Guide to cruise report compilation


The purpose of this guide is to provide an aid to Principle scientists (PS) for the compilation of cruise reports. For those already experienced in the production of cruise reports there are some additional elements included relating to the management of datasets generated.

The fundamental role of the GEOTRACES International Data Assembly Centre (GDAC) in supporting the GEOTRACES scientific community is the assembly of all the data from international GEOTRACES cruises into an accessible, integrated dataset. One of the main problems encountered when attempting this is a lack of information. It is difficult to assemble a complete dataset when one is not totally sure of what data were collected, where, how and by whom.

In the absence of a dedicated onboard data manager, the main point of reference for GDAC staff will be the cruise report. The document should contain the detailed information required by cruise participants, interested members of the scientific community and data managers alike.

Access to comprehensive, accurate metadata (dataset-related information) is essential in processing cruise-derived datasets. If the information is not to hand this inevitably means time consuming (for all concerned) interaction with the originators, inefficient production of the integrated dataset and a potentially reduced value of the final product (a definitive, fully documented, calibrated and quality controlled dataset).

The following section breaks the cruise report down into structural elements and provides a brief description of the required content. The final section further details the type of information required by GDAC data managers for activities common on oceanographic cruises.


Each section is completed by the personnel undertaking the activity. All applicable information should be included. The activity documents should be produced during the cruise and submitted to the PI prior to disembarking .

Each section should contain the following:

Useful operational information

The following is a list of generic sampling operations and instruments highlighting information that is required by GEOTRACES DAC in order to process associated datasets efficiently. The list is by no means comprehensive but can serve as a guide for instruments not listed.




Irradiance meters

Discrete Water samples

Ensure that for each water sample we know the following:

Underway sensors