is more than two years. The current speed and direction are averaged over the measuring interval. Channels 4, 5 and 6 represent temperature, conductivity and pressure respectively.

Further information can be found in the manufacturer's instrument specification .

BODC Current Meter Screening

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 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 following types of irregularity, each relying on visual detection in the time series plot, are amongst those which may be flagged as suspect:

If a large percentage of the data is affected by irregularities, deemed abnormal, then instead of flagging the individual suspect values, a caution may be documented. Likewise documents will highlight irregularities seen in the current vector scatter plots such as incongruous centre holes, evidence of mooring 'knock-down', abnormal asymmetry in tidally dominated records or gaps as when a range of speeds or directions go unregistered due to meter malfunction.

The term 'knock-down' refers to the situation when the 'drag' exerted on a mooring at high current speeds may cause instruments to tilt beyond the angle at which they are intended to operate. At this point the efficiency of the current sensors to accurately record the flow is reduced.

Inconsistencies between the characteristics of the data set and those of its neighbours are sought, and where necessary, documented. This covers inconsistencies in 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.

RAPIDMOC/MOCHA Current Meter data processing document

This document outlines the procedures undertaken to process and quality assure current meter data collected under the RAPIDMOC and MOCHA projects.

Originator's processing

The raw data are downloaded from the instrument and converted to ASCII format.

Once in ASCII format the data are corrected for the following -

A 40 hour low pass filter is also applied to the data.

Calculating and applying calibrations

Manufacturers calibrations are applied.

Quality Control

Data were visually inspected for out-lying data and instrument electrical spikes removed.

BODC processing

Data are received after quality checks have been made and calibrations have been applied. The data files are submitted in ASCII format as one file per instrument.

Once the submitted data files are safely archived, the data undergo reformatting and banking procedures:

Parameter mapping

The following describes the parameters contained in the originator's files and their mapping to BODC parameter codes:

Identifier Unit Definition BODC parameter code Units Unit conversion Comments
YY year Year AADYAA01 days - Combined with MM and DD to form a date and transferred
MM month Month AADYAA01 days - Combined with MM and DD to form a date and transferred
DD day Day AADYAA01 days - Combined with MM and DD to form a date and transferred
HH hour Decimal hours AAFDZZ01 days /24 Transferred
T °C Temperature TEMPPR01 °C - Transferred
P dbar Pressure PRSTPR01 dbar - Transferred
U cm/s Eastward velocity LCEWEL01 cm/s - Transferred
V cm/s Northward velocity LCNSEL01 cm/s - Transferred

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


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:

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:


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)

RAPID- Will the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation Halt? (RAPID-WATCH)

RAPID-WATCH (2007-2014) is a continuation programme of the Natural Environment Research Council's (NERC) Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) programme. It aims to deliver a robust and scientifically credible assessment of the risk to the climate of UK and Europe arising from a rapid change in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). The programme will also assess the need for a long-term observing system that could detect major MOC changes, narrow uncertainty in projections of future change, and possibly be the start of an 'early warning' prediction system.

The effort to design a system to continuously monitor the strength and structure of the North Atlantic MOC is being matched by comparative funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for the existing collaborations started during RAPID for the observational arrays.

Scientific Objectives

This work will be carried out in collaboration with the Hadley Centre in the UK and through international partnerships.

Mooring Arrays

The RAPID-WATCH arrays are the existing 26°N MOC observing system array (RAPIDMOC) and the WAVE array that monitors the Deep Western Boundary Current. The data from these arrays will work towards meeting the first scientific objective.

The RAPIDMOC array consists of moorings focused in three geographical regions (sub-arrays) along 26.5° N: Eastern Boundary, Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Western Boundary. The Western Boundary sub-array has moorings managed by both the UK and US scientists. The other sub-arrays are solely led by the UK scientists. The lead PI is Dr Stuart Cunningham of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.

The WAVE array consists of one line of moorings off Halifax, Nova Scotia. The line will be serviced in partnership with the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), Halifax, Canada. The lead PI is Dr Chris Hughes of the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool, UK.

All arrays will be serviced (recovered and redeployed) either on an annual or biennial basis using Research Vessels from the UK, US and Canada.

Modelling Projects

The second scientific objective will be addressed through numerical modelling studies designed to answer four questions:

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2010-03-31
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2011-04-27
Organization Undertaking ActivityNational Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierWB2#8
Platform Categorysubsurface mooring

RAPID Moored Instrument Rig WB2#8

This rig was deployed as part of the Western Boundary (WB) array of the MOCHA/RAPIDMOC project.

Deployment cruise RV Oceanus cruise OC459-1
Recovery cruise RV Knorr cruise KN200_4

The rig was anchored by railway wheels and kept erect by a 51" syntactic float at approximately 175 m depth and a 30" syntactic float at approximately 98 m depth, supplemented by groups of smaller floats distributed along the mooring.

Instruments deployed on the rig

Depth Instrument
75m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3223)
130m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#5239)
133m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#305)
210m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3228)
219m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#306)
360m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#5243)
421m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#445)
500m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3906)*
745m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#5244)
854m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#448)
948m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3230)
1150m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#6113)
1268m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#449)
1362m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3231)
1551m SonTek Argonaut MD current meter (#D295)
1560m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#6114)
1768m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3232)
1973m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#5247)
2077m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#450)
2338m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3233)
2827m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#6112)
3031m Aanderaa RCM11 current meter (#451)
3345m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3244)
3843m Sea-Bird SBE37 SMP MicroCAT (#3907)

*MicroCAT 3906 flooded so no data were obtained.

Other Series linked to this Data Activity - 1097241 1082973 1083024 1083048 1082985 1097228 1082961 1083000 1097185 1097265 1082893 1097197 1082900 1083012 1097204 1097253 1082912 1082948 1083036 1082924 1082936 1082997


Cruise Name OC459-1
Departure Date 2010-03-23
Arrival Date 2010-04-04
Principal Scientist(s)Christopher S Meinen (NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory)
Ship RV Oceanus

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NameWestern Boundary Array
CategoryOffshore area
Latitude26° 37.50' N
Longitude73° 37.50' W
Water depth below MSL

RAPIDMOC/MOCHA Western Boundary (WB) Array

The Western Boundary Array defines a box in which moorings were deployed at the western side of the North Atlantic as part of the RAPIDMOC project and the collaborative project Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heatflux Array (MOCHA). The box region has latitudinal limits of 26° N to 27.5° N and longitudinal limits of 69.5° W to 77.5° W. Moorings have occupied this region since 2004 and are typically deployed for 6 to 18 months.

Moored data summary

Year Cruise ID Number of moorings Data types (number of instruments)
2004 D278 9 (6 RAPIDMOC, 3 MOCHA) ADCP (2), BPR (8), CM (29), MCTD (52), MMP (1)
2005 KN182_2 11 (6 RAPIDMOC, 5 MOCHA) ADCP (2), BPR (6), CM (27), MCTD (56)
2006 RB06-02, SJ14-06 11 (6 RAPIDMOC, 5 MOCHA) ADCP (1), BPR (3), CM (22), IES (7), MCTD (60)
2007 RB07-01 7 (7 RAPIDMOC) ADCP (1), BPR (4), CM (16), MCTD (47)
2008 SJ08-03 11 (8 RAPIDMOC, 3 MOCHA) ADCP (2), BPR (3), CM (40), MCTD (80)
2009 RB0901, D344, D345 16 (11 RAPIDMOC, 5 MOCHA) ADCP (2), BPR (5), CM (39), MCTD (91), DVS (1)
2010 OC459-1, RB1009 9 (8 RAPIDMOC, 1 MOCHA) ADCP (1), BPR (7), CM (23), MCTD (54)
2011 KN200-4 7 (7 RAPIDMOC, 6 MOCHA) ADCP (2), BPR (7), CM (43), MCTD (86), DVS (1), IES (1)
2012 RB1201, EN517, D382 24 (19 RAPIDMOC, 5 MOCHA) ADCP (3), BPR (19), CM (74), MCTD (130), IES(1)
2014 JC103 24 (9 RAPIDMOC) BPR (8), CM (22), MCTD (36)

Cruise data summary

During the cruises to service the moored array, a variety of data types are collected. The table below is a summary of these data. The number of CTD profiles performed on these cruises within the box region defined above is also included. Trans-Atlantic hydrographic CTD sections have also been performed since 2004 and are included in the table.

Cruise ID Cruise description Data types Number of CTD profiles performed within the box region
D277 Initial array deployment DIS, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 1
D278 Initial array deployment DIS, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 16
D279 Hydrographic section CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 31
KN182_2 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 64
RB0601 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 39
SJ14-06 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 33
RB07-01 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 36
SJ08-03 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 33
RB0901 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 35
D344 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 3
D345 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 24
OC459-1 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 9
OC459-2 Western Boundary Hydrographic section CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 27
D346 Hydrographic section CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SADCP, SURF 31
RB1009 WB4 service CTD, MET, SURF, NAV 2
KN200-4 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SURF 34
RB1201 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SURF 10
EN517 Array service CTD, DIS, LADCP, MET, NAV, SURF 31
D382 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SURF 8
JC103 Array service CTD, DIS, MET, NAV, SURF 7

Data type ID and description

Data type ID Description
ADCP Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
BATH Bathymetry
BPR Bottom Pressure Recorder
CM Current Meter
CTD Conductivity-Temperature-Depth profiler
DIS Discrete water bottle samples
DVS Doppler Volume sampler
IES Inverted Echo Sounder
LADCP Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
MET Meteorology
MCTD Moored Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensor
MOCTD Moored Conductivity-Temperature-Depth Oxygen sensor
MMP McLane Moored Profiler - profiling CTD and current meter
NAV Navigation
SADCP Shipborne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
SURF Sea surface data

Other Series linked to this Fixed Station for this cruise - 1082739 1082740 1082752 1082764 1082776 1082788 1082807 1082819 1082820 1082832 1082844 1082856 1082868 1082881 1082893 1082900 1082912 1082924 1082936 1082948 1082961 1082973 1082985 1082997 1083000 1083012 1083024 1083036 1083048 1083061 1083073 1083085 1083097 1083104 1083116 1083128 1083141 1097136 1097148 1097161 1097173 1097185 1097197 1097204 1097228 1097241 1097253 1097265 1097474 1097486 1097498 1097505 1097517 1097529 1097530 1137379 1137380 1137411 1137423 1137459 1137460 1137472 1137484

Other Cruises linked to this Fixed Station (with the number of series) - D278 (90) D344 (10) D345 (43) D346 (31) D382 (79) EN517 (11) JC103 (7) KN182_2 (87) KN200-4 (135) RB0602 (42) RB0701 (58) RB0901 (78) RB1009 (24) RB1201 (91) SJ-08-03 Leg 1 (39) SJ-08-03 Leg 2 (76) SJ-14-06 (62)

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