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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 2143186

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Water sample data
Instrument Type
Niskin bottle  discrete water samplers
Marianda VINDTA 3C total inorganic carbon and titration alkalinity analyser  titrators
Apollo SciTech AS-ALK2 total alkalinity titrator  titrators
Apollo SciTech AS-C3 Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) analyser  inorganic carbon analysers
Instrument Mounting lowered unmanned submersible
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Matthew Humphreys
Originating Organization University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) SSB CaNDyFloSS

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier JC105_CTD_CO2X_3705:052
BODC Series Reference 2143186

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2014-06-21 14:11
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval -

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 48.19412 N ( 48° 11.6' N )
Longitude 9.90554 W ( 9° 54.3' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 12.9 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 2606.2 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height -1.7 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 2591.6 m
Sea Floor Depth 2604.5 m
Sea Floor Depth Source BUDS
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Unspecified -
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum Unspecified -
Sea Floor Depth Datum Unspecified -


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
ADEPZZ011MetresDepth (spatial coordinate) relative to water surface in the water body
BOTTFLAG1Not applicableSampling process quality flag (BODC C22)
FIRSEQID1DimensionlessBottle firing sequence number
MDMAP0141Micromoles per kilogramTotal alkalinity per unit mass of the water body
ROSPOSID1DimensionlessBottle rosette position identifier
SAMPRFNM1DimensionlessSample reference number
TCO2MSSD1Micromoles per kilogramConcentration standard deviation of total inorganic carbon {TCO2 CAS 7440-44-0} per unit mass of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase]
TCO2MSXX1Micromoles per kilogramConcentration of total inorganic carbon {TCO2 CAS 7440-44-0} per unit mass of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase]

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

These data have no specific confidentiality restrictions for users. However, users must acknowledge data sources as it is not ethical to publish data without proper attribution. Any publication or other output resulting from usage of the data should include an acknowledgment.

If the Information Provider does not provide a specific attribution statement, or if you are using Information from several Information Providers and multiple attributions are not practical in your product or application, you may consider using the following:

"Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0."

Narrative Documents

Apollo Sci Tech AS-ALK2 Total Alkalinity titrator

An automated acid-base titrator for use in aquatic carbon dioxide parameter analysis. The titrator provides standardisation and sample analysis, using the Gran titration procedure for alkalinity determination of seawater and brackish waters. It is designed for both shipboard and land based laboratory use. The precision of the instrument is 0.1% or higher, and sample volumes may range from 10-25 ml. Titraton takes approximately 8 minutes per sample, and the repeatability is within plus or minus 1-2 micromoles per kg.


Repeatability ±1-2 µmol kg-1
Sample volume 10-25 ml
time required> aprox 8 minutes per titration

Apollo Sci Tech AS-C3 Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)

A Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) analyser, for use in aquatic carbon dioxide parameter analysis of coastal waters, sediment pore-waters, and time-series incubation samples. The analyser consists of a solid state infrared CO2 detector, a mass-flow controller, and a digital pump for transferring accurate amounts of reagent and sample. The analyser uses an electronic cooling system to keep the reactor temperature below 3°C, and a Nagion dry tube to reduce the water vapour and keep the analyser drift-free and maintenance-free for longer. It is designed for both land based and shipboard laboratory use.


Carrier Gas N2, ~15 psi (1 atm)
Precision ± 2 µmol kg-1
Sample volume

0.5-1.5 ml

preferred 0.5-1 ml

Time required> aprox 3 minutes per titration

Marianda Versatile INstrument for the Determination of Total inorganic carbon and titration Alkalinity (VINDTA) 3C

The VINDTA 3C (Versatile INstrument for the Determination of Total inorganic carbon and titration Alkalinity) is a laboratory alkalinity titration system combined with an extraction unit for coulometric titration, which simultaneously determines the alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon content of a sample. The sample transport is performed with peristaltic pumps and acid is added to the sample using a membrane pump. No pressurizing system is required and only one gas supply (nitrogen or dry and CO2-free air) is necessary. The system uses a Metrohm Titrino 719S, an ORION-Ross pH electrode and a Metrohm reference electrode. The burette, the pipette and the analysis cell have a water jacket around them. Precision is typically ± 1 µmol kg-1 for TA and/or DIC in open ocean water.

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

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 and Lever Action bottles have a capacity between 1.7 and 30 L. Reversing thermometers may be attached to a spring-loaded disk that rotates through 180° on bottle closure.

Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry (SSB) dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity from CTD bottles and non-toxic underway supply collected during RRS James Cook cruise JC105

Originator's Protocol for Data Acquisition and Analysis

This dataset contains 234 individual measurements (222 from CTD rosette, 12 from underway) of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) from the Celtic Sea (50°N 8°W). The samples were collected during RRS James Cook cruise JC105 in June 2014, as part of the UK Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry research programme.

Samples for DIC and TA were collected from the water samplers via silicone tubing, following established best-practice protocols (Dickson et al., 2007). The sample bottles (250 ml borosilicate glass bottles with ground glass stoppers) were thoroughly rinsed with excess sample directly before filling until overflowing with seawater, taking care not to generate or trap any air bubbles. A 2.5 mL air headspace and 50 µl of saturated mercuric chloride solution were introduced to each bottle before sealing shut with Apiezon L grease and tape. The samples were stored in the dark until analysis.

All measurements of both DIC and TA were calibrated using batches 128, 135, 136, 138 and 141 certified reference material (CRM) obtained from Prof AG Dickson (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA) (Dickson et al., 2003).

DIC samples

DIC samples were measured using a DIC Analyzer AS-3C (Apollo SciTech, USA) which draws a 0.75 or 1 ml subsample from DIC/TA sample bottle for analysis. Subsample is mixed with excess 10% phosphoric acid to convert all bicarbonate and carbonate ions to CO2. Nitrogen carrier gas passes through subsample to carry all CO2 into LI-COR LI-7000 CO2/H2O Analyzer, which measures total CO2 by infra-red absorption. Process is repeated 5-7 times per sample and mean result reported. Some samples were also measured using a VINDTA 3C (Marianda, Germany) which draws a 20 ml subsample, again mixes with excess 10% phosphoric acid and carries CO2 out with nitrogen gas, but measurement is instead by coulometric titration.

TA samples

TA samples were measured using a TA Titrator AS-ALK2 (Apollo SciTech, USA) which draws a subsample from DIC/TA sample bottle for TA analysis after DIC analysis is complete. Subsample is transferred to glass beaker immersed in water bath at 25°C with magnetic stirring. Then 0.1M HCl is titrated into subsample until endpoint pH is reached. pH is monitored by glass electrode, which is regularly calibrated using buffer solutions. Some samples were also measured using a VINDTA 3C (Marianda, Germany) draws a 80-100 ml subsample and performs potentiometric titration with 0.1M HCl; TA is calculated from titration results via a modified Gran plot technique (Bradshaw et al., 1981).


The CTD package was configured as follows:

Stainless Steel CTD

References Cited

A.G. Dickson, J.D. Afghan and G.C. Anderson, 2003. Reference materials for oceanic CO2 analysis: a method for the certification of total alkalinity. Mar Chem 80. doi:10.1016/S0304-4203(02)00133-0

A.L. Bradshaw, P.G. Brewer, D.K. Shafer and R.T. Williams, 1981. Measurements of total carbon dioxide and alkalinity by potentiometric titration in the GEOSECS program. Earth Planet Sci Lett 55. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(81)90090-X

A.G. Dickson, C.L. Sabine and J.R. Christian, 2007. Guide to best practices for ocean CO2 measurements. PICES Special Publication 3. pp 191

M.P. Humphreys, 2015. Calculating seawater total alkalinity from open-cell titration data using a modified Gran plot technique, in: Measurements and Concepts in Marine Carbonate Chemistry, PhD thesis, Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, UK, pp. 25-44

BODC Data Processing Procedures

Data were provided in an Excel spreadsheet and archived at BODC. The file contained the water sample data from CTD bottles and Non-toxic underway supply. Data received were loaded into the BODC database using established BODC data banking procedures. The data were loaded into BODC's database without any changes.

The originator variables were mapped to appropriate BODC parameter codes as follows:

Originator's Variable Units Description BODC Parameter Code Units Comments
DIC µmol/kg Concentration of total inorganic carbon {TCO2 CAS 7440-44-0} per unit mass of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] TCO2MSXX µmol/kg -
TA µmol/kg Total alkalinity per unit mass of the water body MDMAP014 µmol/kg -
DIC_StDev µmol/kg Concentration standard deviation of total inorganic carbon {TCO2 CAS 7440-44-0} per unit mass of the water body [dissolved plus reactive particulate phase] TCO2MSSD µmol/kg -

Data Quality Report

Bad results resulting from technical issues during analysis have been removed from these results, so there are no recognised issues. (Originator's assessment).

Problem Report

None. (BODC assessment).

Project Information

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.


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.


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)


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

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2014-06-21
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 2014-06-21
Organization Undertaking ActivityNational Oceanography Centre, Liverpool
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierJC105_CTD_052
Platform Categorylowered unmanned submersible

No Document Information Held for the Series

Related Data Activity activities are detailed in Appendix 1


Cruise Name JC105
Departure Date 2014-06-15
Arrival Date 2014-06-24
Principal Scientist(s)Jo Hopkins (National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Ship RRS James Cook

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: JC105_CTD_052

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
2103922Water sample data2014-06-21 14:11:3048.19412 N, 9.90554 WRRS James Cook JC105
2108176Water sample data2014-06-21 14:11:3048.19412 N, 9.90554 WRRS James Cook JC105