Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 564231

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Hydrography time series at depth
Instrument Type
NIOZ fast thermistor string  water temperature sensor; thermistor chains
Instrument Mounting fixed benthic node
Originating Country Netherlands
Originator -
Originating Organization Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Processing Status banked
Project(s) Provess

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier TCHN/PVS98
BODC Series Reference 564231

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1998-10-21 14:11
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1998-11-03 13:26
Nominal Cycle Interval 30.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 59.31750 N ( 59° 19.1' N )
Longitude 1.00870 E ( 1° 0.5' E )
Positional Uncertainty 0.1 to 0.5 n.miles
Minimum Sensor Depth 56.0 m
Maximum Sensor Depth 87.0 m
Minimum Sensor Height 23.0 m
Maximum Sensor Height 54.0 m
Sea Floor Depth 110.0 m
Sensor Distribution Scattered at fixed depths - The sensors are scattered with respect to depth but each remains effectively at the same depth for the duration of the series
Sensor 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 CODE Rank Units Short Title Title
DEPHTC01 0 Metres ThermChainSensDepth Depth below surface of the water body by physical measurement and conversion from height above seabed using bathymetric depth
AADYAA01 1 Days Date(Loch_Day) Date (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ01 1 Days Time(Day_Fract) Time (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
TEMPTC01 2 Degrees Celsius WaterTemp_TC Temperature of the water body by in-situ thermistor

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

Public domain 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.

The recommended acknowledgment is

"This study uses data from the data source/organisation/programme, provided by the British Oceanographic Data Centre and funded by the funding body."

Narrative Documents

NIOZ Fast Thermistor String (NFTS)


NIOZ Fast Thermistor String has been developed and built at the Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ) with the aim to resolve the finest (non linear) internal wave fluctuations and scales. The performance of the thermistors and their custom-designed electronics allow temperature variations to be registered at an estimated relative accuracy of better than 0.5 mK with a response time faster than 0.25 s. Quantization noise is less than about 40 muK and dominates instrumental noise.

The glass-embedded thermistors plus electronic board are held inside a pressure resistant steel protection cage. As a result, the thermistors do not suffer from pressure hysteresis.

Full description of the NFTS and its performance can be found in Van Haren et al. 2001.

NFTS Specifications

Max. No. of Sensors 128
Depth Rating 6000 m
Range (T) -5 to 55 °C
Accuracy <0.5 mK
Resolution ca. 30 to 50 muK
Thermistors (two per sensor) Siemens Matsushita B57017-K822
Self-Heating ca. 300 muK
Response Time <0.25 s (in water)
Total Sampling Time <4 s (for 32 sensors)
Minimal Sampling Interval (dt) 20 s (dependent on disk access)
Memory and Battery Life 100 days (for dt = 30 s and 32 sensors)


Van Haren H, Groenewegen R, Laan M, Koster B (2001)
A fast and accurate thermistor string. J Atmos Ocean Tech 18 (2):256-265.

NIOZ (Netherlands) NFTS Thermistor String Data Processing

The tilt meters on the NFTS indicated that the string was upright during the entire deployment period, swinging less than 5 degrees. No correction was therefore applied.

Raw data were transferred to engineering units using the laboratory calibration results and the eman was adjusted using CTD data from cruise Pelagia PE136.

NIOZ Fast Thermistor String (NFTS) Calibration

The NFTS has been calibrated at the Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ). A reference thermometer and a maximum of four thermistors are brought together tip-to-tip in a throughflow pipe inside a 2 cubic metre stabilized tank. For each group of four thermistors and for one temperature calibration the bath takes about 1 day to become stable to within a few milliKelvins, which sets the minimum possible accuracy. The resulting calibration is better than 3 mK when being referenced to the triple point of water.

General Data Screening carried out by BODC

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 or depth 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 data values will not be altered.

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

If a large percentage of the data is affected by irregularities then a Problem Report will be written rather than flagging the individual suspect values. Problem Reports are also used to highlight irregularities seen in the graphical data presentations.

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

Project Information

PROcesses of Vertical Exchange in Shelf Seas (PROVESS)


PROVESS was an interdisciplinary study of the vertical fluxes of properties through the water column and the surface and bottom boundary layers. The project was funded by the European Community MAST-III programme (MAS3-CT97- 0159) and ran from March 1998 to May 2001.

Scientific Rationale

PROVESS was based on the integration of experimental, theoretical and modelling studies with the aim of improving understanding and quantification of vertical exchange processes in the water column, in particular in the surface and benthic boundary layers and across the> pycnocline. PROVESS also explored mechanisms of physical-biological coupling in which vertical exchanges and turbulence significantly affect the environmental conditions experienced by the biota with particular reference to aggregation, flocculation, sedimentation and trophic interactions.


The experimental phase of the project was carried out at two contrasting sites in the North Sea: the northern North Sea site (NNS) and the southern North Sea site (SNS).

The two sites had the following characteristics:

Position 52° 15.0' N, 4° 17.0' E 59° 20.0' E, 1° 00.0' E
Time of year April-May September-November
Water depth (m) 16 100
M2 max amplitude (m s-1) 0.75 0.15
Max current (m s-1) 1.0 0.6
Delta T (deg C) mixed 7-1
Thermocline depth (m) mixed 35-100
Delta S 1 small
Halocline depth (m) 5-10 cf. thermocline depth
Max wind speed (m s-1) 20 25
Max wave height (m) 5 10
Max wave period (s) 8 10
Internal motion No Yes
Sediment muddy-sand muddy-sand
Biology eutrophic oligotrophic

At both locations measurements were concentrated at a central position with additional measurements being made to estimate horizontal gradients. Moored instruments (including current meters, temperature and pressure sensors, fluorometers, transmissometers, nutrient analysers and meteorological sensors) were deployed between 7 September and 5 November 1998 at the NNS and between 29 March and 25 May 1999 at the SNS. Each experiment was supported by intensive measurement series made from oceanographic ships and involving turbulence dissipation profiler CTD, particle size profilers, optical profilers, benthic sampling and water bottle sampling.

Details of the cruises were as follows:

Site Ship
NNS Valdivia (GER) VA174 5 - 17 Sep 1998
  Dana (DK) D1198 14 - 26 Oct 1998
  Pelagia (NL) PE125 19 - 30 Oct 1998
  Challenger (UK) CH140 22 Oct - 9 Nov 1998
SNS Pelagia (NL) PE135 29 Mar - 9 Apr 1999
  Mitra (NL) MT0499 19 - 30 Apr 1999
  Belgica (BE) BG9912 17 - 21 May 1999

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1998-10-21
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1998-11-03
Organization Undertaking ActivityRoyal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Country of OrganizationNetherlands
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierNIOZ_NNS
Platform Categorysubsurface mooring


This mooring was known within PROVESS at the NIOZ Fast Thermistor String mooring. It was one of a cluster of moorings deployed in the main focus of the Northern North Sea Site during the autumn of 1998.

Mooring type Mooring with bottom frame.
Instruments mounted on the bottom frame
(0.15 m above the sea bed)
600 kHz upward looking ADCP
Suspended instruments The NIOZ Fast Thermistor String (NFTS)
An Aanderaa thermistor string holding 11 sensors at 2-m intervals

The NFTS was moored in line with the Aanderaa thermistor string to cover fully the range of the ADCP.

A tilt meter was mounted at the top of the thermistor strings to monitor their swing. This was kept as low as possible by using eight glass spheres of 25 kg net buoyancy each, in the top end of the mooring line.

Note: the ADCP failed to retrieve data and data from the second thermistor string were generally bad and unusable.


Cruise Name PE125
Departure Date 1998-10-19
Arrival Date 1998-10-30
Principal Scientist(s)Hans van Haren (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Ship RV Pelagia

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NamePROVESS Northern North Sea Site
CategoryOffshore area
Latitude59° 18.00' N
Longitude1° 0.00' E
Water depth below MSL110.0 m

PROVESS Northern North Sea Site

Nineteen mooring packages were deployed at PROVESS Northern North Sea site during the cruise Valdivia VA174 in September 1998. The layout of the mooring assemblage was L-shaped. It consisted of an heavily-instrumented site centred close to 59° 20' N, 1° 00'E (Site A with rigs A, B, Ca/b, D, E, Fa/b, G, H, I, J1, J2 and L) and secondary single-rig sites extending up to 40 km north (V and Y) and east (U and X). An addition mooring package, NIOZ or Rig M, was also deployed at Site A during the RV Pelagia PE125 cruise in October 1998.

Rigs Ca/b and Fa/b were two short-term rigs which were recovered at the end of the cruise VA174 and redeployed during the cruise Challenger CH140 in October. All the other rigs were recovered during the cruise CH140 in October-November 1998 apart from rigs H and L which could not be found and rig Cb which was trawled and recovered from Peterhead (Scotland).

The layout of the mooring array was:

BODC image

Mooring data

The data returned from each rig were as follows:

Rig identifier Data
A POLRIG#790 ADCP currents
Water level
Near-bed temperature
B POLRIG#791 ADCP currents
Near-bed temperature
Ca POLRIG#792 Near-bed temperature
Cb POLRIG#808 Rig trawled, no data returned
D POLRIG#793 Currents
Temperature, salinity and attenuance
E POLRIG#794 Currents
Fa POLRIG#795 Currents
NIOZ Unknown Thermistor chain
G POLRIG#796 Meteorology
H POLRIG#797 Mooring lost, no data returned
I POLRIG#798 Surface attenuance, nutrients and chlorophyll
J1 POLRIG#799 Mid-water attenuance, nutrients and chlorophyll
J2 POLRIG#800 Near-bed attenuance, nutrients and chlorophyll
L POLRIG#801 Mooring lost, no data returned
R POLRIG#802 Water column temperature
S POLRIG#803 Water column temperature
U POLRIG#804 ADCP currents
Water level
Near-bed temperature
V POLRIG#805 ADCP currents
Near-bed temperature
X POLRIG#806 Water level

CTD data

A total of 352 CTD casts were also collected during the four cruises surveying this area. These include:

Cruise identifier Cruise dates No. of CTD casts
FS Valdivia (#174) 05 September - 17 September 1998 168
Dana (#1198) 14 October - 26 October 1998 51
RV Pelagia (#125) 19 October - 30 October 1998 73
RRS Challenger (#140) 21 October - 11 November 1998 60

Additonal data

Complementary meteorological and sea state data for PROVESS Northern North Sea Experiment were obtained from Marine Weather Stations located on Beryl and Frigg oil platforms in the Northern North Sea.

Other Cruises linked to this Fixed Station (with the number of series) - CH140 (PROVESS N-4) (2) VLD174 (PROVESS N-1) (42)

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