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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 1971881


Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Surface temp/sal
Instrument Type
NameCategories
WETLabs WETStar fluorometer  fluorometers
WETLabs C-Star transmissometer  transmissometers
Sea-Bird SBE 45 MicroTSG thermosalinograph  thermosalinographs; water temperature sensor; salinity sensor
Sea-Bird SBE 38 thermometer  water temperature sensor
Instrument Mounting research vessel
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Unknown
Originating Organization British Oceanographic Data Centre, Liverpool
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB)
SSB CaNDyFloSS
 

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier DY034_PROD_SURF
BODC Series Reference 1971881
 

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2015-08-06 00:00
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2015-09-02 06:40
Nominal Cycle Interval 30.0 seconds
 

Spatial Co-ordinates

Southernmost Latitude 48.33583 N ( 48° 20.1' N )
Northernmost Latitude 51.24283 N ( 51° 14.6' N )
Westernmost Longitude 9.74883 W ( 9° 44.9' W )
Easternmost Longitude 1.28900 W ( 1° 17.3' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 6.0 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 6.0 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Sea Floor Depth -
Sea Floor Depth Source -
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 -
 

Parameters

BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
AADYAA011DaysDate (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ011DaysTime (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
ALATGP011DegreesLatitude north relative to WGS84 by unspecified GPS system
ALONGP011DegreesLongitude east relative to WGS84 by unspecified GPS system
ATTNDR011per metreAttenuation (red light wavelength) per unit length of the water body by 25cm path length red light transmissometer
CNDCSG011Siemens per metreElectrical conductivity of the water body by thermosalinograph
CPHLUMTF1Milligrams per cubic metreConcentration of chlorophyll-a {chl-a CAS 479-61-8} per unit volume of the water body [particulate >unknown phase] by through-flow fluorometer plumbed into non-toxic supply and manufacturer's calibration applied
FVLTWS011VoltsRaw signal (voltage) of instrument output by linear-response chlorophyll fluorometer
POPTDR011PercentTransmittance (red light wavelength) per 25cm of the water body by 25cm path length red light transmissometer
PSALSG011DimensionlessPractical salinity of the water body by thermosalinograph and computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm and calibration against independent measurements
TEMPHG011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the water body by thermosalinograph hull sensor and verification against independent measurements
TMESSG011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of electrical conductivity measurement by thermosalinograph

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

RRS Discovery cruise DY034 sea surface hydrography quality control report

Sea surface temperature, salinity and conductivity

The following periods of bad data were converted to absent data:

  • Between 06 August 2015 13:36:30 UTC and 06 August 2015 14:45:29 UTC when the underway flow rate was adjusted.
  • Between 28 August 2015 13:23:47 UTC and 28 August 2015 13:25:41 UTC.
  • Between 28 August 2015 13:48:58 UTC and 28 August 2015 13:56:41 UTC.

(Data originator assessment)

All data

All sea surface hydrography channels were flagged appropriately at the beginning of the cruise until the 06/08/2015 14:45, when the flow rate was reported to be too low. (BODC assessment). This was in addition to the flagging applied by the data originators.

Thermosalinograph

Regular spikes were observed in the housing temperature and conductivity. The spikes were flagged appropriately. (BODC assessment).

Fluorescence sensor and transmissometer

The data originator reported that the fluorescence sensor was suspect between the 21st and 29th of August. Assessment at BODC observed that both the transmissometer and fluorescence sensor were suspect between the 16th and 29th of August, when the sensors were cleaned. This was presumably due to trapped material or bubbles in the fluorometer which propagated through to the transmissometer. Data were flagged suspect between 16/08/2015 22:18:00 to 29/08/2015 13:58:00.


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

SeaBird Digital Oceanographic Thermometer SBE38

The SBE38 is an ultra-stable thermistor that can be integrated as a remote temperature sensor with an SBE21 Thermosalinograph or an SBE 45 Micro TSG, or as a secondary temperature sensor with an SBE 16 plus, 16plus-IM, 16plus V2, 16plus-IM V2 or 19plus V2 SEACAT CTD.

Temperature is determined by applying an AC excitation to reference resistances and an ultra-stable aged thermistor. The reference resistor is a hermetically sealed VISHAY. AC excitation and ratiometric comparison using a common processing channel removes measurement errors due to parasitic thermocouples, offset voltages, leakage currents and gain errors.

The SBE38 can operate in polled sampling, where it takes one sample and transmits the data, or in continuous sampling.

Specifications

Depth rating up to 10500 m
Temperature range -5 to 35°C
Initial accuracy ± 0.001°C
Resolution 0.00025°C
Stability 0.001°C in 6 months
Response time 500 ms
Self-heating error < 200 µK

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

WET Labs WETStar Fluorometers

WET Labs WETStar fluorometers are miniature flow-through fluorometers, designed to measure relative concentrations of chlorophyll, CDOM, uranine, rhodamineWT dye, or phycoerythrin pigment in a sample of water. The sample is pumped through a quartz tube, and excited by a light source tuned to the fluorescence characteristics of the object substance. A photodiode detector measures the portion of the excitation energy that is emitted as fluorescence.

Specifications

By model:

  Chlorophyll WETStar CDOM WETStar Uranine WETStar Rhodamine WETStar Phycoerythrin WETStar
Excitation wavelength 460 nm 370 nm 485 nm 470 nm 525 nm
Emission wavelength 695 nm 460 nm 530 nm 590 nm 575 nm
Sensitivity 0.03 µg l-1 0.100 ppb QSD 1 µg l-1 - -
Range 0.03-75 µg l-1 0-100 ppb; 0-250 ppb 0-4000 µg l-1 - -

All models:

Temperature range 0-30°C
Depth rating 600 m
Response time 0.17 s analogue; 0.125 s digital
Output 0-5 VDC analogue; 0-4095 counts digital

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

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.

Specifications

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

~ 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.

RRS Discovery cruise DY034 sea surface hydrography instrumentation

The sea surface hydrographical suite of sensors was fed by the pumped-seawater, non-toxic supply. The seawater intake was located approximately 6 m below the sea surface. The SBE 38 sea surface temperature sensor was located towards the hull near the seawater intake. All other sensors were located in the clean seawater laboratory on the main deck, directly above the intake pipe.

Manufacturer Model Serial number Last manufacturer's
calibration date
Comments
WETLabs WETStar WS3S-248 14/04/2014  
WETLabs CSTAR CST-112R 26/06/2014  
Sea-Bird SBE45 4548881-0230 23/09/2014 Calibration applied by sensor firmware
Sea-Bird SBE38 3854115-0491 25/06/2015 Calibration applied by sensor firmware

SeaBird MicroTSG Thermosalinograph SBE 45

The SBE45 MicroTSG is an externally powered instrument designed for shipboard measurement of temperature and conductivity of pumped near-surface water samples. The instrument can also compute salinity and sound velocity internally.

The MicroTSG comprises a platinum-electrode glass conductivity cell and a stable, pressure-protected thermistor temperature sensor. It also contains an RS-232 port for appending the output of a remote temperature sensor, allowing for direct measurement of sea surface temperature.

The instrument can operate in Polled, Autonomous and Serial Line Sync sampling modes:

  • Polled sampling: the instrument takes one sample on command
  • Autonomous sampling: the instrument samples at preprogrammed intervals and does not enter quiescence (sleep) state between samples
  • Serial Line Sync: a pulse on the serial line causes the instrument to wake up, sample and re-enter quiescent state automatically

Specifications

  Conductivity Temperature Salinity
Range 0 to 7 Sm-1 -5 to 35°C  
Initial accuracy 0.0003 Sm-1 0.002°C 0.005 (typical)
Resolution 0.00001 Sm-1 0.0001°C 0.0002 (typical)
Typical stability (per month) 0.0003 Sm-1 0.0002°C 0.003 (typical)

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

RRS Discovery cruise DY034 sea surface hydrography data processing procedures

Originator's Data Processing

Output from the surfmet sensors were initially logged by a designated PC. Some of the sensor's firmware, connection modules and PC software manipulated the output. All the sensors used (including the surfmet sensors) were then registered by the TECHSAS logging system and broadcast to NetCDF, pseudo-TECHSAS ascii and UKORS format in the raw_data area of the level-C logging system. Data used here was extracted from the daily TECHSAS ascii files.

Sea surface temperature, housing temperature, conductivity and salinity

Sea surface temperature (tempr, from the SBE38 at the water inlet) and the water temperature (temph) and salinity (salin) from the SBE45 housing were duplicated in both thesbe45 and surfmet streams, however, the sbe45 stream was considered the best source for this data as it is unlikely to be delayed in time. Therefore, daily pseudo-TECHSAS ascii files were copied to the local PC where they were reformatted, appended and cleaned using the following matlab scripts:

  • uw_tsg - reformatted daily 1 Hz TSG files (#SBE45_DY1.SBE45) to ascii (DY034_TSG_#_raw.txt).
  • uw_append - appended daily 1 Hz ascii files to a master ascii file (DY034_TSG_master_raw.txt)
  • uw_tsgclean - applied moving average filters to the TSG data (temph, tempr, con and salin). Output: DY034_TSG_master_filt.txt

All channels (temph, tempr, con and salin) were filtered of noise once by applying a moving average window of 60 seconds and removing all data outside 2 standard deviations of that average.

Fluorometer and transmissometer

The TECHSAS ascii files were copied to the local PC where they were reformatted, calibrated , appended and cleaned as follows:

  • uw_opt_fl - reformatted daily 1 Hz SURFM files (#SM_DY1.SURFM) to ascii (DY034_OPTF_#_raw.txt)
  • uw_opt_tr -reformatted daily 1 Hz SURFM files (#SM_DY1.SURFM) to ascii (DY034_OPTT_#_raw.txt)
  • uw_optcal_fl - applied manufacturers calibrations to obtain chlorophyll-a (DY034_OPTF_#_raw_mcal.txt)
  • uw_optcal_tr - applied manufacturers calibrations to obtain beam transmission and attenuation (DY034_OPTT_#_raw_mcal.txt)
  • uw_append - appended daily 1 Hz ascii files to a master ascii file (DY034_OPTF_master_raw.txt and DY034_OPTT_master_raw.txt)
  • uw_optclean_fl / uw_optclean_tr - Removed suspect data. Applied moving average filters to chlorophyll-a, beam transmission and attenuation (DY034_OPTF_master_filt.txt and DY034_OPTT_master_filt.txt )

Chlorophyll-a, beam transmission and attenuation were filtered of noise once by applying a moving average window of 120 seconds and removing all data outside 1.5 standard deviations of that average.

The fluorescence voltage channel (fluo) was converted to chla using the following calibration:

Chl a [µg/L] = SF (fluo-CWO)

where SF = 5.5 µg/L/V and CWO = 0.068 V.

The transmissometer voltage channel (trans) was converted to beam transmission (beamtrans) and beam attenuation (atten) as follows:

trans [V] = trans > or = Vdark
beamtrans [%] = ([trans-Vdark] / [Vref-Vdark]) 100
atten [per m] = (-1 / pathlength) ln(beamtrans / 100)

where Vdark = 0.058 V, Vref = 4.623 V and pathlength = 0.25 m.

Files delivered to BODC

Filename Content description Format Interval Start date/time (UTC) End date/time (UTC)
DY034_TSG_master_filt.txt Clean SST, housing temperature, conductivity and salinity ascii 1 Hz 03/08/2015 09:53:37 01/09/2015 18:10:13
DY034_OPTF_master_filt.txt Clean fluorescence and chlorophyll ascii 1 Hz 03/08/2015 09:53:37 01/09/2015 18:10:13
DY034_OPTT_master_filt.txt Clean transmittance and beam attenuation ascii 1 Hz 03/08/2015 09:53:37 01/09/2015 18:10:13

BODC Data Processing

The files were reformatted to NetCDF using BODC standard data banking procedures. The following table shows how variables within the file were mapped to appropriate BODC parameter codes:

DY034_TSG_master_filt.txt

Originator's variable Originator's units Description BODC Code BODC Units Unit conversion Comments
temp_h degrees C TSG housing temperature TMESSG01 degrees C - -
cond S/m Conductivity CNDCSG01 S/m - -
salin PSU Practical salinity PSALSU01 dimensionless - Calculated in real time by UNESCO 1983 algorithm
temp_r degrees C Sea surface temperature TEMPHU01 degrees C - -

DY034_OPTF_master_filt.txt

Originator's variable Originator's units Description BODC Code BODC Units Unit conversion
fluo volts Instrument output from fluorometer FVLTWS01 volts -
chla µg L-1 Manufacturer's calibration applied CPHLUMTF mg m-1 -

DY034_OPTT_master_filt.txt

Originator's variable Originator's units Description BODC Code BODC Units Unit conversion Comments
trans volts Instrument output from transmissometer TVLTDR01 volts - -
beamtrans % Transmittance POPTDR01 % - Manufacturer's calibration applied
atten m-1 Attenuation ATTNDR01 m-1 - Converted from beam transmittance

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

Calibration

Sea surface temperature (SST)

SST was calibrated against the primary temperature sensor on CTD casts deployed during the cruise. CTD temperature (interpolated to 6 m depth) and corresponding SST data values were extracted using standard BODC procedures (n = 38). The temperature offsets (CTD-UW) were subsequently derived and examined. Three outliers were removed because they were more than twice the standard deviation around the mean. A further 13 sample points were removed due to high vertical variability in the CTD profile. No significant trend was found between the temperature offset and time (R2 adj = -0.040, P = 0.584, n = 19). No significant trend was found between the temperature offset and CTD temperature (R2 adj = 0.002,P = 0.852, n = 19). However, a significant offset was observed. Therefore, underway SST was calibrated with a mean offset as follows:

UW[new] (deg C) = UW[old] (deg C) - 0.078 (±0.025 S.D., P <0.05, n = 19)

Salinity

Salinity was calibrated against independent bottles samples collected during the cruise from the non-toxic, pumped seawater supply located next to the TSG. Bottle salinities and corresponding underway data values were extracted using standard BODC procedures (n = 41). The salinity offsets (BOTsal - UW) were subsequently derived and examined. One outlier was removed because it was more than twice the standard deviation around the mean. A significant but weak trend was found between the salinity offset and bottle salinity data value (R2 = 0.1430,P< 0.05, n = 40). A significant and strong trend was found between the salinity offset and time (R2 = 0.8182,n = 40, P < 0.01). The calibrations were applied to the underway data and visually examined. After visual examination and given the weak trend with data value, it was decided to only correct underway salinity for drift with time. Therefore, underway salinity was calibrated with a linear regression as follows:

UW[new] (PSU) = (-0.2360 + [0.0012 * decimal day]) + UW [old] (PSU) (R2 = 0.8182, n = 40, P < 0.01)

Project Information

Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) Programme

Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) is a £10.5 million, six-year (2011-2017) research programme, jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The aim of the research is to reduce the uncertainty in our understanding of nutrient and carbon cycling within the shelf seas, and of their role in global biogeochemical cycles. SSB will also provide effective policy advice and make a significant contribution to the Living with Environmental Change programme.

Background

The Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry research programme directly relates to the delivery of the NERC Earth system science theme and aims to provide evidence that supports a number of marine policy areas and statutory requirements, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Marine and Climate Acts.

The shelf seas are highly productive compared to the open ocean, a productivity that underpins more than 90 per cent of global fisheries. Their importance to society extends beyond food production to include issues of biodiversity, carbon cycling and storage, waste disposal, nutrient cycling, recreation and renewable energy resources.

The shelf seas have been estimated to be the most valuable biome on Earth, but they are under considerable stress, as a result of anthropogenic nutrient loading, overfishing, habitat disturbance, climate change and other impacts.

However, even within the relatively well-studied European shelf seas, fundamental biogeochemical processes are poorly understood. For example: the role of shelf seas in carbon storage; in the global cycles of key nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon and iron); and in determining primary and secondary production, and thereby underpinning the future delivery of many other ecosystem services.

Improved knowledge of such factors is not only required by marine policymakers; it also has the potential to increase the quality and cost-effectiveness of management decisions at the local, national and international levels under conditions of climate change.

The Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry research programme will take a holistic approach to the cycling of nutrients and carbon and the controls on primary and secondary production in UK and European shelf seas, to increase understanding of these processes and their role in wider biogeochemical cycles. It will thereby significantly improve predictive marine biogeochemical and ecosystem models over a range of scales.

The scope of the programme includes exchanges with the open ocean (transport on and off the shelf to a depth of around 500m), together with cycling, storage and release processes on the shelf slope, and air-sea exchange of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide).

Further details are available on the SSB website.

Participants

15 different organisations are directly involved in research for SSB. These institutions are

  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
  • Meteorological Office
  • National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
  • Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) / Scottish Marine Institute (SMI)
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bangor
  • University of East Anglia (UEA)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Oxford
  • Plymouth University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Southampton

In addition, there are third party institutions carrying out sampling work for SSB, but who are not involved in the programme itself. These are:

  • The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
  • Irish Marine Institute (MI)
  • Marine Science Scotland (MSS)

Research details

Overall, five Work Packages have been funded by the SSB programme. These are described in brief below:

  • Work Package 1: Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics and Fluxes over Shelf Systems (CaNDyFloSS).
    This work package aims to perform a comprehensive study of the cycling of nutrients and carbon throughout the water column over the whole north-west European shelf. This will allow the fluxes of nutrients and carbon between the shelf and the deep ocean and atmosphere to be quantified, establishing the role of the north-west European continental shelf in the global carbon cycle.

  • Work Package 2: Biogeochemistry, macronutrient and carbon cycling in the benthic layer.
    This work package aims are to map the sensitivity and status of seabed habitats, based on physical conditions, ecological community structure and the size and dynamics of the nitrogen and carbon pools found there. This information will be used, in conjunction with some laboratory-based work, to generate an understanding of the potential impacts on the benthic community as a result of changing environmental conditions, such as rising CO2 levels.

  • Work Package 3: The supply of iron from shelf sediments to the ocean.
    The research for this work package addresses the question of how currents, tides, weather and marine chemistry allow new iron to be transported away from the shallow shelf waters around the United Kingdom (UK), to the nearby open ocean. This will ultimately allow an improved understanding of how the transport of iron in shelf waters and shelf sediments influences phytoplankton growth in open oceans. This in turn improves the understanding of carbon dioxide uptake by phytoplankton.

  • Work Package 4: Integrative modelling for Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry.
    The aim of this work package is the development of a new shelf seas biogeochemical model system, coupled to a state of the art physical model, that is capable of predicting regional impacts of environmental change of timescales from days to decades. It is envisaged that the combination of predictive tools and new knowledge developed in this work package will underpin development and implementation of marine policy and marine forecasting systems.

  • Work Package 5: Data synthesis and management of marine and coastal carbon (DSMMAC).
    This work package is funded by Defra and is also known by the name 'Blue Carbon'. The aim is to provide a process-based, quantitative assessment of the role of UK coastal waters and shelf seas in carbon storage and release, using existing data and understanding, and also emerging results from SSB fieldwork, experiments and modelling. Particular emphasis will be given to processes that may be influenced by human activities, and hence the opportunity for management interventions to enhance carbon sequestration.

Fieldwork and data collection

The campaign consists of the core cruises in the table below, to the marine shelf (and shelf-edge) of the Celtic Sea on board the NERC research vessels RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook. These cruises will focus on the physics and biogeochemistry of the benthic and pelagic zones of the water column, primarily around four main sampling sites in this area.

Cruise identifier Research ship Cruise dates Work packages
DY008 RRS Discovery March 2014 WP 2 and WP 3
JC105 RRS James Cook June 2014 WP 1, WP 2 and WP 3
DY026 RRS Discovery August 2014 WP1, WP 2 and WP 3
DY018 RRS Discovery November - December 2014 WP 1 and WP 3
DY021 (also known as DY008b) RRS Discovery March 2015 WP 2 and WP 3
DY029 RRS Discovery April 2015 WP 1 and WP 3
DY030 RRS Discovery May 2015 WP 2 and WP 3
DY033 RRS Discovery July 2015 WP 1 and WP 3
DY034 RRS Discovery August 2015 WP 2 and WP 3

Core cruises will be supplemented by partner cruises led by Cefas, MI, MSS, Bangor University and AFBI, spanning the shelf seas and shelf-edges around United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Activities will include coring, Conductivity Temperature and Depth (CTD) deployments, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) surveys, moorings and wire-walker deployments, benthic lander observatories, autonomous gliders and submersible surveys, Marine Snow Catcher particulate matter analysis, plankton net hauls, in-situ sediment flume investigations and laboratory incubations with core and sea water samples.


Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) Programme Work Package 1: CaNDyFloSS

Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics and Fluxes over Shelf Systems (CaNDyFloSS) is a £2.76 million component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) research programme, running from 2013 to 2017. It is jointly funded by NERC and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The aim of the research is to perform a comprehensive study of the cycling of nutrients and carbon throughout the water column over the whole north-west European shelf. This will allow the fluxes of nutrients and carbon between the shelf and the deep ocean and atmosphere to be quantified, establishing the role of the north-west European continental shelf in the global carbon cycle.

Background

Shelf seas are the primary regions of human marine resource exploitation, including both renewable and fossil fuel energy sources, recreation, trade and food production. They provide 90% of global fish catches which form an important source of food to much of the global population. They also play an important role in the ecosystem services provided by the oceans as a whole, in particular in storing carbon away from the atmosphere.

Physical and biochemical processes in shelf seas influence the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and the subsequent storage of carbon in the deep ocean. Biological growth draws carbon out of the water, which is then replaced by carbon in CO2 from the atmosphere. In the shelf seas this growth is supported by terrestrial and open ocean sources of nutrients, implying intimate roles for both the terrestrial biosphere and the open ocean environment in regulating shelf sea climate services. The oceans can also be a major source or sink for other greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide (N2O), with the shallow shelf sea thought to play a key role.

The spatial extent of the submerged continental shelves varies greatly. The NW European shelf sea is one of the largest and hence is likely to play a significant role in marine biogeochemical cycling, alongside providing a useful model for other systems. However, even in this relatively well studied region, there is a lack of detailed understanding of the principal controls on the cycling of carbon and the major nutrient elements, nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon. Consequently it is also difficult to predict how the cycling of these elements and hence the carbon removal they support may be altered by ongoing and potential future global change. This work package aims to address these uncertainties through a comprehensive study of the cycling of the major nutrients and carbon throughout the water column over the NW European shelf sea system.

Further details are available on the SSB website.

Participants

9 different organisations are directly involved in research for SSB Work Package 1. These institutions are

  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
  • National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
  • Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) / Scottish Marine Institute (SMI)
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bangor
  • University of East Anglia (UEA)
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Southampton

In addition, there are third party institutions carrying out sampling work for SSB Work Package 1, but who are not involved in the programme itself. These are:

  • The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
  • Irish Marine Institute (MI)
  • Marine Science Scotland (MSS)

Objectives

Two overarching objectives are defined for this Work Package.

  • Objective 1: Estimate the size of the continental shelf carbon pump over the whole north-west European shelf.
    This will consist of two principal activities. (1) Over a 12 month period, observations of air-sea CO2 fluxes will be made to provide a synoptic estimate of the magnitude of carbon update by the whole shelf system. (2) Concentrations of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and silicate (Si) will be estimated in water flowing on and off the shelf. These estimates will be coupled to estimates of flow and dispersion along the shelf edge, through collaboration with the NERC Fluxes across Sloping Topography of the North East Atlantic (FASTNEt) programme to allow an observational estimate of the net off-shelf transport of C, N, P and Si.

  • Objective 2: Determine the relative importance of external nutrient sources and internal biogeochemical cycling in maintaining the continental shelf pump.
    Estimates of the flux of nutrients and carbon generated in Objective 1 will be used to determine the estimation of any excess of on-shelf nutrient supply, relative to that of carbon. Work Package 1 will then quantify the processes which govern internal biogeochemical cycling by measuring the uptake ratios of N, P, Si and C into phytoplankton and the element and energy balance of organic matter production by autotrophs. Potential modifications to the relative concentrations and uptake of C, N, P and Si in the thermocline and sediment food webs will also be assessed, as will the relative importance of microbial and zooplankton turnover in controlling C, N, P and Si.

Fieldwork and data collection

Data for Objective 1 will be provided using pCO2 systems aboard third party vessels and ferry boxes, along with measurements made through the FASTNEt programme and through the Work Package 1 process cruises detailed below. The third party cruises will be undertaken by Cefas, MI, MSS, University of Bangor and AFBI, spanning the shelf seas and shelf-edges around the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The Work Package 1 process cruises will provide data for Objective 1 and Objective 2 and are listed in the table below. The study area is the marine shelf (and shelf-edge) of the Celtic Sea. Work will be carried out on board the NERC research vessels RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook. These cruises will focus on the physics and biogeochemistry of the benthic and pelagic zones of the water column, primarily around four main sampling sites in this area.

Cruise identifier Research ship Cruise dates Work packages
JC105 RRS James Cook June 2014 WP 1, WP 2 and WP 3
DY026 RRS Discovery August 2014 WP1, WP 2 and WP 3
DY018 RRS Discovery November - December 2014 WP 1 and WP 3
DY029 RRS Discovery April 2015 WP 1 and WP 3
DY033 RRS Discovery July 2015 WP 1 and WP 3

Activities will include Conductivity Temperature and Depth (CTD) deployments, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) surveys, moorings and wire-walker deployments, autonomous gliders and submersible surveys, Marine Snow Catcher particulate matter analysis, plankton net hauls and laboratory incubations with sea water samples.


Data Activity or Cruise Information

Cruise

Cruise Name DY034
Departure Date 2015-08-06
Arrival Date 2015-09-02
Principal Scientist(s)Henry Ruhl (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
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