Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 855439
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Neil Brown MK3 CTD
The Neil Brown MK3 conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiler consists of an integral unit containing pressure, temperature and conductivity sensors with an optional dissolved oxygen sensor in a pressure-hardened casing. The most widely used variant in the 1980s and 1990s was the MK3B. An upgrade to this, the MK3C, was developed to meet the requirements of the WOCE project.
The MK3C includes a low hysteresis, titanium strain gauge pressure transducer. The transducer temperature is measured separately, allowing correction for the effects of temperature on pressure measurements. The MK3C conductivity cell features a free flow, internal field design that eliminates ducted pumping and is not affected by external metallic objects such as guard cages and external sensors.
Additional optional sensors include pH and a pressure-temperature fluorometer. The instrument is no longer in production, but is supported (repair and calibration) by General Oceanics.
These specification apply to the MK3C version.
3200 m (optional)
|-3 to 32°C||1 to 6.5 S cm-1|
0.03% FS < 1 msec
0.003°C < 30 msec
0.0001 S cm-1
0.0003 S cm-1 < 30 msec
Further details can be found in the specification sheet.
The Chelsea Instruments Aquatracka is a logarithmic response fluorometer. It uses a pulsed (5.5 Hz) xenon light source discharging between 320 and 800 nm through a blue filter with a peak transmission of 420 nm and a bandwidth at half maximum of 100 nm. A red filter with sharp cut off, 10% transmission at 664 nm and 678 nm, is used to pass chlorophyll-a fluorescence to the sample photodiode.
The instrument may be deployed either in a through-flow tank, on a CTD frame or moored with a data logging package.
Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheet.
The transmissometer is designed to accurately measure the the amount of light transmitted by a modulated Light Emitting Diode (LED) through a fixed-length in-situ water column to a synchronous detector.
- Water path length: 5 cm (for use in turbid waters) to 1 m (for use in clear ocean waters).
- Beam diameter: 15 mm
- Transmitted beam collimation: <3 milliradians
- Receiver acceptance angle (in water): <18 milliradians
- Light source wavelength: usually (but not exclusively) 660 nm (red light)
The instrument can be interfaced to Aanderaa RCM7 current meters. This is achieved by fitting the transmissometer in a slot cut into a customized RCM4-type vane.
A red LED (660 nm) is used for general applications looking at water column sediment load. However, green or blue LEDs can be fitted for specilised optics applications. The light source used is identified by the BODC parameter code.
Further details can be found in the manufacturer's Manual.
RRS Challenger 123B CTD Data Documentation
Components of the CTD data set
The CTD data set for cruise CH123B consists of 93 vertical profiles of the parameters temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, upwelling and downwelling scalar irradiance, and optical attenuance.
Data Acquisition and On-Board Processing
The CTD profiles were taken with an RVS Neil Brown Mk3B CTD incorporating a pressure sensor, conductivity cell, platinum resistance thermometer and a Beckmann dissolved oxygen sensor. The CTD unit was mounted vertically in the centre of a protective cage approximately 1.5m square. Attached to the bars of the frame were a Chelsea Instruments Aquatracka fluorometer and a SeaTech red light (661 nm) transmissometer with a 25cm path length.
Above the frame was a General Oceanics rosette sampler fitted with twelve 10 litre Niskin water bottles. The bases of the bottles were 0.75 metres above the pressure head and their tops 1.55 metres above it. One bottle was fitted with a holder for twin digital reversing thermometers mounted 1.38 metres above the CTD temperature sensor.
Above the rosette was a PML 2pi PAR (photosynthetically available radiation) sensor pointing upwards to measure downwelling irradiance. A second 2pi PAR sensor, pointing downwards, was fitted to the bottom of the cage to measure upwelling irradiance. It should be noted that these sensors were vertically separated by 2 metres with the upwelling sensor 0.2 metres below the pressure head and the downwelling sensor 1.75 metres above it.
No account has been taken of rig geometry in the compilation of the CTD data set. However, all water bottle sampling depths have been corrected for rig geometry and represent the true position of the midpoint of the water bottle in the water column.
On each cast, the CTD was lowered continuously at 0.5 to 1.0 m s-1 to the closest comfortable proximity to the sea floor. The upcast was done in stages between the bottle firing depths.
Data were logged by the RVS ABC data logging system. Output channels from the deck unit were logged at 32 Hz by a microprocessor interface (the Level A) which passed time-stamped averaged cycles at 1 Hz to a Sun workstation (the Level C) via a buffering system (the Level B).
On-Board Data Processing
The raw data comprised ADC counts. These were converted into engineering units (volts for PAR meters, fluorometer and transmissometer; ml l-1 for oxygen; mmho cm-1 for conductivity; 7 °C for temperature; decibars for pressure) by the application of laboratory determined calibrations. Salinity (Practical Salinity Units as defined in Fofonoff and Millard, 1983) was calculated from the conductivity ratios (conductivity/42.914) and a time lagged temperature using the function described in UNESCO Report 37 (1981).
The data set was submitted to BODC in this form on Quarter Inch Cartridge tapes in RVS internal format for post-cruise processing and data banking.
Post-Cruise Processing and Calibration at BODC
The data were converted into the BODC internal format (PXF) to allow the use of in-house software tools, notably the workstation graphics editor. In addition to reformatting, the transfer program applied the following modifications to the data:
- Dissolved oxygen was converted from ml l-1 to µM by multiplying the values by 44.66.
- Transmissometer voltages were corrected to the manufacturer's specified voltage by ratio using transmissometer air readings taken during the cruise.
- Transmissometer voltages were converted to percentage transmission by multiplying them by a factor of 20.
- The transmissometer data were converted to attenuance using the algorithm:-
|attenuance (m-1) = -4 loge (% transmission/100)|
Reformatted CTD data were transferred onto a high-speed graphics workstation. Using custom in-house graphics editors, downcasts and upcasts were differentiated and the limits of the downcasts and upcasts were manually flagged.
Spikes on all the downcast channels were manually flagged. No data values were edited or deleted; flagging was achieved by modification of the associated quality control flag.
The pressure ranges over which the bottle samples had been collected were logged by manual interaction with the software. Usually, the marked reaction of the oxygen sensor to the bottle firing sequence was used to determine this. These pressure ranges were subsequently used, in conjunction with a geometrical correction for the position of the water bottles with respect to the CTD pressure transducer, to determine the pressure range of data to be averaged for calibration values.
Once screened on the workstation, the CTD downcasts were loaded into a database under the ORACLE Relational Database Management System.
With the exception of pressure, calibrations were done by comparison of CTD data against measurements made on water bottle samples or from the reversing thermometers mounted on the water bottles as in the case of temperature. In general, values were averaged from the CTD downcasts but where visual inspection of the data showed significant hysteresis values were manually extracted from the CTD upcasts.
All calibrations described here have been applied to the data.
The pressure offset was determined by looking at the pressures recorded when the CTD was clearly logging in air (readily apparent from the conductivity channel). A consistent air reading was exhibited and the following correction applied:
|Pcorr = P - 3.00 (standard deviation 0.31 dbar)|
The CTD temperature was compared with the digital reversing thermometers attached to the instrument frame. These were found to agree within 0.009 °C. No correction has been applied because the platinum resistance thermometer is believed to be as reliable as the reversing thermometers.
During screening a number of offsets were noted in the salinity trace. These were attributed to the conductivity cell contamination. The following corrections have been applied:
|CP27||0.008 PSU added between 160.0 db and 169.5 db|
|CP39||0.0093 PSU added between 315.0 db and 351.0 db|
|CP51||0.02 PSU added between 211.0 db and 225.0 db|
|CP53||0.01 PSU added between 118.0 db and 124.0 db|
|CP57||0.015 PSU added between 368.0 db and 379.0 db|
|CP70||0.005 PSU added between 128.0 db and 140.0 db|
|CP81||0.014 PSU added between 153.4 db and 172.0 db|
Salinity was calibrated against water bottle samples measured on the Guideline 55358 AutoLab Salinometer during the cruise.
Samples were collected in glass bottles filled to just below the neck and sealed with plastic stoppers. Batches of samples were left for at least 24 hours to reach thermal equilibrium in the lab containing the salinometer before analysis.
The correction applied for this cruise was:
|Scorr = S + 0.034 (standard deviation 0.008)|
Upwelling and Downwelling Irradiance
The PAR voltages were converted to W m-2 using the following equations determined in August 1995 supplied by RVS.
|Upwelling (#10):||PAR (W m-2) = exp (-4.98*volts + 6.565)/100|
|Downwelling (#8):||PAR (W m-2) = exp (-4.97*volts + 6.426)/100|
Note that these sensors have been empirically calibrated to obtain a conversion from W/m2 into µE/m2/s, which may be effected by multiplying the data given by 3.75.
Optical Attenuance and Suspended Particulate Matter
The air correction applied for this cruise was based on an air reading obtained during the cruise (4.748V). The manufacturer's voltage for the instrument used (SN079D) was 4.744V.
Large volume samples were taken for gravimetric analysis of the suspended particulate matter concentration. These were used to generate calibrations that expressed attenuance in terms of suspended particulate matter concentrations.
Robin McCandliss (University of Wales, Bangor) undertook this work, under the supervision of Sarah Jones. The optimal approach developed was to base the calibration on samples taken from near the seabed (i.e. those with the minimum content of fluorescent material). The data from all SES cruises where SPM samples were taken were pooled to derive the calibration equation:
|SPM (mg/l) = (2.368*Atten) - 0.801 (R2 = 79%)|
This calibration is valid for all SES cruises after and including cruise Charles Darwin CD93A. The clear water attenuance predicted by the equation is 0.336 per m, which agrees well with literature values.
No attempt has been made to replace attenuance by SPM concentration in the final data set. However, users may use the equation above to compute an estimated SPM channel from attenuance when required.
200 ml of seawater collected at several depths on each cast were filtered and the papers frozen for acetone extraction and fluorometric analysis on land. The chlorophyll data for both legs of the cruise were combined in order to produce a calibration. The sample data set for calibration purposes comprised 224 values in the range 0.04 to 0.43 mg m-3. The following relationship was found between extracted chlorophyll levels and corresponding fluorometer voltages:
|Chlorophyll (mg/m3) = exp (1.21*volts - 3.59) (R2 = 56%)|
The oxygen calibration procedure adopted for this cruise differed from those operated on cruises for two reasons. First, the SeaBird pump fitted to the oxygen sensor malfunctioned during the cruise and was removed after cast CP66.
Secondly, particular attention was paid to the casts where the pump was fitted to ensure that good data were obtained on the downcast. The operational procedure to achieve this was to lower the CTD until the oxygen signal on the real-time display was seen to stabilise (usually to a depth of 50-100 m). The CTD was then raised to the surface and immediately lowered to the seabed to obtain the downcast data stored in the database. As a result of this procedure, the incorporation of upcast oxygen data was not required.
The standard BODC regression procedure was used to calibrate the casts where the SeaBird pump was not fitted (CP67-CP93) based on 9 bottle samples from casts CP67 and CP87. The resulting calibration was:
|Ocal = Oraw * 2.27 + 8.5 (R2 = 90%)|
This calibration has been applied to the data and the result was checked to ensure that the surface calibrations were sensible.
Oxygen bottle data were available for three of the casts where the pump was fitted (CP14, CP53 and CP57). The UNW calibration procedure was applied to each of these casts individually but produced significantly different coefficients for each profile. This presented a problem for the calibration of those casts in the first group for which no bottle data were available. A compromise solution was adopted in which the simple BODC regression approach was used to provide a mean calibration from the available bottle data. The calibration obtained was:
|Ocal = Oraw * 2.15 + 19.9 (R2 = 90%)|
Users should be aware that the calibration technique adopted is less precise than the UNW technique used with large bottle data sets on other cruises. Consequently, the oxygen data from this cruise have a lower, but still acceptable, accuracy. Users might wish to re-examine the oxygen calibration for this cruise.
To facilitate this, BODC have systematically archived the raw data (including oxygen current and temperature) from both upcasts and downcasts. These data are available on request.
Once all screening and calibration procedures were completed, the data set was binned to 2 db (casts deeper than 100 db) or 1 db (casts shallower than 100 db). The binning algorithm excluded any data points flagged suspect and attempted linear interpolation over gaps up to 3 bins wide. If any gaps larger than this were encountered, the data in the gaps were set null.
Oxygen saturation has been computed using the algorithm of Benson and Krause (1984).
The oxygen calibration water bottle data set from this cruise was restricted due to operational reasons forcing a less rigorous calibration procedure than the one used for other SES cruises. The oxygen data should therefore be regarded as being potentially of lower accuracy and are not recommended for applications requiring accuracy better than ±10%.
Benson B.B. and Krause D. jnr. 1984. The concentration and isotopic fractionation of oxygen dissolved in fresh water and sea water in equilibrium with the atmosphere. Limnol. Oceanogr. 29 pp.620-632.
Fofonoff N.P., and Millard Jr., R.C. 1982. Algorithms for Computation of Fundamental Properties of Seawater. UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science 44.
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.
LOIS consisted of the following components:
- River-Atmosphere-Coast Study (RACS)
- RACS(A) - Atmospheric sub-component
- RACS(C) - Coasts sub-component
- RACS(R) - Rivers sub-component
- BIOTA - Terrestrial salt marsh study
- Land Ocean Evolution Perspective Study (LOEPS)
- Shelf-Edge Study (SES)
- North Sea Modelling Study (NORMS)
- Data Management (DATA)
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.
|Principal Scientist(s)||Ken Jones (Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory)|
Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here
Fixed Station Information
|Station Name||LOIS (SES) Repeat Section P|
LOIS (SES) Repeat Section P
Section P was one of four repeat sections sampled during the Land-Ocean Interaction Study (LOIS) Shelf Edge Study (SES) project between March 1995 and September 1996.
The CTD measurements collected at repeat section P, on the Hebridean Slope, lie within a box bounded by co-ordinates 56° 33.0' N, 9° 37.8' W at the southwest corner and 56° 39.0' N, 8° 55.8' W at the northeast corner.
Cruises occupying section P
|Cruise||Start Date||End Date|
|Charles Darwin 93B||16/05/1995||30/05/1995|
Related Fixed Station activities are detailed in Appendix 1
The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:
|<||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.)|
|E||End of CTD Down/Up Cast|
|G||Non-taxonomic biological characteristic uncertainty|
|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|
|O||Improbable value - user quality control|
The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:
|0||no quality control|
|2||probably good value|
|3||probably bad value|
|6||value below detection|
|7||value in excess|
|A||value phenomenon uncertain|
|Q||value below limit of quantification|
Appendix 1: LOIS (SES) Repeat Section P
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 Identifier||Data Category||Start date/time||Start position||Cruise|
|849053||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-19 14:48:00||56.6495 N, 9.61367 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|849065||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-19 17:55:00||56.63067 N, 9.4645 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|849471||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-19 20:15:00||56.6045 N, 9.28517 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|849077||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-19 22:20:00||56.59867 N, 9.22533 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|848603||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-20 01:19:00||56.58883 N, 9.18267 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|848283||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-20 02:52:00||56.57783 N, 9.1135 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|849201||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-20 04:14:00||56.56817 N, 9.0525 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|848295||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-20 05:23:00||56.56583 N, 9.03183 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|848615||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-20 06:25:00||56.56267 N, 9.00317 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|848627||CTD or STD cast||1995-05-20 07:31:00||56.5505 N, 8.93517 W||RRS Charles Darwin CD93B|
|852165||CTD or STD cast||1995-09-06 05:10:00||56.60467 N, 9.28667 W||RRS Challenger CH121C|
|852073||CTD or STD cast||1995-09-07 04:04:00||56.56067 N, 9.00233 W||RRS Challenger CH121C|
|852085||CTD or STD cast||1995-09-07 04:37:00||56.569 N, 9.05383 W||RRS Challenger CH121C|
|852189||CTD or STD cast||1995-09-07 05:15:00||56.56433 N, 9.032 W||RRS Challenger CH121C|
|852097||CTD or STD cast||1995-09-07 13:04:00||56.57667 N, 9.111 W||RRS Challenger CH121C|
|855427||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-09 22:33:00||56.54767 N, 8.93567 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855083||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 00:54:00||56.5665 N, 9.037 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855440||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 07:20:00||56.57917 N, 9.10833 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855095||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 08:45:00||56.5885 N, 9.17983 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855452||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 10:23:00||56.591 N, 9.23767 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855913||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 12:11:00||56.6 N, 9.28967 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855102||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 13:58:00||56.61133 N, 9.36767 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855464||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 15:57:00||56.63017 N, 9.45283 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|855476||CTD or STD cast||1995-12-10 18:43:00||56.651 N, 9.59233 W||RRS Challenger CH123B|
|856166||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-10 21:21:00||56.54933 N, 8.93217 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|856178||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-10 22:09:00||56.55817 N, 8.998 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|856191||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-10 22:49:00||56.564 N, 9.03183 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|856209||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-10 23:52:00||56.5755 N, 9.119 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|856210||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-11 00:55:00||56.58433 N, 9.18333 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|856222||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-11 02:14:00||56.602 N, 9.30033 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|856234||CTD or STD cast||1996-02-11 04:15:00||56.6265 N, 9.47483 W||RRS Challenger CH125A|
|858277||CTD or STD cast||1996-04-21 12:51:00||56.65217 N, 9.62633 W||RRS Challenger CH126A|
|1675633||Water sample data||1996-04-21 13:49:00||56.65217 N, 9.62634 W||RRS Challenger CH126A|
|859822||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 00:47:00||56.55 N, 8.93483 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859834||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 01:41:00||56.56117 N, 9.00417 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|858498||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 02:24:00||56.56517 N, 9.033 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859846||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 03:12:00||56.5685 N, 9.05333 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859858||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 04:12:00||56.57917 N, 9.114 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859871||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 05:22:00||56.5905 N, 9.1815 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859883||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 06:39:00||56.598 N, 9.23083 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859895||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 08:06:00||56.60817 N, 9.289 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859902||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 10:06:00||56.62517 N, 9.45767 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|859914||CTD or STD cast||1996-05-04 12:05:00||56.6435 N, 9.6275 W||RRS Challenger CH126B|
|860190||CTD or STD cast||1996-07-12 22:41:00||56.591 N, 9.28367 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|1292054||Water sample data||1996-07-12 23:13:00||56.59105 N, 9.28359 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|860638||CTD or STD cast||1996-07-13 22:47:00||56.58217 N, 9.19033 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|1292078||Water sample data||1996-07-13 23:14:00||56.58217 N, 9.19037 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|860651||CTD or STD cast||1996-07-14 00:43:00||56.579 N, 9.1235 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|1292091||Water sample data||1996-07-14 01:07:00||56.57894 N, 9.12346 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|860417||CTD or STD cast||1996-07-14 05:00:00||56.57283 N, 9.05517 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|1292109||Water sample data||1996-07-14 05:14:00||56.5728 N, 9.0552 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|860663||CTD or STD cast||1996-07-14 06:11:00||56.5665 N, 9.03067 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|1292110||Water sample data||1996-07-14 06:20:00||56.56648 N, 9.03061 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|860675||CTD or STD cast||1996-07-14 07:20:00||56.5515 N, 8.93617 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|1292134||Water sample data||1996-07-14 07:26:00||56.55145 N, 8.93623 W||RRS Challenger CH128A|
|861421||CTD or STD cast||1996-08-02 13:22:00||56.62317 N, 9.596 W||RRS Challenger CH128B|
|861119||CTD or STD cast||1996-08-03 21:01:00||56.6005 N, 9.28817 W||RRS Challenger CH128B|