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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 611514

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Currents -subsurface Eulerian
Instrument Type Current meter (unspecified)
Instrument Mounting subsurface mooring
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator -
Originating Organization Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Bidston Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) North Sea Project 1987-1992
NSP Sandwaves/Sandbanks Process Study

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier STSTA1.CH40
BODC Series Reference 611514

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1988-11-19 13:11
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1988-11-21 19:57
Nominal Cycle Interval 60.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 53.24080 N ( 53° 14.4' N )
Longitude 2.24470 E ( 2° 14.7' E )
Positional Uncertainty 0.05 to 0.1 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 29.5 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 29.5 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 0.5 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 0.5 m
Sea Floor Depth 30.0 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)
DEPHPR011MetresDepth (spatial coordinate) relative to water surface in the water body by profiling pressure sensor and conversion to seawater depth using UNESCO algorithm
LCSAEL011Centimetres per secondSpeed of water current (Eulerian measurement) 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

No Narrative Document information held in the BODC database

Project Information

North Sea Project

The North Sea Project (NSP) was the first Marine Sciences Community Research project of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It evolved from a NERC review of shelf sea research, which identified the need for a concerted multidisciplinary study of circulation, transport and production.

The ultimate aim of the NERC North Sea Project was the development of a suite of prognostic water quality models to aid management of the North Sea. To progress towards water quality models, three intermediate objectives were pursued in parallel:

  • Production of a 3-D transport model for any conservative passive constituent, incorporating improved representations of the necessary physics - hydrodynamics and dispersion;
  • Identifying and quantifying non-conservative processes - sources and sinks determining the cycling and fate of individual constituents;
  • Defining a complete seasonal cycle as a database for all the observational studies needed to formulate, drive and test models.

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory hosted the project, which involved over 200 scientists and support staff from NERC and other Government funded laboratories, as well as seven universities and polytechnics.

The project ran from 1987 to 1992, with marine field data collection between April 1988 and October 1989. One shakedown (CH28) and fifteen survey cruises (Table 1), each lasting 12 days and following the same track, were repeated monthly. The track selected covered the summer-stratified waters of the north and the homogeneous waters in the Southern Bight in about equal lengths together with their separating frontal band from Flamborough head to Dogger Bank, the Friesian Islands and the German Bight. Mooring stations were maintained at six sites for the duration of the project.

Table 1: Details of NSP Survey Cruises on RRS Challenger
Cruise No. Date
CH28 29/04/88 - 15/05/88
CH33 04/08/88 - 16/08/88
CH35 03/09/88 - 15/09/88
CH37 02/10/88 - 14/10/88
CH39 01/11/88 - 13/11/88
CH41 01/12/88 - 13/12/88
CH43 30/12/88 - 12/01/89
CH45 28/01/89 - 10/02/89
CH47 27/02/89 - 12/03/89
CH49 29/03/89 - 10/04/89
CH51 27/04/89 - 09/05/89
CH53 26/05/89 - 07/06/89
CH55 24/06/89 - 07/07/89
CH57 24/07/89 - 06/08/89
CH59 23/08/89 - 04/09/89
CH61 21/09/89 - 03/10/89

Alternating with the survey cruises were process study cruises (Table 2), which investigated some particular aspect of the science of the North Sea. These included fronts (nearshore, circulation and mixing), sandwaves and sandbanks, plumes (Humber, Wash, Thames and Rhine), resuspension, air-sea exchange, primary productivity and blooms/chemistry.

Table 2: Details of NSP Process cruises on RRS Challenger
Cruise No. Date Process
CH34 18/08/88 - 01/09/88 Fronts - nearshore
CH36 16/09/88 - 30/09/88 Fronts - mixing
CH56 08/07/89 - 22/07/89 Fronts - circulation
CH58 07/08/89 - 21/08/89 Fronts - mixing
CH38 24/10/88 - 31/10/88 Sandwaves
CH40 15/11/88 - 29/11/88 Sandbanks
CH42 15/12/88 - 29/12/88 Plumes/Sandbanks
CH46 12/02/89 - 26/02/89 Plumes/Sandwaves
CH44 13/01/89 - 27/01/89 Resuspension
CH52 11/05/89 - 24/05/89 Resuspension
CH60 06/09/89 - 19/09/89 Resuspension
CH48 13/03/89 - 27/03/89 Air/sea exchanges
CH62 05/10/89 - 19/10/89 Air/sea exchanges
CH50 12/04/89 - 25/04/89 Blooms/chemistry
CH54 09/06/89 - 22/06/89 Production

In addition to the main data collection period, a series of cruises took place between October 1989 and October 1990 that followed up work done on previous cruises (Table 3). Process studies relating to blooms, plumes (Humber, Wash and Rhine), sandwaves and the flux of contaminants through the Dover Strait were carried out as well as two `survey' cruises.

Table 3: Details of NSP `Follow up' cruises on RRS Challenger
Cruise No. Date Process
CH62A 23/10/89 - 03/11/89 Blooms
CH64 03/04/90 - 03/05/90 Blooms
CH65 06/05/90 - 17/05/90 Humber plume
CH66A 20/05/90 - 31/05/90 Survey
CH66B 03/06/90 - 18/06/90 Contaminants through Dover Strait
CH69 26/07/90 - 07/08/90 Resuspension/Plumes
CH72A 20/09/90 - 02/10/90 Survey
CH72B 04/10/90 - 06/10/90 Sandwaves/STABLE
CH72C 06/10/90 - 19/10/90 Rhine plume

The data collected during the observational phase of the North Sea Project comprised one of the most detailed sets of observations ever undertaken in any shallow shelf sea at that time.

North Sea Project Sandwaves and Sandbanks Process Study

Sandwave fields cover at least 15000 km2 of the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Drag coefficients based on measured pressure gradients were recorded and sea bed photography used to test bedload prediction formulae. The sand covering much of the southern North Sea is mobile forming banks that are interleaved with mud. Current meter moorings placed either side of a bank were used to estimate its associated circulation and contribution to dispersion. A 3 dimensional model using wave-current interaction enhancing bed stress is being applied to fine grid (~100m) bathymetry and is being tested using detailed measurements of near-bed currents and turbulence obtained from the STABLE (Sediment Transport And Boundary Layer Equipment) rig.

Data Activity or Cruise Information

Data Activity

Start Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1988-11-19
End Date (yyyy-mm-dd) 1988-11-21
Organization Undertaking ActivityInstitute of Oceanographic Sciences Bidston Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool)
Country of OrganizationUnited Kingdom
Originator's Data Activity IdentifierRIG#CH40STA1
Platform Categorysubsurface mooring

North Sea Project RIG#CH40/STA1


The Sediment Transport and Boundary Layer Equipment (STABLE) rig was deployed as part of the NERC North Sea Project Sandbanks Process Study.

Rig position 53° 14.45'N, 002° 14.68'E
Water depth 30.0 m

Rig description

STABLE is a benthic lander consisting of a large aluminium frame standing on tripod legs, designed and built at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. It is fitted with syntactic foam buoyancy, two Benthos transponding releases, mechanical releases and disposable ballast. When the Benthos releases receive a coded acoustic command from the mother ship, the ballast is released and the instrument pops up to the surface.

The following sensors were included on the STABLE rig: four open (toroidal) electo-magnetic current meters (EMCMs) were mounted in pairs at 30 cm and 70 cm above the anticipated sea-bed level; two optical back-scatter (OBS) sensors were mounted at the same height; a Digiquartz pressure sensor; a camera; an Aanderaa current meter; a compass to orientate the rig and pitch and roll sensors (enabling corrections to horizontal and vertical EMCM data for rig movement if necessary).

Instrument Sensor Height Parameters Measured Comments
Two EMCM 0.3 m Three-dimensional turbulent current No data available
Two EMCM 0.7 m Three-dimensional turbulent current No data available
Two OBS - Suspended Sediment Concentration No data available
PR 0.5 m Pressure Good data
CM 0.5 m Current flow Good data


  • EMCM = Electro-magnetic Current Meter
  • OBS = Optical Back-Scatter sensor
  • PR = Digiquartz Pressure sensor
  • CM = Aanderaa Current Meter

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NameNSP Sandbanks Experiment
CategoryOffshore location
Latitude53° 1.80' N
Longitude2° 11.00' E
Water depth below MSL34.0 m

NSP Sandbank Process Studies Moorings

The sandbank process studies carried out investigations into the influence of sandbanks on regional water flow patterns, including water and sand movement, in the Norfolk Banks region of the southern North Sea. It complimented a similar investigation into drag and sediment movement over sandwaves off the Dutch coast.

Moorings deployed included rigs with pressure sensors, a variety of current meters and STABLE (Sediment Transport and Boundary Layer Equipment).

The rigs deployed during this experiment lie within a box bounded by co-ordinates 53° 10.66' N, 002°4.07' E at the southwest corner and 53° 22.09' N, 002° 17.89' E at the northeast corner.

The deployment history for this station is summarised below:

Rig / Instrument Identification Meter Type Start Date Data Return(Days) Comments
CH40PS1/T284 WR 17Nov88 85.0  
CH40PS2/TG05 WR 17Nov88 29.0  
CH40B/AS7517 CM 17Nov88 9.0  
CH40B/AS7946 CM 17Nov88 9.0  
CH40B/UCM23 CM 17Nov88 8.0  
CH40E/AS7947 CM 17Nov88 10.0  
CH40F/AS2109 CM 17Nov88 10.0  
CH40G/AA3277 CM 16Nov88 10.0  
CH40G/UCM20 CM 16Nov88 10.0  
CH40H/AA3559 CM 16Nov88 10.0  
CH40H/UCM22 CM 16Nov88 10.0  
CH40/STABLE1 SM 19Nov88 3.0 One minute mean data for current speed and pressure only.


  • WR = Water Level Recorder
  • CM = Current Meter

Related Fixed Station activities are detailed in Appendix 1

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: NSP Sandbanks Experiment

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
592508Offshore sea floor pressure series1988-11-17 08:37:3053.2475 N, 2.2982 ENot applicable
592489Offshore sea floor pressure series1988-11-17 19:37:3053.3682 N, 2.0678 ENot applicable
813191CTD or STD cast1988-11-19 20:18:0053.22317 N, 2.241 ERRS Challenger CH40
813209CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 10:37:0053.30583 N, 2.13117 ERRS Challenger CH40
813210CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 11:30:0053.30867 N, 2.14333 ERRS Challenger CH40
813222CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 12:03:0053.31183 N, 2.1495 ERRS Challenger CH40
813234CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 12:48:0053.31367 N, 2.16133 ERRS Challenger CH40
813246CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 13:54:0053.31483 N, 2.16133 ERRS Challenger CH40
813258CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 14:37:0053.327 N, 2.181 ERRS Challenger CH40
813271CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 15:12:0053.33483 N, 2.19233 ERRS Challenger CH40
813283CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 16:12:0053.34433 N, 2.21217 ERRS Challenger CH40
813295CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 16:58:0053.35017 N, 2.2245 ERRS Challenger CH40
813302CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 17:53:0053.265 N, 2.23617 ERRS Challenger CH40
813314CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 18:40:0053.27483 N, 2.254 ERRS Challenger CH40
813326CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 19:20:0053.293 N, 2.2645 ERRS Challenger CH40
813664CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 19:56:0053.30383 N, 2.27817 ERRS Challenger CH40
813338CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 21:09:0053.227 N, 2.22917 ERRS Challenger CH40
813351CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 21:34:0053.22883 N, 2.23133 ERRS Challenger CH40
813363CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 22:11:0053.22483 N, 2.23417 ERRS Challenger CH40
813375CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 22:50:0053.22183 N, 2.233 ERRS Challenger CH40
813387CTD or STD cast1988-11-20 23:36:0053.227 N, 2.2375 ERRS Challenger CH40
813399CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 00:11:0053.22583 N, 2.23133 ERRS Challenger CH40
813406CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 00:34:0053.231 N, 2.22717 ERRS Challenger CH40
813418CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 01:04:0053.22067 N, 2.244 ERRS Challenger CH40
813431CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 01:34:0053.22633 N, 2.23717 ERRS Challenger CH40
813443CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 02:03:0053.22633 N, 2.243 ERRS Challenger CH40
813455CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 02:34:0053.22267 N, 2.24467 ERRS Challenger CH40
813467CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 03:04:0053.227 N, 2.2405 ERRS Challenger CH40
813479CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 03:33:0053.22317 N, 2.24433 ERRS Challenger CH40
813480CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 04:04:0053.22383 N, 2.245 ERRS Challenger CH40
813492CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 04:34:0053.2265 N, 2.243 ERRS Challenger CH40
813511CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 05:06:0053.22433 N, 2.23817 ERRS Challenger CH40
813523CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 05:35:0053.22383 N, 2.24533 ERRS Challenger CH40
813535CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 06:04:0053.223 N, 2.244 ERRS Challenger CH40
813547CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 06:37:0053.228 N, 2.23683 ERRS Challenger CH40
813559CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 07:03:0053.22267 N, 2.24283 ERRS Challenger CH40
813560CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 07:34:0053.22317 N, 2.24667 ERRS Challenger CH40
813676CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 07:45:0053.22083 N, 2.2475 ERRS Challenger CH40
813572CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 08:07:0053.22383 N, 2.239 ERRS Challenger CH40
813584CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 08:38:0053.22817 N, 2.23233 ERRS Challenger CH40
813596CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 09:09:0053.2285 N, 2.23133 ERRS Challenger CH40
813603CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 10:25:0053.23583 N, 2.2265 ERRS Challenger CH40
813615CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 11:51:0053.22533 N, 2.232 ERRS Challenger CH40
813688CTD or STD cast1988-11-21 12:57:0053.26333 N, 2.1985 ERRS Challenger CH40