European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Sea Level Data Set

Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1990 to 1998 (WOCE period), historical data back to the early 1900s for several stations; many stations have data from the mid-1970s onwards
Geographical area



Air pressure; Temperature of the water column; Sea level


Meteorological packages; sea level recorders; water body temperature sensor


The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) sea level data set comprises data collected from approximately 160 tide gauge sites distributed around the world. The data are usually hourly heights of sea surface elevation, although some were collected and supplied at higher frequencies (i.e. 6 or 15 minute intervals) or as pressure values rather than elevations. The data are primarily from 1990 to 1998 (the WOCE period), but the dataset also includes historical data as a number of the tide gauges had been operating for many years. The total volume of data held is 3550 site years. A few sites have data extending back over 50 years and many over 20 years. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) was responsible, as a WOCE Data Assembly Centre (DAC), for assembling, quality controlling and disseminating this comprehensive sea level data set. Data were supplied by Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, the UK and the USA. Data quality control was carried out with the aid of sophisticated screening software which allows rapid inspection of the data. The sea level data were tidally analyzed and the residuals inspected. Parameters other than sea level, for example atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperature, were also visually inspected. This quality control identified spikes and gaps in the data in addition to timing problems and datum shifts. Any problems identified were resolved with the data supplier. Qualifying information accompanying the data was also checked and data documentation assembled. The data can be downloaded from the BODC web site, or made available on CD-ROM.

OriginatorsBritish Oceanographic Data Centre

WOCE Data Products Committee (2000) WOCE Global Data: Sea Level Data, Version 2.0, WOCE International Project Office, WOCE Report No. 171/00, Southampton, UK.,

Data web site
OrganisationBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
ContactPolly Hadžiabdić (Head of the BODC Requests Team)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 (0) 151 795 4884
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048003
Global identifier148
Last revised2009-05-15