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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1676372

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Water sample data
Instrument Type
Niskin bottle  discrete water samplers
Instrument Mounting lowered unmanned submersible
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Ray Barlow
Originating Organization Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) OMEX I

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier DI217_CTD_PIGX_5:12822-1
BODC Series Reference 1676372

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1995-10-15 08:57
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval -

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 49.33595 N ( 49° 20.2' N )
Longitude 11.98820 W ( 11° 59.3' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.05 to 0.1 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 153.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 203.8 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 920.8 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 971.6 m
Sea Floor Depth 1124.6 m
Sea Floor Depth Source -
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Unspecified -
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum Unspecified -
Sea Floor Depth Datum Unspecified -


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
ADEPZZ011MetresDepth (spatial coordinate) relative to water surface in the water body
ALLOHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of alloxanthin {CAS 28380-31-6} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
BOTTFLAG1Not applicableSampling process quality flag (BODC C22)
BUTAHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of 19'-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
C1C2HPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of chlorophyll-c1+c2 per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
CHLBHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of chlorophyll-b {chl-b CAS 519-62-0} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
CLC3HPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of chlorophyll-c3 {chl-c3} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
CPHLHPP11Milligrams per cubic metreConcentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a CAS 479-61-8} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
DIADHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of diadinoxanthin {CAS 18457-54-0} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
FUCXHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of fucoxanthin {CAS 3351-86-8} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
HEXOHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of 19'-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin {CAS 60147-85-5} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
PERIHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of peridinin {CAS 33281-81-1} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
SAMPRFNM1DimensionlessSample reference number
ZEOXHPP11Nanograms per litreConcentration of zeaxanthin {CAS 144-68-3} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

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 Access Policy

Public domain 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.

The recommended acknowledgment is

"This study uses data from the data source/organisation/programme, provided by the British Oceanographic Data Centre and funded by the funding body."

Narrative Documents

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.

Pigments for cruises Belgica BG9309 and BG9322, Charles Darwin CD84, CD85 and CD85, RRS Discovery DI216 and DI217 and Valdivia VLD154

Document History

Converted from CDROM documentation.

Data Originator

Dr Ray Barlow, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK.

Sampling strategy and methodology

Water samples were either collected from water bottles deployed on a CTD rosette, bottles deployed on a hydrographic wire or taken from a continuous surface seawater supply.

1-2 litres of water were filtered through a 25mm GF/F filter, flash frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen until analysed either on board or back in the laboratory.

Pigment concentrations were determined by reverse phase HPLC following the protocols described in Barlow et al. (1993a). Frozen filters were extracted in 90% acetone, sonicated and centrifuged to remove debris. An aliquot (300 µl) of clarified extract was mixed with an equal volume of 1M ammonium acetate and 100 µl of this mixture was injected into a Shimazdu HPLC system incorporating a 3 micron C18 Pecosphere column (3.3 x 0.45 cm, Perkin Elmer) heated to 30 °C.

Pigments were separated by a linear binary gradient changing from 0% B to 100% B over 10 minutes, followed by an isocratic hold at 100% B for 7.5 minutes, at a flow rate of 1 ml per minute. Solvent A consisted of 80:20 (v/v) MeOH : ammonium acetate. Solvent B contained 60:40 (v/v) MeOH : acetone.

Chlorophylls and carotenoids were detected by absorbance at 440nm and phaeopigments by fluorescence detection at 405nm excitation, 670nm emission. Data collection and integration was performed with the Philips PU6000 chromatography software. Diavynyl chlorophyll a was determined on some samples using a C8 column as described by Barlow et al. (1996).

Pigments were identified and calibrated by comparison with retention times of pigments isolated from well-documented microalgal species in the Plymouth Culture Collection and with standards obtained from the Water Quality Institute, Denmark. Peak identity was further confirmed on selected samples by on-line diode array visible spectroscopy. Chlorophyll a and b were calibrated using authentic standards (Sigma Chemical Co.) in acetone and quantified spectrophotometrically using the extinction coefficients of Jeffrey and Humphrey (1975). Diavynyl chlorophyll a standard was obtained from R. Bidigare, University of Hawaii. Phaeopigment concentrations were estimated from peak areas and calibrations performed by simultaneous absorbance (667nm) and fluorescence detection of phaeopigments extracted from copepod and mussel faeces as detailed by Barlow et al. (1993b).

All pigments were supplied in units of ng/l. Chlorophyll a values were converted to mg/m3 by dividing by 1000 to unify units for this parameter in the database.

Comments on data quality

RRS Discovery DI217

The CTD pressure sensor gave rise to problems during this cruise and for the first three stations only wire out data were available. Whilst every effort has been made to correct the pressure channel and accurately match bottle firing pressures, the possibility for error should be borne in mind by users of the data.


Barlow, R.G., Mantoura, R.F.C., Gough, M.A. and Fileman, T.W., 1993a. Pigment signatures of the phytoplankton composition in the north-east Atlantic during the 1990 spring bloom. Deep Sea Res. II, 40, 459-477.

Barlow, R.G., Mantoura, R.F.C., Gough, M.A. and Fileman, T.W., 1993b. Phaeopigment distribution during the 1990 spring bloom in the north-east Atlantic. Deep Sea Res. I, 40, 2229-2242.

Barlow, R.G., Cummings, D.G., Mantoura, R.F.C. and Fileman, T.W., 1996. Pigment chemotaxonomic distributions of phytoplankton during summer in the western Mediterranean. Deep Sea Res. II, in press.

Holm-Hansen, O., Lorenzen, C.J., Holmes, R.W. and Strictland, J.D.H., 1965. Fluorometric determination of chlorophyll. J. Con. perm. int. Explor. 30, 3-15.

Jeffrey, S.W. and Humphrey, G.F., 1975. New spectrophotometric equations for determining chlorophylls a, b, c1 and c2 in higher plants, algae and natural phytoplankton. Biochem. Physiol. Pflan., 167, 191-194.

Lorenzen, C.J., 1967. Determination of chlorophyll and phaeopigments: spectrophotometric equations. Limnology and Oceanography, 12.

Lorenzen, C.J. and Jeffrey, S.W., 1978. Determination of chlorophyll in seawater. UNESCO Techn. Paper Mar Sci, 35.

Strickland, J.D.H., Parsons, T.R. (1972). A practical handbook of seawater analysis. Fish. Res. Bd. Can.,.167-311.

Tahey, T.M., Duineveld, G.C.A., Berghuis, E.M. and Helder, W., 1994. Relation between sediment-water fluxes of oxygen and silicate and faunal abundance at continental shelf, slope and deep-water stations in the North West Mediterranean. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 104, 119-130.

Thomsen. L., Graf, G., Martens, V. and Steen, E., 1994. An instrument for sampling water from the bottom nepheloid layer. Contin. Shelf Res., 14, 871-882.

Thomsen, L. and Graf, G., 1995. Benthic boundary layer characteristics of the continental margin of the western Barents Sea. Oceanologica Acta, 17/6, 597-607.

Wright, S.W., Jeffrey, S.W., Mantoura, R.F.C., Llewellyn, C.A., Bjornland, T., Repeta, D. and Welschmeyer, N., 1991. Improved HPLC method for the analysis of chlorophylls and carotenoids from marine phytoplankton. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 77, 183-196.

Project Information

Ocean Margin EXchange (OMEX) I


OMEX was a European multidisciplinary oceanographic research project that studied and quantified the exchange processes of carbon and associated elements between the continental shelf of western Europe and the open Atlantic Ocean. The project ran in two phases known as OMEX I (1993-1996) and OMEX II - II (1997-2000), with a bridging phase OMEX II - I (1996-1997). The project was supported by the European Union under the second and third phases of its MArine Science and Technology Programme (MAST) through contracts MAS2-CT93-0069 and MAS3-CT97-0076. It was led by Professor Roland Wollast from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and involved more than 100 scientists from 10 European countries.

Scientific Objectives

The aim of the Ocean Margin EXchange (OMEX) project was to gain a better understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes occurring at the ocean margins in order to quantify fluxes of energy and matter (carbon, nutrients and other trace elements) across this boundary. The research culminated in the development of quantitative budgets for the areas studied using an approach based on both field measurements and modeling.

OMEX I (1993-1996)

The first phase of OMEX was divided into sub-projects by discipline:

  • Physics
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Biological Processes
  • Benthic Processes
  • Carbon Cycling and Biogases

This emphasises the multidisciplinary nature of the research.

The project fieldwork focussed on the region of the European Margin adjacent to the Goban Spur (off the coast of Brittany) and the shelf break off Tromsø, Norway. However, there was also data collected off the Iberian Margin and to the west of Ireland. In all a total of 57 research cruises (excluding 295 Continuous Plankton Recorder tows) were involved in the collection of OMEX I data.

Data Availability

Field data collected during OMEX I have been published by BODC as a CD-ROM product, entitled:

  • OMEX I Project Data Set (two discs)

Further descriptions of this product and order forms may be found on the BODC web site.

The data are also held in BODC's databases and subsets may be obtained by request from BODC.

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1995-10-15
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1995-10-15
Organization Undertaking ActivitySouthampton Oceanography Centre (now National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierDI217_CTD_12822-1
Platform Categorylowered unmanned submersible

BODC Sample Metadata Report for DI217_CTD_12822-1

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
557136   10.00      154.00  155.50  153.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557137   10.00      205.30  206.80  203.80 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557399   10.00     1114.70 1116.20 1102.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557400   10.00     1014.20 1015.70 1003.40 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557401   10.00      811.70  813.20  803.50 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557402   10.00      609.50  611.00  603.70 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557403   10.00      508.40  509.90  503.80 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557404   10.00      407.60  409.10  404.10 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
557405   10.00      306.30  307.80  303.80 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 D217
Departure Date 1995-09-27
Arrival Date 1995-10-22
Principal Scientist(s)Richard Stephen Lampitt (Southampton Oceanography Centre)
Ship RRS Discovery

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: DI217_CTD_12822-1

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
1302610Water sample data1995-10-15 08:57:0049.33595 N, 11.9882 WRRS Discovery D217