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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1816414

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
Benthos PSA-916T Sonar Altimeter  altimeters
WET Labs {Sea-Bird WETLabs} C-Star transmissometer  transmissometers
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 Netherlands
Originator Dr Micha Rijkenberg
Originating Organization Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) GEOTRACES

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier UC373031
BODC Series Reference 1816414

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2013-07-16 06:52
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval 1.0 decibars

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.02749 N ( 43° 1.6' N )
Longitude 33.73077 E ( 33° 43.8' E )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 4.96 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 2167.05 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 33.44 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 2195.54 m
Sea Floor Depth 2200.5 m
Sea Floor Depth Source DATAHEAD
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 Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
ACYCAA011DimensionlessSequence number
ATTNDR011per metreAttenuation (red light wavelength) per unit length of the water body by 25cm path length red light transmissometer
CPHLPS011Milligrams 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 and calibration against sample data
DOXMZZXX1Micromoles per kilogramConcentration of oxygen {O2 CAS 7782-44-7} per unit mass of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase]
POTMCV011Degrees CelsiusPotential temperature of the water body by computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm
PRESPR011DecibarsPressure (spatial coordinate) exerted by the water body by profiling pressure sensor and correction to read zero at sea level
PSALCC011DimensionlessPractical salinity of the water body by CTD and computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm and calibration against independent measurements
SIGTPR011Kilograms per cubic metreSigma-theta of the water body by CTD and computation from salinity and potential temperature using UNESCO algorithm
TEMPCC011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the water body by CTD and verification against independent measurements

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

GEOTRACES - data access conditions

Access to this data is currently restricted and it is not available via BODC's normal delivery mechanisms.

GEOTRACES data are published via the GEOTRACES IDP, available at:

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.

Benthos Programmable Sonar Altimeter (PSA) 916 and 916T

The PSA 916 is a submersible altimeter that uses the travel time of an acoustic signal to determine the distance of the instrument from a target surface. It provides the user with high resolution altitude or range data while simultaneously outputting data through a digital serial port. A wide beam angle provides for reliable and accurate range measurements under the most severe operational conditions. The instrument is electronically isolated to eliminate any potential signal interference with host instrument sensors. The PSA 916 is an upgrade of the PSA 900.

The standard model (PSA 916) has an operational depth range of 0 - 6000 m, while the titanium PSA 916T has a depth range of 0 - 10000 m. All other specifications for the two versions are the same.


Transmit frequency 200 kHz
Transmit pulse width 250 µs
Beam pattern 14° conical
Pulse repetition rate

internal selection: 5 pps

external selection: up to 5 pps- user controlled


100 m full scale

1.0 m guaranteed minimum

0.8 m typical


1 cm for RS232 output

2.5 cm for analog output

Operating depth 6000 m (PSA 916) or 10000 m (PSA 916T)

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheets for the PSA 916 and the PSA 916T.

Instrument Description

The Ultra Clean CTD system

The system consists of 3 major modules:

  • A box-shaped titanium CTD frame with 24 sampling bottles made of PVDF and titanium
  • A clean air container for contamination-free (sub)sampling
  • A special deep sea winch with an iron-free Super Aramid CTD cable

Further details on the Ultra Clean CTD system can be found on page 26 of thecruise report

The system consists of a SBE9plus with a SBE5T pump and a SBE11plus V2 Deck Unit with the use of the following additional sensors:

Sensor Model Serial number Calibration date Comments
Pressure Digiquartz Paroscientific 127486 17-Apr-2013 -
Conductivity sensor SBE 4 040995 20-Dec-2012 -
Temperature sensor SBE 3plus 032211 06-Apr-2012 -
Dissolved oxygen SBE 43 430350 20-Dec-2012 -
Fluorometer Chelsea Aquatracka MK III 088-026 03-Feb-2012 -
Beam attenuation Wetlabs CStar transmissometer 1406 24-Feb-2011 -

For bottom-detection 2 devices were installed: a Benthos PSA-916 altimeter and a bottom switch with a weight on a 10 metre rope.

The Large Volume CTD system

The CTD system consists of a SBE9plus underwater unit with a a SBE5T underwater pump and a SBE11plus V2 deck unit, with the use of the following additional sensors:

Sensor Model Serial number Calibration date Comments
Pressure Digiquartz Paroscientific 53978 05-Jan-2009 -
Conductivity sensor SBE 4 043035 09-Jan-2013 -
Temperature sensor SBE 3plus 032118 09-Jan-2013 -
Dissolved oxygen SBE 43 431141 02-Feb-2013 -
Fluorometer Chelsea Aquatracka MK III 088-008 28-Feb-2013 -
Beam attenuation Wetlabs CStar transmissometer CST-1112DR 27-Mar-2012 -

For bottom detection two devices were installed: A Benthos PSA-916 altimeter and a bottom switch with a weight on a 10 metre rope. For further details on the CTD please see page 27 of thecruise report.

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.

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.

WETLabs C-Star transmissometer

This instrument is designed to measure beam transmittance by submersion or with an optional flow tube for pumped applications. It can be used in profiles, moorings or as part of an underway system.

Two models are available, a 25 cm pathlength, which can be built in aluminum or co-polymer, and a 10 cm pathlength with a plastic housing. Both have an analog output, but a digital model is also available.

This instrument has been updated to provide a high resolution RS232 data output, while maintaining the same design and characteristics.


Pathlength 10 or 25 cm
Wavelength 370, 470, 530 or 660 nm

~ 20 nm for wavelengths of 470, 530 and 660 nm

~ 10 to 12 nm for a wavelength of 370 nm

Temperature error 0.02 % full scale °C-1
Temperature range 0 to 30°C
Rated depth

600 m (plastic housing)

6000 m (aluminum housing)

Further details are available in the manufacturer's specification sheet or user guide.

BODC Processing


The data from PE373 arrived at BODC as 39 ASCII files (11 standard CTD casts and 28 trace metal CTD casts). Data were reformatted to BODC internal QXF format. The following table shows how the variables within the ASCII files were mapped to the appropriate BODC parameter codes.

Originator's Parameter Name Units Description BODC Parameter Code Units Comments
CTDPRS dbar Pressure of water body on profiling pressure sensor PRESPR01 dbar -
CTDTMP °C Temperature of water column by CTD TEMPCC01 °C Calibrated against a SBE35 temperature sensor
CTDSAL - Practical salinity of the water body by CTD PSALCC01 - Generated by Sea-Bird software from CTD temperature and conductivity data and calibrated against discrete samples
THETA °C THETA potential temperature - - Derived parameter, so not transferred
GAMMA kg/m3 Potential density anomaly (Sigma-theta of the water body by CTD) SIGTPR01 kg/m3 Calculated by NIOZ
CTDOXY µmol/kg Dissolved oxygen concentration from SBE 43 sensor and calibrated against discrete samples DOXMZZXX µmol/kg -
FLUOR µg/l Concentration of chlorophyll-a from an in-situ chlorophyll fluorometer CPHLPS01 mg/m3 Manufacturer's calibration applied and calibrated against discrete samples
ATTCOEF 1/m Attenuance (red light wavelength) per unit length of the water body ATTNDR01 1/m -

BODC assigned each CTD event with a unique identifier (OID) based on the originator's event log. OID was assembled from the originator's station, cast number and cast type i.e. 01_01_UCC (station_cast_cast type).

Definition of CAST TYPE:

  • ROS - CTD with 25 dm3 bottle in rosette sampler
  • UCC - CTD with 27 dm3 bottles in Ultra Clean frame


Reformatted CTD data were visualised using the in-house graphical editor EDSERPLO. Quality control flags were applied to data as necessary. Chlorophyll data generally not present below ~90m for all casts except RS373082, UC373064 and UC373121 (BODC identifiers 1816291, 1816506 and 1816647 respectively).

Originator's Data Processing

Sampling Strategy

During the cruise two different CTD-systems were deployed.

  1. An Ultra Clean CTD-system for ultra clean trace metal sampling (28 casts)
  2. A Large Volume CTD for almost all the other sampling like DIC and alkalinity, dissolved oxygen (DO) and phytoplankton (11 casts)

A total of 39 casts were carried out during the cruise.

The Ultra Clean CTD System

To avoid contamination, the frame of the Ultra Clean CTD (UCC) system was made of titanium and all the electronic pressure housings and other parts were made of titanium or clean plastics like Teflon, PVDF or POM. To prevent contamination and to keep the UCC safe and secure the UCC was at all times placed inside the clean air container (meeting class 100 clean-room specifications) when not in use during casts. Prior to a cast the frame was prepared inside that container and transported to the CTD-launching spot using a custom made aluminum pallet and a longbedded forklift. After the cast the UCC was immediately returned to the clean air container to avoid contamination of the equipment with grease, rust or smoke particles from the ship. After closing of the container the air treatment system starts to clean the air using HEPA-filters (meeting class 100 clean-room specifications after 15 minutes).

Data Processing

On the logging computer Seasoft for Windows was installed (Seasave V7.20 and SBE Data Processing V7.20). For calibration of the profiling thermometer (SBE3), a high-accuracy reference-thermometer (SBE35) was mounted.

Field Calibrations

For the in situ calibration of the profiling CTD-thermometers (SBE-3) a Seabird reference thermometer (type SBE35) was used. A first analysis of the temperature calibration data showed that both profiling thermometers performed well within the specifications: the accuracy was better than 1 mK with a standard deviation of 0.8 mK. The CTD samples were analyzed on board for salinity using a Guildline 8400B Autosal, calibrated by a OSIL standard batch P155, and used to calibrate the UCC salinity. The first analysis of the salinity data showed that the conductivity-sensor of the UCC system performed within the specifications. The difference between the Autosal-salinity and the UCC salinity was on average smaller than 0.001 with a standard deviation of 0.0005. The conductivity sensor of the 25L CTD showed a small offset of 0.004 in salinity. During the postprocessing the data was corrected.

After most of the casts from the 25L CTD, samples were taken for Winkler titrations in order to calibrate the Dissolved Oxygen sensors.

Further details on the originators processing can be found in the cruise report.

Project Information



GEOTRACES is an international programme sponsored by SCOR which aims to improve our understanding of biogeochemical cycles and large-scale distribution of trace elements and their isotopes (TEIs) in the marine environment. The global field programme started in 2009 and will run for at least a decade. Before the official launch of GEOTRACES, fieldwork was carried out as part of the International Polar Year (IPY)(2007-2009) where 14 cruises were connected to GEOTRACES.

GEOTRACES is expected to become the largest programme to focus on the chemistry of the oceans and will improve our understanding of past, present and future distributions of TEIs and their relationships to important global processes.

This initiative was prompted by the increasing recognition that TEIs are playing a crucial role as regulators and recorders of important biogeochemical and physical processes that control the structure and productivity of marine ecosystems, the dispersion of contaminants in the marine environment, the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and global climate.

Scientific Objectives

GEOTRACES mission is: To identify processes and quantify fluxes that control the distribution of key trace elements and isotopes in the ocean, and to establish the sensitivity of these distributions to changing environmental conditions.

Three overriding goals support the GEOTRACES mission

  • Determine ocean distributions of selected TEIs at all major ocean basins
  • Evaluate the sources, sinks, and internal cycling of these TEIs and thereby characterize more completely their global biogeochemical cycles
  • Provide a baseline distribution in the Polar Regions as reference for assessing past and future changes.

These goals will be pursued through complementary research strategies, including observations, experiments and modelling.


The central component of GEOTRACES fieldwork will be a series of cruises spanning all Ocean basins see map below.

BODC image

Three types of cruise are required to meet the goals set out by GEOTRACES. These are

  • Section cruises - These will measure all the key parameters (see below) over the full depth of the water column. The sections were discussed and approved by the International GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee at the basin workshops.
  • Process Studies - These will investigate a particular process relevant to the cycling of trace metal and isotopes. They must follow the "Criteria for Establishing GEOTRACES Process Studies" and be approved by the International GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee.
  • Cruises collecting GEOTRACES compliant data - These will collect some trace element or isotope data. They must follow the GEOTRACES Intercalibration and Data Management protocols


The IPY-GEOTRACES programme comprised of 14 research cruises on ships from 7 nations; Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Japan and Russia. The cruises will not be classified in the same way as the full GEOTRACES programme since the intercalibration protocols and data management protocols had not been established before the start of the IPY. But IPY-GEOTRACES data will still be quality controlled by GDAC and in the majority of cases verified versus Intercalibration standards or protocols.

Key parameters

The key parameters as set out by the GEOTRACES science plan are as follows: Fe, Al, Zn, Mn, Cd, Cu; 15N, 13C; 230Th, 231Pa; Pb isotopes, Nd isotopes; stored sample, particles, aerosols.


Data Activity or Cruise Information


Cruise Name PE373 (64PE373, GA04N)
Departure Date 2013-07-13
Arrival Date 2013-07-25
Principal Scientist(s)Micha J A Rijkenberg (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Ship RV Pelagia

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
B nominal value
Q value below limit of quantification