Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1116130

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Water sample data
Instrument Type
Niskin bottle  discrete water samplers
SPX Bran+Luebbe colorimetric Autoanalyser 3  colorimeters; autoanalysers
Instrument Mounting research vessel
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Andy Rees
Originating Organization Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Processing Status QC in progress
Online delivery of data Download not available
Project(s) Oceans 2025 Theme 10 SO1:AMT

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier JC039_CTD_CTD066S_Rees_nuts
BODC Series Reference 1116130

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2009-11-06 06:50
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval -

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 4.05411 N ( 4° 3.2' N )
Longitude 27.69409 W ( 27° 41.6' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 1.7 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 199.3 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 3901.6 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 4099.2 m
Sea Floor Depth 4100.9 m
Sea Floor Depth Source -
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Variable common depth - All sensors are grouped effectively at the same depth, but this depth varies significantly during the series
Sensor or Sampling 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 CODERankUnitsTitle
ADEPZZ011MetresDepth (spatial coordinate) relative to water surface in the water body
BOTTFLAG1Not applicableSampling process quality flag (BODC C22)
FIRSEQID1DimensionlessBottle firing sequence number
NTRIAATX1Micromoles per litreConcentration of nitrite {NO2- CAS 14797-65-0} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis
NTRZAATX1Micromoles per litreConcentration of nitrate+nitrite {NO3+NO2} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis
PHOSAATX1Micromoles per litreConcentration of phosphate {PO43- CAS 14265-44-2} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis
ROSPOSID1DimensionlessBottle rosette position identifier
SAMPRFNM1DimensionlessSample reference number
SLCAAATX1Micromoles per litreConcentration of silicate {SiO44- CAS 17181-37-2} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis

Definition of BOTTFLAG

0The sampling event occurred without any incident being reported to BODC.
1The filter in an in-situ sampling pump physically ruptured during sample resulting in an unquantifiable loss of sampled material.
2Analytical evidence (e.g. surface water salinity measured on a sample collected at depth) indicates that the water sample has been contaminated by water from depths other than the depths of sampling.
3The feedback indicator on the deck unit reported that the bottle closure command had failed. General Oceanics deck units used on NERC vessels in the 80s and 90s were renowned for reporting misfires when the bottle had been closed. This flag is also suitable for when a trigger command is mistakenly sent to a bottle that has previously been fired.
4During the sampling deployment the bottle was fired in an order other than incrementing rosette position. Indicative of the potential for errors in the assignment of bottle firing depth, especially with General Oceanics rosettes.
5Water was reported to be escaping from the bottle as the rosette was being recovered.
6The bottle seals were observed to be incorrectly seated and the bottle was only part full of water on recovery.
7Either the bottle was found to contain no sample on recovery or there was no bottle fitted to the rosette position fired (but SBE35 record may exist).
8There is reason to doubt the accuracy of the sampling depth associated with the sample.
9The bottle air vent had not been closed prior to deployment giving rise to a risk of sample contamination through leakage.

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 Quality Report - see processing documentation

Data quality information is included in the general documentation for this series. Please read.

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

SPX Bran+Luebbe Autoanalyser 3

The instrument uses continuous flow analysis (CFA) with a continuous stream of material divided by air bubbles into discrete segments in which chemical reactions occur. The continuous stream of liquid samples and reagents are combined and transported in tubing and mixing coils. The tubing passes the samples from one apparatus to the other with each apparatus performing different functions, such as distillation, dialysis, extraction, ion exchange, heating, incubation, and subsequent recording of a signal.

An essential principle of the system is the introduction of air bubbles. The air bubbles segment each sample into discrete packets and act as a barrier between packets to prevent cross contamination as they travel down the length of the tubing. The air bubbles also assist mixing by creating turbulent flow (bolus flow), and provide operators with a quick and easy check of the flow characteristics of the liquid.

Samples and standards are treated in an exactly identical manner as they travel the length of the tubing, eliminating the necessity of a steady state signal, however, since the presence of bubbles create an almost square wave profile, bringing the system to steady state does not significantly decrease throughput and is desirable in that steady state signals (chemical equilibrium) are more accurate and reproducible.

The autoanalyzer can consist of different modules including a sampler, pump, mixing coils, optional sample treatments (dialysis, distillation, heating, etc), a detector, and data generator. Most continuous flow analyzers depend on color reactions using a flow through colorimeter, however other methods have been developed that use ISE, flame photometry, ICAP, fluorometry, and so forth.

More details can be found in the manufacturer's introduction to autoanalysers andinstrument description.

Niskin Bottle

The Niskin bottle is a device used by oceanographers to collect subsurface seawater samples. It is a plastic bottle with caps and rubber seals at each end and is deployed with the caps held open, allowing free-flushing of the bottle as it moves through the water column.

Standard Niskin

The standard version of the bottle includes a plastic-coated metal spring or elastic cord running through the interior of the bottle that joins the two caps, and the caps are held open against the spring by plastic lanyards. When the bottle reaches the desired depth the lanyards are released by a pressure-actuated switch, command signal or messenger weight and the caps are forced shut and sealed, trapping the seawater sample.

Lever Action Niskin

The Lever Action Niskin Bottle differs from the standard version, in that the caps are held open during deployment by externally mounted stainless steel springs rather than an internal spring or cord. Lever Action Niskins are recommended for applications where a completely clear sample chamber is critical or for use in deep cold water.

Clean Sampling

A modified version of the standard Niskin bottle has been developed for clean sampling. This is teflon-coated and uses a latex cord to close the caps rather than a metal spring. The clean version of the Levered Action Niskin bottle is also teflon-coated and uses epoxy covered springs in place of the stainless steel springs. These bottles are specifically designed to minimise metal contamination when sampling trace metals.


Bottles may be deployed singly clamped to a wire or in groups of up to 48 on a rosette. Standard bottles have a capacity between 1.7 and 30 L, while Lever Action bottles have a capacity between 1.7 and 12 L. Reversing thermometers may be attached to a spring-loaded disk that rotates through 180° on bottle closure.

AMT19 (JC039) Micro-molar nutrient measurements from CTD bottle samples

Originator's Protocol for Data Acquisition and Analysis

Water samples were taken from the Sea-Bird CTD rosette system. They were sub-sampled into acid-clean 60 ml HDPE (nalgene) sample bottles. Analysis for nutrients was completed within 3-4 hours of sampling in all cases. Clean handling techniques were employed to avoid contamination of the samples.

The main nutrient analyser was a 5-channel Bran and Luebbe AAIII segmented flow autoanalyser. The analytical chemical methodologies used were according to Brewer and Riley (1965) for nitrate, Grasshoff (1976) for nitrite and Kirkwood (1989) for phosphate and silicate.

References Cited

Brewer P.G. and Riley J.P., 1965. The automatic determination of nitrate in sea water. Deep-Sea Research, 12, 765-772.

Grasshoff K., 1976. Methods of seawater analysis. Verlag Chemie, Weiheim: 317 pp.

Kirkwood D.S., 1989. Simultaneous determination of selected nutrients in seawater. ICES CM1989/C:29, 12pp.

Instrumentation Description

Not relevant to this data set.

BODC Data Processing Procedures

Data were submitted to BODC in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format and saved to the BODC archive with reference PML100283. Sample metadata were checked against information held in the database, there were a few minor discrepancies. Cast 2 had a depth of 200m provided for bottle 2 where this bottle was fired at 100m and no bottle was fired at 200m for this cast. Casts 26 and 47 had typos for two sample depths where a 1 had been prefixed onto the correct depth, these were corrected based on the rosette bottle number. Cast 69 had a depth of 175m provided for bottle 3 when this bottle was fired at 150m and no bottle sampled at 175m for this cast. For cast 54 there were a number of discrepancies between the log sheet and spreadsheet depth/rosette position combinations, from the logsheets the wrong rosette bottle sequence had been entered but the depths were correct.

No unit conversions were necessary as the units the data were supplied in the files matched the units for the parameter codes in the BODC Parameter Dictionary. The dataset was loaded to the database following BODC protocols.

A parameter mapping table is provided below;

Originator's Parameter Units Description BODC Parameter Code Units Comments
Nitrate+Nitrite (AAIII) µmol l-1 Concentration of nitrate+nitrite {NO3+NO2} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis NTRZAATX µmol l-1 -
Nitrite (AAIII) µmol l-1 Concentration of nitrite {NO2} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis NTRIAATX µmol l-1 -
Phosphate (AAIII) µmol l-1 Concentration of phosphate {PO4} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis PHOSAATX µmol l-1 -
Silicate (AAIII) µmol l-1 Concentration of silicate {SiO4} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by colorimetric autoanalysis SLCAAATX µmol l-1 -

Data Quality Report

Data provided were quality checked by originator and flagged accordingly. There were a number of data points flagged suspect by the originator due excessive noise in the values.

Measurement precision information from data originators: Samples in the database with a flag of "<" had concentrations below the specified detection limits.

Problem Report

Not applicable for this dataset.

Project Information

Oceans 2025 Theme 10, Sustained Observation Activity 1: The Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT)

The Atlantic Meridional Transect has been operational since 1995 and through the Oceans 2025 programme secures funding for a further five cruises during the period 2007-2012. The AMT programme began in 1995 utilising the passage of the RRS James Clark Ross between the UK and the Falkland Islands southwards in September and northwards in April each year. Prior to Oceans 2025 the AMT programme has completed 18 cruises following this transect in the Atlantic Ocean. This sustained observing system aims to provide basin-scale understanding of the distribution of planktonic communities, their nutrient turnover and biogenic export in the context of hydrographic and biogeochemical provinces of the North and South Atlantic Oceans.

The Atlantic Meridional Transect Programme is an open ocean in situ observing system that will:

The specific objectives are:

The measurements taken and experiments carried out on the AMT cruises will be closely linked to Themes 2 and 5. The planned cruise track also allows for the AMT data to be used in providing spatial context to the Sustained Observation Activities at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Ocean Observatory (SO2) and the Western Channel Observatory (SO10).

More detailed information on this Work Package is available at pages 6 - 9 of the official Oceans 2025 Theme 10 document: Oceans 2025 Theme 10


Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2009-11-06
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2009-11-06
Organization Undertaking ActivityPlymouth Marine Laboratory
Country of OrganizationGermany
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierJC039_CTD_CTD066S
Platform Categorylowered unmanned submersible

BODC Sample Metadata Report for JC039_CTD_CTD066S

Sample reference number Nominal collection volume(l) Bottle rosette position Bottle firing sequence number Minimum pressure sampled (dbar) Maximum pressure sampled (dbar) Depth of sampling point (m) Bottle type Sample quality flag Bottle reference Comments
229788   20.00 1 1  200.80  201.80  199.30 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229789   20.00 2 2  200.90  201.90  199.40 Niskin bottle Bottle leak    
229790   20.00 3 3  150.40  151.40  149.30 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229791   20.00 4 4  124.60  125.60  123.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229792   20.00 5 5  109.60  110.60  108.70 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229793   20.00 6 6   94.40   95.40   93.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported   Deep Chla Max
229794   20.00 7 7   94.30   95.30   93.50 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229795   20.00 8 8   94.40   95.40   93.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229796   20.00 9 9   94.30   95.30   93.50 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229797   20.00 10 10   69.20   70.20   68.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported   Nominal light depth: 3%
229798   20.00 11 11   54.20   55.20   53.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported   Nominal light depth: 7%
229799   20.00 12 12   54.20   55.20   53.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229800   20.00 13 13   39.60   40.60   39.10 Niskin bottle Bottle misfire    
229801   20.00 14 14   39.40   40.40   38.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229802   20.00 15 15   24.20   25.20   23.80 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229803   20.00 16 16   24.30   25.30   23.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229804   20.00 17 17   24.20   25.20   23.80 Niskin bottle Bottle leak    
229805   20.00 18 18   24.20   25.20   23.80 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229806   20.00 19 19   14.30   15.30   14.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229807   20.00 20 20   14.20   15.20   13.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229808   20.00 21 21    2.00    3.00    1.70 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229809   20.00 22 22    1.90    2.90    1.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229810   20.00 23 23    2.00    3.00    1.70 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
229811   20.00 24 24    1.90    2.90    1.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    

Please note:the supplied parameters may not have been sampled from all the bottle firings described in the table above. Cross-match the Sample Reference Number above against the SAMPRFNM value in the data file to identify the relevant metadata.

Related Data Activity activities are detailed in Appendix 1


Cruise Name JC039 (AMT19, JC040)
Departure Date 2009-10-13
Arrival Date 2009-12-01
Principal Scientist(s)Andrew Rees (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)
Ship RRS James Cook

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
Q value below limit of quantification

Appendix 1: JC039_CTD_CTD066S

Related series for this Data Activity are presented in the table below. Further information can be found by following the appropriate links.

If you are interested in these series, please be aware we offer a multiple file download service. Should your credentials be insufficient for automatic download, the service also offers a referral to our Enquiries Officer who may be able to negotiate access.

Series IdentifierData CategoryStart date/timeStart positionCruise
1630478Water sample data2009-11-06 06:50:004.05411 N, 27.69409 WRRS James Cook JC039 (AMT19, JC040)
1889723Water sample data2009-11-06 06:50:004.05411 N, 27.69409 WRRS James Cook JC039 (AMT19, JC040)