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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 920281

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category CTD or STD cast
Instrument Type
Neil Brown MK2 conductivity temperature and depth system  CTD; water temperature sensor; salinity sensor
Instrument Mounting research vessel
Originating Country Germany
Originator Mr Thomas Raabe
Originating Organization University of Hamburg, Department of Chemistry
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) OMEX I

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier 400C2
BODC Series Reference 920281

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 1993-06-30 03:09
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) -
Nominal Cycle Interval 2.0 decibars

Spatial Co-ordinates

Latitude 49.01500 N ( 49° 0.9' N )
Longitude 13.51900 W ( 13° 31.1' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.0 to 0.01 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth 0.99 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth 3360.84 m
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height 169.15 m
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height 3529.01 m
Sea Floor Depth 3530.0 m
Sea Floor Depth Source DATAHEAD
Sensor or Sampling Distribution Variable common depth - All sensors are grouped effectively at the same depth, but this depth varies significantly during the series
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface
Sea Floor Depth Datum Instantaneous - Depth measured below water line or instantaneous water body surface


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
POTMCV011Degrees CelsiusPotential temperature of the water body by computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm
PRESPR011DecibarsPressure (spatial coordinate) exerted by the water body by profiling pressure sensor and correction to read zero at sea level
PSALST011DimensionlessPractical salinity of the water body by CTD and computation using UNESCO 1983 algorithm
SIGTPR011Kilograms per cubic metreSigma-theta of the water body by CTD and computation from salinity and potential temperature using UNESCO algorithm
TEMPST011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the water body by CTD or STD

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

Neil Brown MKII CTD

This instrument was designed for precise fine scale measurements of salinity and temperature in the deep ocean.

The conductivity sensor is a miniature four electrode cell and the temperature is measured by a combination of of a miniature fast thermistor and a platinum resistance thermometer. Pressure is measured using a strain gage bridge transducer.

The precise value of each parameter is determined by measuring the ratio of the sensor interface output voltage to the input voltage.

The original specifications are as follow:

Sampling speed 30 sec-1
Resolution ± 0.0005°C
Sensor response time 1/30 second
Noise less than ± 1 least significant bit

Temperature: ± 0.003°C

Conductivity: ± 0.005 mmho

Pressure: ± 1% of full scale

This instrument is no longer in production and it is not known if support and maintenance are still available

References Cited

Brown, Neil L., 1974. A precision CTD microprofiler. IEEE International Conference on Engineering in the Ocean Environment, Ocean 74, pp 270-278.

FS Valdivia 137 CTD Data Documentation


The CTD profiles were taken with a Neil Brown Mk2 CTD incorporating a pressure sensor, conductivity cell and platinum resistance thermometer. The CTD unit was mounted vertically in the centre of a protective cage. Attached to the bars of the frame was a Chelsea fluorometer. However, this failed to return any useful data.

A rosette sampler fitted with 12, 2.5 litre Niskin bottles was mounted above the frame.

Data Acquisition

The data were logged using the EG&G CTDACQ program running on a PC.

On-Board Data Processing

The raw data logged by CTDACQ were written onto Quarter Inch Cartridge tapes using the Everex tape streamer backup facility.

Post-Cruise Processing


The raw data were extracted from the Quarter Inch Cartridge tapes on a PC running the Everex software at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and transferred to BODC as compressed files on floppy disk. The Chelsea Instruments CTDPOST program, which is compatible with the EG&G format, was used to convert the binary files into 1db binned calibrated files in ASCII. These were transferred to a UNIX workstation and converted into the BODC internal format (PXF) to allow the use of in-house software tools, notably the workstation graphics editor.


Using a custom in-house graphics editor, the limits of the downcasts were manually flagged. In addition, spikes on all the downcast channels were manually flagged 'suspect' by modification of the associated quality control flag. In this way none of the original data values were edited or deleted.

Once screened, the CTD downcasts were loaded into a database under the Oracle relational database management system.



The pressure offset is usually determined by looking at the pressures recorded when the CTD was clearly logging in air. Few data points were logged in air and therefore the minimum pressure of each cast was used to derive a pressure correction. Using the logic that at the start of the cast the pressure should read about 1.5db a consistent pressure offset was observed throughout the cruise thus:

Pcorrected = Pobserved * 1.72

A CTD temperature calibration exercise was carried out using data from the deep sea classical reversing thermometers included with the CTD data. The following offsets were determined:

Calibration Applied to
Tcorrected = Tobserved + 0.11 CTDs 100, 101, 1C1, 200C1, 200C2, 201C1, 201C2, 300C1,
300C2, 301C1, 301C2, 400C1, 400C2, 401C1, 401C2
Tcorrected = Tobserved + 0.034 CTDs 110, 111, 112, 113, 115, 600C1, 600C2, 610C1, 610C2,
611C1, 611C2, 620C1, 620C2, 700C1, 700C2, 710C1, 710C2,
720C1, 720C2, 800C1, 800C2
Tcorrected = Tobserved + 0.048 CTDs 210C1, 210C2, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 310C1, 310C2,
311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 410C1, 410C2, 411,412, 413, 414,
415, 500C1, 500C2, 510C1, 510C2, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515

However, comparison of the profiles from the deep casts with data from other cruises known to be of good quality showed that the temperatures as recorded were much nearer the true values than the data with the corrections described above applied. Consequently, the reversing thermometer data have been deemed unreliable and no corrections have been applied to the temperature data.


In order to calibrate the conductivity sensor of the probe, water samples were taken at selected stations and analysed on board using a salinometer. From these, the following offsets were determined for the CTD salinity data:

Group 1: S corrected = Sobserved + 0.034
Group 2: S corrected = Sobserved + 0.079
Group 3: S corrected = Sobserved + 0.050

However, a comparison of deep station T/S curves with other cruises known to be of good quality showed the CTD on this cruise to be reading 0.016 PSU high, not low as implied by the corrections above. It has therefore been concluded that the bottle salinity data from this cruise are unreliable and a correction of -0.016 PSU has been applied to all CTD salinities from this cruise.


It has not been feasible to retrieve the fluorometer data. The Chelsea Instruments processing software refused to recognise the presence of a fluorometer channel in the raw data. Data were only available for a small number of casts due to the instrument flooding when the top plate deformed under a pressure of 6000 db. Consequently, it was not deemed cost effective to pursue the only options open (purchasing the EG&G software or writing custom software) to recover such a small amount of data.

Data Reduction

Once all screening and calibration procedures were completed, the data set was binned to 2 db (casts deeper than 100 db) or 1db (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.

Downcast values corresponding to the bottle firing depths were incorporated into the database.

Project Information

Ocean Margin EXchange (OMEX) I


OMEX was a European multidisciplinary oceanographic research project that studied and quantified the exchange processes of carbon and associated elements between the continental shelf of western Europe and the open Atlantic Ocean. The project ran in two phases known as OMEX I (1993-1996) and OMEX II - II (1997-2000), with a bridging phase OMEX II - I (1996-1997). The project was supported by the European Union under the second and third phases of its MArine Science and Technology Programme (MAST) through contracts MAS2-CT93-0069 and MAS3-CT97-0076. It was led by Professor Roland Wollast from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and involved more than 100 scientists from 10 European countries.

Scientific Objectives

The aim of the Ocean Margin EXchange (OMEX) project was to gain a better understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes occurring at the ocean margins in order to quantify fluxes of energy and matter (carbon, nutrients and other trace elements) across this boundary. The research culminated in the development of quantitative budgets for the areas studied using an approach based on both field measurements and modeling.

OMEX I (1993-1996)

The first phase of OMEX was divided into sub-projects by discipline:

  • Physics
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Biological Processes
  • Benthic Processes
  • Carbon Cycling and Biogases

This emphasises the multidisciplinary nature of the research.

The project fieldwork focussed on the region of the European Margin adjacent to the Goban Spur (off the coast of Brittany) and the shelf break off Tromsø, Norway. However, there was also data collected off the Iberian Margin and to the west of Ireland. In all a total of 57 research cruises (excluding 295 Continuous Plankton Recorder tows) were involved in the collection of OMEX I data.

Data Availability

Field data collected during OMEX I have been published by BODC as a CD-ROM product, entitled:

  • OMEX I Project Data Set (two discs)

Further descriptions of this product and order forms may be found on the BODC web site.

The data are also held in BODC's databases and subsets may be obtained by request from BODC.

Data Activity or Cruise Information


Cruise Name VLD137
Departure Date 1993-06-23
Arrival Date 1993-07-16
Principal Scientist(s)Thomas Raabe (University of Hamburg, Department of Chemistry)
Ship Valdivia

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

Fixed Station Information

Station NameOMEX I site OMEX3
CategoryOffshore area
Latitude49° 5.28' N
Longitude13° 23.40' W
Water depth below MSL3670.0 m

OMEX I Moored Instrument and CTD site OMEX3

OMEX3 was one of four fixed stations for the OMEX I project. It was visited by eleven cruises and collected a variety of data during the period June 1993 to October 1995. These include:

  • Mooring deployments - Aandeera current meters with transmissometers
  • CTD casts
  • Net trawls
  • Plankton recorders
  • Cores
  • Water samples

The data collected a site OMEX3 lay within a box bounded by co-ordinates 48° 56.9'N, 013° 42.69'W at the southwest corner and 49° 6.5'N, 013° 17.1'W at the northeast corner, with an approximate depth of 3650 metres.

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
B nominal value
Q value below limit of quantification

Appendix 1: OMEX I site OMEX3

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
920613CTD or STD cast1993-06-26 06:08:0049.06933 N, 13.429 WFS Poseidon PO200_7
319408Currents -subsurface Eulerian1993-06-26 14:31:0049.0942 N, 13.4288 WFS Poseidon PO200_7
319433Currents -subsurface Eulerian1993-06-26 14:43:0049.0942 N, 13.4288 WFS Poseidon PO200_7
319421Currents -subsurface Eulerian1993-06-26 16:26:0049.0942 N, 13.4288 WFS Poseidon PO200_7
920268CTD or STD cast1993-06-30 01:23:0049.003 N, 13.497 WValdivia VLD137
883871CTD or STD cast1993-09-26 06:12:0049.08983 N, 13.37367 WRV Belgica BG9322A
883883CTD or STD cast1993-09-26 09:08:0049.1185 N, 13.42367 WRV Belgica BG9322A
1271535Water sample data1993-09-26 09:52:0049.11844 N, 13.42365 WRV Belgica BG9322A
883895CTD or STD cast1993-09-26 15:28:0049.12883 N, 13.43617 WRV Belgica BG9322A
883902CTD or STD cast1993-09-26 18:36:0049.14583 N, 13.482 WRV Belgica BG9322A
1271560Water sample data1993-09-26 18:46:0049.14583 N, 13.48192 WRV Belgica BG9322A
914877CTD or STD cast1993-10-24 09:14:0049.08333 N, 13.43 WRV Pelagia PE093
908177CTD or STD cast1994-01-07 05:16:0049.07333 N, 13.415 WFS Meteor M27_1
908189CTD or STD cast1994-01-07 21:22:0049.05667 N, 13.40833 WFS Meteor M27_1
908190CTD or STD cast1994-01-08 04:17:0049.08167 N, 13.43 WFS Meteor M27_1
444345Currents -subsurface Eulerian1994-01-08 07:34:0049.0942 N, 13.41 WFS Meteor M27_1
444357Currents -subsurface Eulerian1994-01-08 07:37:0049.0942 N, 13.41 WFS Meteor M27_1
444333Currents -subsurface Eulerian1994-01-08 07:39:0049.0942 N, 13.41 WFS Meteor M27_1
908208CTD or STD cast1994-01-08 08:00:0049.08 N, 13.435 WFS Meteor M27_1
887491CTD or STD cast1994-04-30 02:24:0049.0845 N, 13.30117 WRRS Charles Darwin CD85
887429CTD or STD cast1994-04-30 03:09:0049.08983 N, 13.3 WRRS Charles Darwin CD85
1663785Water sample data1994-05-29 08:37:0049.08648 N, 13.43338 WRRS Charles Darwin CD86
974008CTD or STD cast1994-05-29 09:51:0049.0865 N, 13.43333 WRRS Charles Darwin CD86
910342CTD or STD cast1994-09-14 18:58:0049.09083 N, 13.41133 WFS Meteor M30_1
442953Currents -subsurface Eulerian1994-09-15 09:30:0049.0883 N, 13.39 WFS Meteor M30_1
442977Currents -subsurface Eulerian1994-09-15 10:08:0049.0883 N, 13.39 WFS Meteor M30_1
442965Currents -subsurface Eulerian1994-09-15 14:35:0049.0883 N, 13.39 WFS Meteor M30_1
915021CTD or STD cast1995-08-23 06:10:0049.08317 N, 13.43067 WRV Pelagia PE95A
886463CTD or STD cast1995-09-30 05:45:0049.084 N, 13.4195 WRRS Discovery D217
1676267Water sample data1995-09-30 06:23:0049.08403 N, 13.41943 WRRS Discovery D217
886395CTD or STD cast1995-10-06 09:27:0049.091 N, 13.38417 WRRS Discovery D217
1676311Water sample data1995-10-06 11:18:0049.09093 N, 13.38417 WRRS Discovery D217
886402CTD or STD cast1995-10-06 14:00:0049.08067 N, 13.4025 WRRS Discovery D217
1676323Water sample data1995-10-06 14:15:0049.08059 N, 13.40249 WRRS Discovery D217
886414CTD or STD cast1995-10-07 05:01:0049.07717 N, 13.38917 WRRS Discovery D217
886426CTD or STD cast1995-10-07 08:07:0049.0835 N, 13.41383 WRRS Discovery D217