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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1888178

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 Alex Poulton
Originating Organization Southampton Oceanography Centre (now National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) Atlantic Meridional Transect Phase2(AMT)

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier AMT15_CTD_PIGX_215:CTD018s
BODC Series Reference 1888178

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2004-09-25 03:55
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval -

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 35.09471 N ( 35° 5.7' N )
Longitude 20.84710 W ( 20° 50.8' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.05 to 0.1 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 3.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 151.7 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 5103.7 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 5252.4 m
Sea Floor Depth 5255.4 m
Sea Floor Depth Source PEVENT
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Unspecified -
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum Unspecified -
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)
CPHLFLP11Milligrams 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 fluorometry
FIRSEQID1DimensionlessBottle firing sequence number
ROSPOSID1DimensionlessBottle rosette position identifier
SAMPRFNM1DimensionlessSample reference number

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

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

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.

AMT15 extracted chlorophyll-a measured fluormetrically from CTD bottle and underway samples

Data Acquisition and Analysis

This data originates from analyses on samples collected from CTD rosette bottles for 55 CTD casts and from the ship's non-toxic supply. Water-column sampling during AMT15 concentrated around collection of the main core measurements from 5 or 6 light depths from the predawn CTD cast (~0200 - 0400h local time), with a reduced set of measurements and depths from the late morning 'optics' cast (1100h local time).

Water samples from the 5-6 main light depths were collected from CTD bottles and underway samples from the ship's non-toxic supply approximately every 3 hours. These samples were filtered on 25 mm GFF filters. Filters were extracted in 90% acetone for 24 hrs and total chlorophyll-a measured with a TD-700 Turner Designs fluorometer following the procedure of Welschmeyer (1994) which minimises interference by chlorophyll-b. The fluorometer was calibrated with dilutions of a solution of pure chlorophyll-a (Sigma, UK) in 90% acetone, the concentration of which was determined spectrophotometrically after the cruise.

Size-fractionation of chlorophyll was carried out at 2 depths on 21 pre-dawn casts. Methodology for size-fractionation was not detailed in the AMT15 cruise report but from the data file size-fractionated chlorophyll distribution was determined by serial filtration onto 2 and 0.2 µm filters. The filters were treated identically to the GF/F used for total chlorophyll and were soaked in acetone prior to reading on the bench fluorometer.

References Cited

Welschmeyer N.A., 1994. Fluorometric analysis of chlorophyll-a in the presence of chlorophyll-b and phaeopigments. Limnology and Oceanography, 39, 1985-1992.

Instrumentation Description

Not relevant to this dataset.

BODC Data Processing Procedures

Data were submitted to BODC in an Excel spreadsheet and accessioned under BODC archive SOC050049. Sample metadata provided (CTD cast, date, time, lat/lon and depth) were checked against information held in the database. There were 3 discrepancies: the cast labelled 41 in the originator's file was in fact cast 42 as the sample depths provided did not match cast 41 but did match those sampled on 42; on cast 18 one sample was provided with a depth of 98 m, the metadata held at BODC indicate sample collection from 88 m; one sample for each of cast 19 and 22 were labelled 'C MAX' with no depth, these data were loaded in sequence with the depths present for each cast (126m and 112m respectively).

One cast was labelled 96/97 by the data originator. These casts were carried out pre-dawn at the same location and the bottles sampled at similar depths. Since the casts cannot be distinguished the data has been loaded against cast 96.

Parameter codes defined in BODC parameter dictionary were assigned to the variable. The units supplied in the spreadsheet were mg m-3, which match the Parameter Dictionary units so no unit conversions were necessary.

Data loaded into BODC's database without any changes applied.

A parameter mapping table is provided below;

Originator's Parameter Units Description BODC Parameter Code Units Comments
Chlorophyll-a mg m-3 Concentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >GF/F phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and fluorometry CPHLFLP1 mg m-3 n/a
Chlorophyll-a mg m-3 Concentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a} per unit volume of the water body [particulate 0.2-2 phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and fluorometry SCHLFLPF mg m-3 n/a
Chlorophyll-a mg m-3 Concentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >2 phase] by filtration, acetone extraction and fluorometry SCHLFLPB mg m-3 n/a
Chlorophyll-a mg m-3 Concentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >0.2 phase] by filtration, acetone extraction, fluorometry and summation of size-fractionated values CPHLFLP4 mg m-3 n/a

Data Quality Report

BODC were not advised of any data quality checks made by the data originator prior to submission of the dataset.

Problem Report

Not relevant to this dataset.

Project Information

The Atlantic Meridional Transect - Phase 2 (2002-2006)

Who was involved in the project?

The Atlantic Meridional Transect Phase 2 was designed by and implemented by a number of UK research centres and universities. The programme was hosted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. The universities involved were:

  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Plymouth
  • University of Southampton
  • University of East Anglia

What was the project about?

AMT began in 1995, with scientific aims to assess mesoscale to basin scale phytoplankton processes, the functional interpretation of bio-optical signatures and the seasonal, regional and latitudinal variations in mesozooplankton dynamics. In 2002, when the programme restarted, the scientific aims were broadened to address a suite of cross-disciplinary questions concerning ocean plankton ecology and biogeochemistry and the links to atmospheric processes.

The objectives included the determination of:

  • how the structure, functional properties and trophic status of the major planktonic ecosystems vary in space and time
  • how physical processes control the rates of nutrient supply to the planktonic ecosystem
  • how atmosphere-ocean exchange and photo-degradation influence the formation and fate of organic matter

The data were collected with the aim of being distributed for use in the development of models to describe the interactions between the global climate system and ocean biogeochemistry.

When was the project active?

The second phase of funding allowed the project to continue for the period 2002 to 2006 and consisted of six research cruises. The first phase of the AMT programme ran from 1995 to 2000.

Brief summary of the project fieldwork/data

The fieldwork on the first three cruises was carried out along transects from the UK to the Falkland Islands in September and from the Falkland Islands to the UK in April. The last three cruises followed a cruise track between the UK and South Africa, only deviating from the traditional transect in the southern hemisphere. During this phase the research cruises sampled further into the centre of the North and South Atlantic Ocean and also along the north-west coast of Africa where upwelled nutrient rich water is known to provide a significant source of climatically important gases.

Who funded the project?

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2004-09-25
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2004-09-25
Organization Undertaking ActivityPlymouth Marine Laboratory
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierAMT15_CTD_CTD018s
Platform Categorylowered unmanned submersible

BODC Sample Metadata Report for AMT15_CTD_CTD018s

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
513863 20.0 1 1   304.20   304.60   302.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513864 20.0 2 2   203.90   205.00   202.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513865 20.0 3 3   176.90   177.80   176.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513866 20.0 4 4   152.70   152.90   151.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513867 20.0 5 5   152.60   153.20   151.70 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513868 20.0 6 6   122.30   122.50   121.50 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513869 20.0 7 7     87.90     88.20     87.40 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513870 20.0 8 8     87.90     88.30     87.40 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513871 20.0 9 9     87.40     88.50     87.30 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513872 20.0 10 10     86.50     87.20     86.20 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513873 20.0 11 11     81.20     81.90     80.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513874 20.0 12 12     52.20     52.60     52.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513875 20.0 13 13     51.80     52.50     51.80 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513876 20.0 14 14     51.80     52.10     51.60 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513877 20.0 15 15     37.20     37.60     37.10 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513878 20.0 16 16     26.30     26.70     26.30 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513879 20.0 17 17     27.00     27.30     27.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513880 20.0 18 18     26.30     27.40     26.70 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513881 20.0 19 19     16.30     17.80     16.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513882 20.0 20 20     15.90     16.50     16.10 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513883 20.0 21 21     16.40     17.60     16.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513884 20.0 22 22       2.20       3.90       3.00 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513885 20.0 23 23       2.70       3.20       2.90 Niskin bottle No problem reported    
513886 20.0 24 24       3.00       3.80       3.40 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 D284 (AMT15)
Departure Date 2004-09-17
Arrival Date 2004-10-29
Principal Scientist(s)Andrew Rees (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)
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
B nominal value
Q value below limit of quantification

Appendix 1: AMT15_CTD_CTD018s

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
1126216Water sample data2004-09-25 03:55:0035.09471 N, 20.8471 WRRS Discovery D284 (AMT15)
1787807Water sample data2004-09-25 03:55:0035.09471 N, 20.8471 WRRS Discovery D284 (AMT15)
1873628Water sample data2004-09-25 03:55:0035.09471 N, 20.8471 WRRS Discovery D284 (AMT15)