European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

Sustained observations on World Ocean Circulation Experiment sections in the Drake passage (November 1993 - onwards)

Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 20th November 1993 onwards
Geographical area

The Drake Passage between Elephant Island in the south and Burdwood Bank in the north


Density of the water column; Temperature of the water column; Salinity of the water column


Thermosalinographs; CTD


The Drake Passage is a hydrographic section, occupied almost annually since 1993, consisting of full-depth CTD stations and lowered and shipboard Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler measurements. It is occupied annually to detect changes in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and variability of the ocean transport. The standard section includes measurements of the physical properties of the ocean, i.e. temperature, salinity and currents. The Drake Passage section lies on a satellite ground track with the northern end on the south side of Burdwood Bank, south of the Falkland Islands, and the southern end off Elephant Island at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The data have been collected in months between November and February, since 1993 (with the exception of 1995/96 and 1998/99). Measurements were taken using conductivity temperature depth (CTD) profilers and Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs). The Drake Passage provides the link between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as it constricts the ACC to a narrow geographical region, which makes this the best place to measure its properties. The Drake Passage is a series of sustained observations which are taken to identify small changes in the ACC. The work was initially led by scientists from the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences at Wormley, and more recently by teams from the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton. The main partners have been from NERC's British Antarctic Survey. Data, from the section, are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre.

OriginatorsNational Oceanography Centre, Southampton

Bacon, S. and Cunningham, S.A. (2005) Drake Passage summary report: Cruises on RRS "James Clark Ross", 1993-2000. Drake Passage repeat hydrography: WOCE Southern Repeat Section 1b - Elephant Island to Burdwood Bank. Southampton, UK, Southampton Oceanography Centre,

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

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048DRAKE_OBS
Global identifier5911
Last revised2015-06-17