Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1792164

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category CTD or STD cast
Instrument Type
Sea-Bird SBE 43 Dissolved Oxygen Sensor  dissolved gas sensors
Sea-Bird SBE 911plus CTD  CTD; water temperature sensor; salinity sensor
Tritech PA-200 Altimeter  altimeters
Biospherical QCD-905L underwater PAR sensor  radiometers
Sea-Bird SBE 35 thermometer  water temperature sensor
Sea-Bird SBE 3plus (SBE 3P) temperature sensor  water temperature sensor
Sea-Bird SBE 4C conductivity sensor  salinity sensor
Chelsea Technologies Group Aquatracka III fluorometer  fluorometers
Paroscientific Digiquartz depth sensors  water pressure sensors
Instrument Mounting lowered unmanned submersible
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Robert Larter
Originating Organization British Antarctic Survey
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) GSAC

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier JR179-CTD002
BODC Series Reference 1792164

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2008-02-24 23:31
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval 1.0 decibars

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 61.30191 S ( 61° 18.1' S )
Longitude 67.89244 W ( 67° 53.5' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 3.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 54.0 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 3811.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 3862.0 m
Sea Floor Depth 3865.0 m
Sea Floor Depth Source GEBCO1401
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 Approximate - Depth is only approximate
Sea Floor Depth Datum Chart reference - Depth extracted from available chart


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
ACYCAA011DimensionlessSequence number
CNDCST011Siemens per metreElectrical conductivity of the water body by CTD
CPHLPR011Milligrams per cubic metreConcentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a CAS 479-61-8} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >unknown phase] by in-situ chlorophyll fluorometer
DOXYSU011Micromoles per litreConcentration of oxygen {O2 CAS 7782-44-7} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by Sea-Bird SBE 43 sensor and no calibration against sample data
IRRDUV011MicroEinsteins per square metre per secondDownwelling vector irradiance as photons of electromagnetic radiation (PAR wavelengths) in the water body by cosine-collector radiometer
OXYSZZ011PercentSaturation of oxygen {O2 CAS 7782-44-7} in the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase]
OXYVLTN11VoltsVoltage of instrument output by in-situ microelectrode
POPTDR011PercentTransmittance (red light wavelength) per 25cm of the water body by 25cm path length red light transmissometer
POTMCV011Degrees CelsiusPotential temperature of the water body by computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm
PRESPR011DecibarsPressure (spatial co-ordinate) exerted by the water body by profiling pressure sensor and corrected to read zero at sea level
PSALST011DimensionlessPractical salinity of the water body by CTD and computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm
SIGTPR011Kilograms per cubic metreSigma-theta of the water body by CTD and computation from salinity and potential temperature using UNESCO algorithm
TEMPST011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the water body by CTD or STD

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

Sea-Bird Dissolved Oxygen Sensor SBE 43 and SBE 43F

The SBE 43 is a dissolved oxygen sensor designed for marine applications. It incorporates a high-performance Clark polarographic membrane with a pump that continuously plumbs water through it, preventing algal growth and the development of anoxic conditions when the sensor is taking measurements.

Two configurations are available: SBE 43 produces a voltage output and can be incorporated with any Sea-Bird CTD that accepts input from a 0-5 volt auxiliary sensor, while the SBE 43F produces a frequency output and can be integrated with an SBE 52-MP (Moored Profiler CTD) or used for OEM applications. The specifications below are common to both.


Housing Plastic or titanium

0.5 mil- fast response, typical for profile applications

1 mil- slower response, typical for moored applications

Depth rating

600 m (plastic) or 7000 m (titanium)

10500 m titanium housing available on request

Measurement range 120% of surface saturation
Initial accuracy 2% of saturation
Typical stability 0.5% per 1000 h

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheet.

Instrument Description for JR20080221 (JR179)

CTD Unit and Auxiliary Sensors

The CTD unit comprised a Sea-Bird Electronics (SBE) 9 plus underwater unit, an SBE 11 plus deck unit, a 12-way SBE 32 carousel and 12 10 L Water Samplers. Attached to the CTD were two SBE 3P temperature sensors, two SBE 4C conductivity sensors, one Paroscientific Digiquartz pressure sensor, one SBE 43 dissolved oxygen sensor, one Biosperical PAR sensor, one Tritech Altimeter, one Chelsea Aquatracka MKIII fluorometer and one Chelsea Alphatracka MKII transmissometer.

The altimeter failed on the first CTD deployment but worked for all subsequent casts. The SBE35 temperature sensor failed to take readings for a number of bottle firings for casts 12, 13, 14, 15, 18 and 19.

Sensor unit Model Serial number Full specification Calibration dates (YYYY/MM/DD) Comments
CTD underwater unit SBE 9 plus 09P20391-0541 SBE 9 plus    
CTD deck unit SBE 11 plus 11P20391-0502 SBE 11 plus    
Carousel SBE 32 3215759-0173 12 Position Pylon SBE 32    
Pressure sensor Paroscientific Digiquartz 0541-75429 Paroscientific Digiquartz 2007/07/18  
Temperature sensor SBE 3P 03P-2366 SBE 03P 2007/07/18 Primary sensor
Temperature sensor SBE 3P 03P-2307 SBE 03P 2007/07/20 Secondary sensor
Temperature sensor SBE 35 3527735-0024 SBE 35   Independent sensor
Conductivity sensor SBE 4C 04-2289 SBE 04C 2007/07/17 Primary sensor
Conductivity sensor SBE 4C 04-2222 SBE 04C   Secondary sensor
Dissolved oxygen sensor SBE 43 0245 SBE 43 2007/06/12  
Altimeter PA 200/20-6K8 2130.26993 Altimeter PA200    
Irradiance sensor (DWIRR) QCD905L 7274 Biospherical QCD905L 2007/07/26 Measuring downwelling irradiance
Fluorometer Chelsea MKIII Aquatracka 088216 Chelsea MKII Aquatracka 2007/09/12  
Transmissometer Chelsea MKII Alphatracka CST-846DR C-Star 2005/03/29 25 cm path

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.

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.

Additional sensors

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.

SeaBird SBE35 Deep Ocean Standards Thermometer

The SBE 35 is a high precision thermometer that can be used in fixed point cells or at depths up to 6800 m. It is not affected by shock and vibration, allowing it to be used in calibration laboratories and for thermodynamic measurement of hydro turbine efficiency.

The SBE35 can be used with the SBE32 Carousel Water Sampler and with a real-time or autonomous CTD system. In this case, an SBE35 temperature measurement is collected each time a bottle is fired and the value is stored in EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), eliminating the need for reversing thermometers while providing a high accuracy temperature reading.

The SBE35 is standardized in water triple point (0.0100 °C) and gallium melting point (29.7646 °C) cells, following the methodology applied to the Standard-Grade Platinum Resistance Thermometer (SPRT). However, it does not need a resistance bridge, making it more cost-efficient than an SPRT.

Temperature is determined by applying an AC excitation to reference resistances and an ultrastable aged thermistor. Each of the resulting outputs is digitized by a 20-bit A/D converter. The AC excitation and ratiometric comparison uses a common processing channel, which removes measurement errors due to parasitic thermocouples, offset voltages, leakage currents and gain errors.


Measurement range -5 to 35°C
Accuracy 0.001°C
Typical stability 0.001°C year-1
Resolution 0.000025°C
Data storage up to 179 samples
Baud rate 300

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheet and manual.

Chelsea Technologies Group Aquatracka MKIII fluorometer

The Chelsea Technologies Group Aquatracka MKIII is a logarithmic response fluorometer. Filters are available to enable the instrument to measure chlorophyll, rhodamine, fluorescein and turbidity.

It uses a pulsed (5.5 Hz) xenon light source discharging along two signal paths to eliminate variations in the flashlamp intensity. The reference path measures the intensity of the light source whilst the signal path measures the intensity of the light emitted from the specimen under test. The reference signal and the emitted light signals are then applied to a ratiometric circuit. In this circuit, the ratio of returned signal to reference signal is computed and scaled logarithmically to achieve a wide dynamic range. The logarithmic conversion accuracy is maintained at better than one percent of the reading over the full output range of the instrument.

Two variants of the instrument are available, both manufactured in titanium, capable of operating in depths from shallow water down to 2000 m and 6000 m respectively. The optical characteristics of the instrument in its different detection modes are visible below:

Excitation Chlorophyll a Rhodamine Fluorescein Turbidity
Wavelength (nm) 430 500 485 440*
Bandwidth (nm) 105 70 22 80*
Emission Chlorophyll a Rhodamine Fluorescein Turbidity
Wavelength (nm) 685 590 530 440*
Bandwidth (nm) 30 45 30 80*

* The wavelengths for the turbidity filters are customer selectable but must be in the range 400 to 700 nm. The same wavelength is used in the excitation path and the emission path.

The instrument measures chlorophyll a, rhodamine and fluorescein with a concentration range of 0.01 µg l-1 to 100 µg l-1. The concentration range for turbidity is 0.01 to 100 FTU (other wavelengths are available on request).

The instrument accuracy is ± 0.02 µg l-1 (or ± 3% of the reading, whichever is greater) for chlorophyll a, rhodamine and fluorescein. The accuracy for turbidity, over a 0 - 10 FTU range, is ± 0.02 FTU (or ± 3% of the reading, whichever is greater).

Further details are available from the Aquatracka MKIII specification sheet.

Biospherical Instruments Log Quantum Cosine Irradiance Sensor QCD-905L

The QCD-905L is a submersible radiometer designed to measure irradiance over Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) wavelengths (400-700 nm). It features a cosine directional response when fully immersed in water.

The sensor is a blue-enhanced high stability silicon photovoltaic detector with dielectric and absorbing glass filter assembly, and produces a logarithmic output. Normal output range is -1 to 6 volts with 1 volt per decade. Typically, the instrument outputs 5 volts for full sunlight and has a minimum output of 0.001% full sunlight, where typical noon solar irradiance is 1.5 to 2 x 1017 quanta cm-2 s-1. The instrument can be calibrated with constants for µE cm-2 s-1 or quanta cm-2 s-1.

The QCD-905L can be coupled to a fixed range data acquisition system like a CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) profiler or current meter. It has an aluminium and PET housing, and a depth rating of 7000 m.


Wavelength 400 to 700 nm
Output range -1 to 6 V, with 1 V decade-1
Operating temperature -2 to 35°C
Depth range 0 - 7000 m

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's manual.

Tritech Digital Precision Altimeter PA200

This altimeter is a sonar ranging device that gives the height above the sea bed when mounted vertically. When mounted in any other attitude the sensor provides a subsea distance. It can be configured to operate on its own or under control from an external unit and can be supplied with simultaneous analogue and digital outputs, allowing them to interface to PC devices, data loggers, telemetry systems and multiplexers.

These instruments can be supplied with different housings, stainless steel, plastic and aluminum, which will limit the depth rating. There are three models available: the PA200-20S, PA200-10L and the PA500-6S, whose transducer options differ slightly.


Transducer options PA200-20S P200-10L PA500-6S
Frequency (kHz) 200 200 500
Beamwidth (°) 20 Conical 10 included conical beam 6 Conical
Operating range

1 to 100 m

0.7 to 50 m


0.3 to 50 m

0.1 to 10 m

Common specifications are presented below

Digital resolution 1 mm
Analogue resolution 0.25% of range
Depth rating 700 , 2000, 4000 and 6800 m
Operating temperature -10 to 40°C

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheet.

Originator's processing document for RRS James Clark Ross JR20080221 (JR179) CTD data

Sampling strategy

A total of 24 CTD casts were performed during JR20080221 (JR179), which sailed from Stanley, Falkland Islands on 21 February 2008 and docked in Stanley, Falkland Islands on 11 April 2008. The main objectives for this cruise were to perform biological studies and marine geological and geophysical investigations in the Amundsen and Bellinghausen Seas.

Data processing

For each cast the following raw data files were generated:

where NNN is the cast number for the CTD data series. The data were not processed by the originator.

Processing by BODC of RRS James Clark Ross JR20080221 (JR179) CTD data

Raw data were submitted to BODC in the form of SeaBird format. The following procedures were applied using the SBE Data Processing software (Version 7.23.2):

No further processing or calibrations were applied to these data. The final files in .cnv format were then transferred into BODC's internal NetCDF format and original variables were mapped to the appropiate BODC codes, as follows:

Original variable Units Descritpion BODC parameter code Units Comment
Time elapsed s       Variable not transferred
Pressure dbar Pressure (spatial co-ordinate) exerted by the water body by profiling pressure sensor and corrected to read zero at sea level PRESPR01 dbar  
Temperature 1 °C Temperature of the water body by CTD or STD TEMPST01 °C Primary sensor
Salinity 1 psu Practical salinity of the water body by CTD and computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm PSALST01    
Conductivity 1 s m-1 Electrical conductivity of the water body by CTD CNDCST01 s m-1 Primary sensor
Oxygen raw volt Instrument output (voltage) by microelectrode OXYVLTN1 volt  
Oxygen SBE43 ml l-1 Concentration of oxygen {O2 CAS 7782-44-7} per unit volume of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] by Sea-Bird SBE 43 sensor and no calibration against sample data DOXYSU01 µmol l-1 *44.66
Fluorescence µg l-1 Concentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a CAS 479-61-8} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >unknown phase] by in-situ chlorophyll fluorometer CPHLPR01 mg m-3 Equivalent units
Beam transmission % Transmittance (red light wavelength) per 25cm of the water body by 25cm path length red light transmissometer POPTDR01 %  
PAR/irradiance   Downwelling vector irradiance as photons (PAR wavelengths) in the water body by cosine-collector radiometer IRRDUV01 µE m-2 s-1 Equivalent units
    Potential temperature of the water body by computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm POTMCV01 °C Derived from PRESPR01, TEMPST01 and PSALST01
    Sigma-theta of the water body by CTD and computation from salinity and potential temperature using UNESCO algorithm SIGTPR01 kg m-3 Derived from PRESPR01, TEMPST01 and PSALST01
    Saturation of oxygen {O2 CAS 7782-44-7} in the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] OXYSZZ01 % Derived from PRESPR01, TEMPST01 and DOXYSU01

The reformatted data were visualised using the in-house EDSERPLO software. Suspect data were marked by adding an appropriate quality control flag, and missing data by setting the data to an appropriate value and applying the quality control flag.

Data from the secondary Temperature, Salinity and Conductivity sensors were also transferred but dropped following screening as there was no difference between the quality between the primary and secondary sensors. These channels as well as the derived parameters that were calculated from them are available upon request.

Project Information

Global Science in an Antarctic Context (GSAC)


GSAC is the British Antarctic Survey research programme from 2005 to 2009, it encompasses 8 programmes, including 18 projects as well as long-term monitoring and survey activities.

This programme was created to fulfill BAS vision of becoming, by 2012, the leading international centre making use of the of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean. This research programme consists of an integrated set of inter-disciplinary research, monitoring and survey activities designed to extract new knowledge from the Antarctic, provide information to policy makers and benefit society in general.

GSAC supports the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) strategy Science for a Sustainable Future and contributes to other programmes such as the World Climate Research programme, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research and the International Polar Year 2007-2009.

The programme's components are highly interconnected and its content makes full use of BAS Antarctic infrastructure and builds on previous BAS research, survey and monitoring, whilst also exploring new areas.

The programmes contributing to GSAC are:

More detail is provided in each programme document.

Glacial Retreat in Antarctica and Deglaciation of the Earth System (GRADES)


GRADES was designed to investigate the state and stability of the Antarctic ice sheet, and its results will contribute to a better prediction of how the WAIS contributes to sea level rise.

Throughout the project ice-sheet models will be developed and tested using newly acquired ice-sheets histories. These models will use satellite data, reconstruct ions of past states of the ice sheet and new data assimilation techniques.

This project has three components:

GRADES has links to other BAS programs like GEACEP, CACHE, ACES and COMPLEXITY.


Data Availability

The data produced during this project are available to the academic community.

Acronyms used in the text:

Quaternary West Antarctic Deglaciation (QWAD)


QWAD is one of the projects comprised by GRADES. It was created to integrate high-resolution marine studies with onshore records of deglaciation, provided by studies of past sea level changes, and dating of the times at which mountain peaks became exposed due to thinning of the ice sheet.

The methods involve advanced radiocarbon and cosmogenic dating technics and also modelling. This project has links to GRADES-IMAGE but will also use data collated in the BAS-led Antarctic glacio-geological database.


The main objectives include the investigation of five aspects of deglaciation:

Another objective is the production of an unified history of glacial retreat in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet (PAIS).

Data Restrictions

Data obtained on this project are available to BAS staff.

Data Activity or Cruise Information


Cruise Name JR20080221 (JR179)
Departure Date 2008-02-21
Arrival Date 2008-04-11
Principal Scientist(s)Peter Enderlein (British Antarctic Survey), Robert D Larter (British Antarctic Survey)
Ship RRS James Clark Ross

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