Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 449699

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Currents -subsurface Eulerian
Instrument Type
Interocean S4 current meter  current meters
Instrument Mounting fixed benthic node
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator -
Originating Organization Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) LOIS River-Atmosphere-Coast Study (RACS)
Land Ocean Interaction Study (LOIS)

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier s41119.615
BODC Series Reference 449699

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1993-11-26 10:00
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1993-12-08 00:05
Nominal Cycle Interval 1.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 53.84500 N ( 53° 50.7' N )
Longitude 0.15330 E ( 0° 9.2' E )
Positional Uncertainty 0.1 to 0.5 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 27.4 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 27.4 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 0.8 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 0.8 m
Sea Floor Depth 28.2 m
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 Sea floor reference - Depth measured as a height above sea floor but converted into a depth relative to the sea surface according to the same datum as used for sea floor depth (applicable to instrument depths not bathymetric depths)
Sea Floor Depth Datum Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
AADYAA011DaysDate (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ011DaysTime (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
LCDAEL011Degrees TrueCurrent direction (Eulerian) in the water body by in-situ current meter and correction to true North
LCSAEL011Centimetres per secondCurrent speed (Eulerian) in the water body by in-situ current meter

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

InterOcean Spherical Solid State Sensor Current Meter S4 series

The S4 family are self-contained current measuring sensors enclosing all necessary solid state electronics for acquiring, processing and outputting data. Data retrieval is accomplished through a serial port without opening the instrument.

The spherical shape of the S4 is a contributing factor in the rejection of the vertical components of water movement and there are no protruding parts or sensor support structures to interfere with the water flow.

The S4 measures the magnitude and direction of the horizontal current motion of the water. Water flows through the electromagnetic field created by the instrument, thereby producing a voltage which is proportional to the magnitude of the water velocity past the sensor. This voltage is then sensed by two pairs of titanium electrodes located symmetrically on the equator of the spherical housing which forms the sensor.

Manufacturer's specifications: Meter (sphere, diameter 25cm) is designed for depths down to 1000m (S4 standard: glass-filled cycloaliphalic epoxy construction with grooved surface for hydrodynamic stability) or down to 6000m (S4D, deep: annealed borosilicate glass version with smooth surface). The meter is shackled directly into the mooring cable by means of an axial titanium load bearing shaft.

Meter comprises:-

  1. Electromagnetic, 2 axis current speed sensor, range 0 to 350cm/s (standard) 0 to 50 and 0 to 100cm/s (optional), resolution 0.2cm/s (standard) 0.03cm/s (0 to 50 range) 0.06cm/s (0 to 100 range), accuracy 2 per cent reading +/- 1cm/s. The sensor responds to the component of flow normal to its vertical axis.

  2. Flux-gate magnetometer compass for heading information used to reference the current direction to magnetic north, compass range 360°, resolution 0.5°, accuracy 2°, tilt +/- 25° for specified accuracy.

  3. Temperature stable quartz oscillator clock, accuracy 12 minutes/year.

  4. Optional automatic tilt compensation i.e. the allowable tilt of the meter from the vertical at which the vertical cosine response is fully corrected, angle range +/- 45°, resolution 0.6°, accuracy (speed correction) 1 per cent (angle output) 0.25°.

  5. Optional semiconductor (thermistor or platinum) temperature sensor, range -5 to +45 °C, resolution 0.05 °C, accuracy 0.2 °C, response time at 63 per cent 1 min (1.5 sec thermistor or 60msec platinum).

  6. Optional conductive conductivity sensor, range 5 to 70mS/cm, resolution 0.1mS/cm, accuracy 0.2mS/cm (optional inductive sensor, range 1 to 70mS/cm).

  7. Optional semiconductor strain gauge pressure sensor, range 0 to 1000dBar (70M option), resolution 1dBar (4mm with 70M option), accuracy 0.25 per cent fs.

  8. Recorder, CMOS static RAM microprocessor, 64KByte (128K or 256KByte optional) performs vector averaging, burst sampling and adaptive sampling.

Available versions of the S4 are listed in the table below:

S4RT Basic S4 current meter without memory installed, for real-time monitoring applications only.
S4 The basic S4 current measuring instrument, with current speed and direction sensors and internal memory from 64K to 1 megabyte of solid-state memory.
S4DW S4 current meter directional wave measuring instrument. Includes 1 megabyte of memory, 70 meter high-resolution depth, adaptive sampling, and Lithium battery pack, standard.
S4P S4 instrument outfitted for profiling applications. Fitted with fast response Platinum temperature sensor, inductive flow- through conductivity sensor, and high-resolution depth sensor as standard. Memory size may be from 64K to 1 megabyte.
S4D Deep water S4 instrument for use to depths of 6,000 meters.
S4A Advanced current measuring instrument with large memory capacity, and dual-mode logging capability. Memory size may be 32-256 megabytes. Includes high speed binary down-loads using Zmodem protocol with 32 bit CRC error checking. Adaptive current sampling is standard on this instrument.
S4ADW Large memory capacity S4 directional wave measuring instrument. Includes 32 to 256 megabyte memory, 70 meter high-resolution depth sensor, and Lithium battery pack, standard.
S4ADW-i New generation of S4ADW directional wave measuring instrument providing internally-processed directional wave data for direct output from the instrument without the need for external analysis software. Ideal multi-purpose oceanographic instrument for integrated-system applications requiring pre-processed output directly into a datalogger, PLC, modem, or other external device without need for PC computer. Used for directional wave, current, and tide measurements, with additional parameters available. Includes long-life lithium battery, and internal memory sizes from 32MB to 256MB.
S4AP An S4A instrument outfitted for profiling applications. Fitted with fast response Platinum temperature sensor, inductive flow-through conductivity sensor, and high- resolution depth sensor, standard. Memory size may be 32-256 megabytes.
S4AD Deep water S4A instrument for use to depths of 6,000 meters. Has all the same features and options as available with the standard S4A.
S4AH Same as S4A but uses 5 Hz sampling rate instead of 2 Hz. S4AHDW, S4AHP, S4AHD are 5 Hz models of the units listed above.

Further details are available from the manufacturer's specification sheet.

BODC Current Meter Screening

BODC screen both the series header qualifying information and the parameter values in the data cycles themselves.

Header information is inspected for:

Documents are written by BODC highlighting irregularities which cannot be resolved.

Data cycles are inspected using time series plots of all parameters. Currents are additionally inspected using vector scatter plots and time series plots of North and East velocity components. These presentations undergo intrinsic and extrinsic screening to detect infeasible values within the data cycles themselves and inconsistencies as seen when comparing characteristics of adjacent data sets displaced with respect to depth, position or time. Values suspected of being of non- oceanographic origin may be tagged with the BODC flag denoting suspect value.

The following types of irregularity, each relying on visual detection in the time series plot, are amongst those which may be flagged as suspect:

If a large percentage of the data is affected by irregularities, deemed abnormal, then instead of flagging the individual suspect values, a caution may be documented. Likewise documents will highlight irregularities seen in the current vector scatter plots such as incongruous centre holes, evidence of mooring 'knock-down', abnormal asymmetry in tidally dominated records or gaps as when a range of speeds or directions go unregistered due to meter malfunction.

The term 'knock-down' refers to the situation when the 'drag' exerted on a mooring at high current speeds may cause instruments to tilt beyond the angle at which they are intended to operate. At this point the efficiency of the current sensors to accurately record the flow is reduced.

Inconsistencies between the characteristics of the data set and those of its neighbours are sought, and where necessary, documented. This covers inconsistencies in the following:

This intrinsic and extrinsic screening of the parameter values seeks to confirm the qualifying information and the source laboratory's comments on the series. In screening and collating information, every care is taken to ensure that errors of BODC making are not introduced.

POL Monitoring Platform

The POL monitoring platform (PMP) was developed to accommodate several instruments at once. It consists of a ballasted (275kg) light-weight frame (approx. 1.94m x 1.39m), onto which an acoustic release and buoyancy tanks are attached. Prior to deployment, the various instruments are bolted into place.

Typically a PMP holds a transmissometer, a current meter, an ADCP and a water level recorder. The frame is positioned on the sea-bed with a surface marker buoy.

On recovery, the frame separates from the ballast and rises to the surface. The ballast can be attached by a nylon spooler line to the PMP frame, which enables the entire mooring to be recovered.

LOIS (RACS) Holderness Experiment Data Collection and Processing

Data Collection and Processing - Waveriders

Datawell waverider buoys were deployed at sites N1, N2 and N3 with the buoys at the latter two sites recording directional data. Due to the shallow depths one rubber cord was used in each mooring, whereas two are recommended by Datawell to reduce mooring effects. Datawell waverider buoys calculate spectra and mean wave parameters on board before transmission to a shore station for storage (Datawell, 1995). Eight consecutive 200 second blocks are averaged after spectral analysis. The first and last 32 samples out of a total of 256 are tapered with a cosine taper and the taper is corrected for after averaging. Peak frequency and quality control flags were computed from the spectra. Quality control checks gave 2 per cent high frequency flags at N2 and 1 per cent at N3, with very few low frequency flags.

The recorded time for N1 data is the start of the burst, while the recorded time for N2 and N3 data is the time of receipt of transmission (approximately 40 minutes after the start time of the burst).

Data Collection and Processing - Pressure Recorders

Pressure wave recorders were mounted at 0.35m above the sea bed on PMPs (POL monitoring packages) deployed at stations N1 - N4 and S1 - S4. The pressure recorders used consisted of a pressure sensor in a standard Aanderaa casing. An oil-filled capillary tube was attached to the diaphragm housing to reduce flow effects on the sensor. Burst data were recorded at 2Hz for 20 minutes every 3 hours. Wolf gives details of the processing and correction procedures used on these data.

Data Collection and Processing - S4 Current Meters

InterOcean S4 current meters were mounted at 0.8m above the sea bed on PMPs (POL monitoring packages) deployed at stations N1 - N3 and S1 - S4. The current meters at the inner stations (N1 and S1) included a pressure sensor which allowed directional wave measurements to be made. this version of the S4 is referred to as the S4DW. The standard S4 meters measured 1 minute bursts of data while the S4DWs measured 20 minute bursts at 2Hz with consecutive samples averaged to give 1Hz output.

General Information

Winds were observed at three coastal locations. The observed local wind regime clustered about directions 000 degrees and 200 degrees with maximum speeds of 11.2 m/s and 17.4 m/s respectively.

Repeated CTD profiles were obtained for stations N2 - N4 and S2 - S4.

Instrument Intercomparison

Wolf describes the three instruments as giving acceptable agreement. The S4DWs and the waveriders are in quite close agreement for wave height and the peak wave period is in good agreement for all instruments most of the time. The bottom mounted instruments (as expected) do not always detect a high frequency peak, but are generally in close agreement validating the instrument response. The pressure recorder results for Hs show a gradual worsening in agreement with the waverider results, although other parameters remained in good agreement. Wolf discusses possible causes.


Datawell bv, Zomerlustraat 4, 2012 LM Haarlem, the Netherlands (1995).
Operation and Service Manual for "Directional Waverider" from serial no. 30109 and including 30076, 30101, 30106, 30108.

Prandle, D. (1994).
Holderness experiment - the observational programme. LOIS issue no. 2.

Wolf, J. (1996).
The Holderness Project Wave Data. Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Internal Document No. 89.

Project Information

LOIS River-Atmosphere-Coast Study (LOIS - RACS)


The Land-Ocean Interaction Study (LOIS) was a NERC research programme designed to study processes in the coastal zone. The Rivers, Atmosphere and Coasts Study (RACS) was a major component of LOIS that looked at land-sea interactions in the coastal zone and the major exchanges (physical, chemical and biological) between rivers and estuaries and the atmosphere. The study focused on the east coast of the UK from the Wash to the Tweed.

RACS included several sub-components

RACS (A) was coordinated by the University of East Anglia and RACS (C) by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.


The bulk of the RACS (A) data set was collected during two field campaigns in the winter (October/November) of 1994 and the summer (May/June) of 1995. During these campaigns data were collected continuously from the University of East Anglia Atmospheric Observatory at Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast. An instrumented vessel was stationed offshore to provide a second sampling site to allow changes in a given air mass to be monitored. The Imperial College Jetstream research aircraft made one flight during each campaign to provide a link between the two surface stations. The Jetstream made four additional flights in 1996 and 1997.


The coastal oceanographic survey

The coastal oceanographic data set was collected during a series of 17 RRS Challenger cruise legs. Most cruises covered two survey grids. One from Great Yarmouth to the Humber designed around the distribution of the sandbanks and a second simple zig-zag grid from the Humber to Berwick on Tweed. A large number of anchor stations, usually over one or two tidal cycles, were worked in the area of the Humber mouth or the Holderness coast.

The Humber estuarine study

The Humber estuarine data set was collected during a series of 33 campaigns on the Environment Agency vessels Sea Vigil and Water Guardian in the Humber, Trent and Ouse river systems at approximately monthly intervals between June 1993 and December 1996. Each campaign consisted of two or three one-day cruises. The tracks covered the estuary from the tidal limits of both Trent and Ouse to Spurn Point. Instrumental and sample data are available from a series of fixed stations that were sampled during every campaign.

The Tweed estuarine study

The Tweed estuarine data set was collected during a series of 13 campaigns using RV Tamaris in association with a rigid inflatable vessel at approximately monthly intervals between July 1996 and July 1997. Each campaign covered the tidal reaches of the River Tweed.

The Holderness experiment

The Holderness Experiment was designed to monitor the process of sediment transport along the Holderness coastline. It consisted of three moored instrument deployments during the winters of 1993-1994, 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. Mooring platforms were deployed at eight stations along two lines off the Holderness coast. A northerly and a southerly line of four stations each were used (N1 - N4 and S1 to S4) with the lowest numbers being inshore. Both lines were approximately perpendicular to the coast, although the S4 station lay to the south of the S line, off Spurn Head.

Land Ocean Interaction Study (LOIS)


The Land Ocean Interaction Study (LOIS) was a Community Research Project of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The broad aim of LOIS was to gain an understanding of, and an ability to predict, the nature of environmental change in the coastal zone around the UK through an integrated study from the river catchments through to the shelf break.

LOIS was a collaborative, multidisciplinary study undertaken by scientists from NERC research laboratories and Higher Education institutions. The LOIS project was managed from NERC's Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

The project ran for six years from April 1992 until April 1998 with a further modelling and synthesis phase beginning in April 1998 and ending in April 2000.

Project Structure

LOIS consisted of the following components:

Marine Fieldwork

Marine field data were collected between September 1993 and September 1997 as part of RACS(C) and SES. The RACS data were collected throughout this period from the estuaries and coastal waters of the UK North Sea coast from Great Yarmouth to the Tweed. The SES data were collected between March 1995 and September 1996 from the Hebridean slope. Both the RACS and SES data sets incorporate a broad spectrum of measurements collected using moored instruments and research vessel surveys.

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1993-11-26
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1993-12-08
Organization Undertaking ActivityProudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierPOLRIG#615
Platform Categoryfixed benthic node

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Monitoring Platform Rig #615

The rig was deployed as part of the LOIS RACS study at site HM3.

Position 53° 50.70' N 0° 09.20' E
Water Depth 27.0 m
Deployed on cruise CH108B
Magnetic variation 4.0 degrees west
Mooring deployed on 26 Nov 1993 09:23
Mooring recovered on 08 Dec 1993 15:23
Period of deployment 12.3 days

Data Available

Current Meter Yes
Water Level No
Transmissometer Yes

Related Data Activity activities are detailed in Appendix 1


Cruise Name CH108B
Departure Date 1993-11-25
Arrival Date 1993-12-10
Principal Scientist(s)Nicholas J P Owens (Newcastle University Department of Marine Science and Coastal Management)
Ship RRS Challenger

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NameHolderness Site HM3
CategoryCoastal location
Latitude53° 50.60' N
Longitude0° 9.00' E
Water depth below MSL27.0 m

LOIS RACS (Holderness Experiment) Mooring Site HM3

Site used during 1993 preliminary study period.

Position 53° 50.60' N 0° 09.00' E
Water Depth 27.0 m
Magnetic variation 4.0 degrees west

Related Fixed Station activities are detailed in Appendix 2

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

Appendix 1: POLRIG#615

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
576662Transmittance/attenuance, turbidity, or SPM conc.1993-11-26 09:25:0053.8505 N, 0.1475 ERRS Challenger CH108B

Appendix 2: Holderness Site HM3

Related series for this Fixed Station 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
576650Transmittance/attenuance, turbidity, or SPM conc.1993-11-12 09:34:0053.8443 N, 0.1551 ERRS Challenger CH108A
576582Offshore sea floor pressure series1993-11-12 09:50:0053.8433 N, 0.15 ERRS Challenger CH108A
449687Currents -subsurface Eulerian1993-11-12 10:00:0053.845 N, 0.1533 ERRS Challenger CH108A
831474CTD or STD cast1993-11-20 10:41:0053.83817 N, 0.13983 ERRS Challenger CH108A
576545Offshore sea floor pressure series1993-11-26 09:10:5053.8433 N, 0.15 ERRS Challenger CH108B
576662Transmittance/attenuance, turbidity, or SPM conc.1993-11-26 09:25:0053.8505 N, 0.1475 ERRS Challenger CH108B
832397CTD or STD cast1993-11-26 09:34:0053.83917 N, 0.153 ERRS Challenger CH108B