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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1193112

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Offshore sea floor pressure series
Instrument Type
Sea-Bird SBE 53 BPR Bottom Pressure Recorder  sea level recorders; water temperature sensor
Instrument Mounting subsurface mooring
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Chris Hughes
Originating Organization Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) RAPID-WAVE

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier W3LM#5/107061
BODC Series Reference 1193112

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2008-09-22 08:07
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2010-10-11 18:38
Nominal Cycle Interval 1800.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 38.83872 N ( 38° 50.3' N )
Longitude 69.18075 W ( 69° 10.8' W )
Positional Uncertainty Unspecified
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 3268.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 3268.0 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 1.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 1.0 m
Sea Floor Depth 3269.0 m
Sea Floor Depth Source DATAHEAD
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 Approximate - Depth is only approximate


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
AADYAA011DaysDate (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ011DaysTime (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
ACYCAA011DimensionlessSequence number
PPSRPS011MillibarsPressure (measured variable) exerted by the water body by fixed in-situ pressure sensor and expressed to unspecified datum by subtraction of a constant
PRSTRD011DecibarsPressure (residual) exerted by the water body plus atmosphere by fixed in-situ pressure sensor and subtraction of value predicted by tidal analysis without correction for drift
PRSTRS011DecibarsPressure (residual) exerted by the water body plus atmosphere by fixed in-situ pressure sensor and subtraction of value predicted by tidal analysis
TEMPPR011Degrees CelsiusTemperature 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

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

Sea-Bird SBE 53 BPR Bottom Pressure Recorder

The SBE 53 BPR is a water level recorder that boasts extremely high resolution,accuracy and stability. It combines a digiquartz pressure sensor, precision thermometer and optional conductivity sensor.

A description and specification of the instrument can be found in the manufacturer's datasheet.

RAPID WAVE bottom pressure mean offset: Series 1193112

The pressure anomaly for this pressure record was obtained by subtracting 345709 mbar from the absolute pressure recorded by the instrument.

RAPID WAVE bottom pressure data processing document

This document outlines the procedures undertaken to process and quality assure the Bottom Pressure data collected under the RAPID WAVE project.

Originator's processing

The raw data are downloaded from the instrument and converted to ASCII format. All processing is performed in Matlab.


Processing steps which are undertaken include

  • calculation of pressure anomaly from the pressure record by subtraction of a mean pressure. See the series-specific documents for further information.

  • tidal analysis performed by least-squares fitting to the good sections of each data series. Removal of diurnal and shorter duration tides, but not monthly or fortnightly tides.

  • calculation of residual pressure by subtracting the fitted tide from the pressure anomaly.

  • detrending the residual pressure (exponential plus linear trend removed following Watts and Kontoyiannis, J. Atm. Oceanic Tech. (7). 1990.

Quality control

Removal of suspect data cycles was performed by the originator. Suspect data included isolated anomalies, periods of instrumental noise or absent data. Flags were assigned to good series data (Flag=0), to data gaps which were filled by replacement data (plus bias and trend) from neighbouring pressure instruments (Flag=1) and instances of data gaps filled by linear interpolation of detided, detrended pressures (Flag=2).

BODC processing

The data files are submitted to BODC in ASCII format as one file per instrument. Once safely archived, the data undergo reformatting and banking procedures:

  • The data are transferred into a common format, a netCDF subset.

  • Data flags 1 are mapped to BODC replacement 'R' flags. Data flags 2 are mapped to BODC interpolated 'T' flags.

  • Standard parameter codes are assigned to each channel that accurately describe the data (see Parameter mapping section below).

  • Unit conversions are applied, if necessary, so that units are standardised (see Parameter mapping section below).

  • The data are screened visually and any spikes or instrument malfunctions can be clearly labelled with quality control flags.

  • Comprehensive documentation is prepared describing the collection, processing and quality of each data series.

  • Detailed metadata and documents are loaded to the database and linked to each series so that the information is readily available to future users.

Parameter mapping

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

Originator's variable Originator's units BODC parameter code BODC parameter definition BODC units Unit conversion Comments
Temperature deg C multiplied by 100 TEMPPR01 Temperature of the water body deg C /100 -
Observed pressure (above a reference value) millibars PPSRPS01 Pressure (measured variable) exerted by the water body by fixed in-situ pressure sensor and expressed to unspecified datum by subtraction of a constant millibars - Pressure offsets/reference values for each series are documented elsewhere
Residual pressure millibars PRSTRD01 Pressure (residual) exerted by the water body plus atmosphere by fixed in-situ pressure sensor and subtraction of value predicted by tidal analysis without correction for drift decibars /100 -
Predicted pressure millibars Data not transferred by BODC - - - -
Trend fitted to pressure millibars Data not transferred by BODC - - - -
Detrended residual pressure millibars PRSTRS01 Pressure (residual) exerted by the water body plus atmosphere by fixed in-situ pressure sensor and subtraction of value predicted by tidal analysis decibars /100 -

Project Information

RAPID Western Atlantic Variability Experiment (WAVE)


The RAPID WAVE project began in 2004 as an observational component of the U.K Natural Environment Research Council's RAPID Climate Change Programme in the western North Atlantic Ocean. In 2008, funding to continue RAPID WAVE was secured through the continuation programme, RAPID-WATCH, which is due to end in 2014.

The RAPID WAVE team brings together scientists at the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool. Between 2004 and 2010, the RAPID WAVE team also contributed to the Line W mooring array, joining colleagues from the U.S. Line W is a U.S-led initiative used to monitor the North Atlantic Ocean's deep western boundary current whilst being funded through the U.S National Science Foundation and has been active since October 2001. It brings together scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO). Users of these data are referred to the Line W Project Website for more information.

In 2007, further collaboration was established with scientists at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO). This arrangement was formalised and continues under RAPID-WATCH. Smaller scale collaboration with scientists at the Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia (IEO) during RAPID-WATCH saw additional RAPID WAVE observational work in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean. This work commenced in 2009 as part of the RAPID WAVE RAPIDO campaign.

Scientific Rationale

The primary aim of the RAPID WAVE project is to develop an observing system that will identify the propagation of overturning signals, from high to low latitudes, along the western margin of the North Atlantic. It specifically aims to monitor temporal changes in the Deep Western Boundary Current and reveal how coherent the changes are along the slope. Ultimately it is envisaged that this will enable scientists to develop a better understanding of larger-scale overturning circulation in the Atlantic, and its wider impacts on climate.


The fieldwork aspect of the project was to deploy arrays of Bottom Pressure Recorders (BPRs) and CTD moorings along specified satellite altimeter groundtracks off the eastern continental slope of Canada and the United States. In 2004, fieldwork focused on three array lines. Line A was established heading south west from the Grand Banks, whilst the Line B array ran south east on the continental slope of Nova Scotia. The third line, Line W, was an established hydrographic array on the continental slope of New England, serviced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), to which RAPID WAVE contributed BPR instrumentation.

The original intention was that each array would be serviced by a cruise every two years. However, following a very poor return rate of instrumentation during the first servicing cruise of Lines A and B in 2006, this plan was modified significantly, and the decision made to abandon work on Line A. In 2007, additional logistical support from Canada's Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) enabled Line B to be serviced again after just one year of deployment, with a much improved recovery record.

The transition from RAPID to RAPID-WATCH funding marked significant changes to the RAPID WAVE observational system. Line B was abandoned and a joint array with BIO, known as the RAPID Scotia Line, to the south west was developed. This line receives annual servicing by BIO, with cruise participation from the RAPID WAVE team.

The servicing of RAPID WAVE BPRs on Line W remained a biennial activity during the RAPID and RAPID-WATCH programmes.

A small number of BPR deployments have also taken place off the coast of Spain as part of the RAPIDO element of RAPID WAVE.


Types of instruments and measurements:

  • Moored BPRs
  • Moored CTD/CT loggers
  • Moored current meters (RAPID-WATCH)
  • Moored ADCPs (RAPID-WATCH)
  • Shipboard measurements: CTD, underway, salinity, LADCP, ADCP


Collaborator Organisation Project
Prof. Chris M. Hughes National Oceanography Centre, U.K RAPID WAVE
Dr. Miguel Angel Morales Maqueda National Oceanography Centre, U.K RAPID WAVE
Dr. Shane Elipot National Oceanography Centre, U.K RAPID WAVE
Dr. John M. Toole Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S Line W
Dr. Igor Yashayaev Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada -

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

  • To deliver a decade-long time series (2004-2014) of calibrated and quality-controlled measurements of the Atlantic MOC from the RAPID-WATCH arrays.
  • To exploit the data from the RAPID-WATCH arrays and elsewhere to determine and interpret recent changes in the Atlantic MOC, assess the risk of rapid climate change, and investigate the potential for predictions of the MOC and its impacts on climate.

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:

  • How can we exploit data from the RAPID-WATCH arrays to obtain estimates of the MOC and related variables?
  • What do the observations from the RAPID-WATCH arrays and other sources tell us about the nature and causes of recent changes in the Atlantic Ocean?
  • What are the implications of RAPID-WATCH array data and other recent observations for estimates of the risk due to rapid change in the MOC?
  • Could we use RAPID-WATCH and other observations to help predict future changes in the MOC and climate?

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2008-09-21
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2010-10-11
Organization Undertaking ActivityProudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierW3LM#5
Platform Categorysubsurface mooring

RAPID Moored Instrument Rig W3LM#5

Deployment cruise RV Endeavor EN454
Recovery cruise RV Atlantis 2010


All nominal depths have been sourced from the deployment cruise report.

Depth Platform and Instrument
3269 m Sea-Bird SBE53 BPR (DQ107061)


Cruise Name EN454
Departure Date 2008-09-18
Arrival Date 2008-09-24
Principal Scientist(s)John M Toole (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Department of Physical Oceanography)
Ship RV Endeavor

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NameLine W Site W3
CategoryOffshore location
Latitude38° 50.70' N
Longitude69° 11.34' W
Water depth below MSL3245.0 m

Line W Mooring Site W3

This fixed station forms part of the Line W mooring array located to the south of New England, U.S. The array is maintained by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with collaboration from the RAPID WAVE project team between 2004 and 2010.

Period of collection May 2004 - October 2010

Site occupations during RAPID programme involvement

Mooring identifier Mooring type Deployment date Recovery date Parameters measured
W3RL#1 * RapidLander 01 May 2004    - Bottom pressure and temperature
W3LM#1 Line Mooring 01 May 2004 28 Apr 2005 Temperature, conductivity, salinity, pressure and currents
W3LM#2 Line Mooring 28 Apr 2005 10 Apr 2006 Temperature, conductivity, salinity, pressure and currents
W3LM#3 Line Mooring 13 Apr 2006 10 Apr 2007 Temperature, conductivity, salinity, pressure and currents
W3LM#4 Line Mooring 10 Apr 2007 22 Sep 2008 Temperature, conductivity, salinity, pressure and currents
W3LM#5 Line Mooring 21 Sep 2008 11 Oct 2010 Temperature, conductivity, salinity, bottom pressure and currents

* Mooring lost

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