Potential and in-situ temperature and salinity from the Levitus Climatological Atlas of the World Ocean (1900-1978)

Data set information

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Data holding centreHadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1900 to 1978
Geographical area



Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column; Salinity of the water column; Temperature of the water column


Bathythermographs; salinity sensor; dissolved gas sensors


The data used in this project comprised all temperature, salinity and oxygen data available from the US NODC's Oceanographic Station Data (SD) file as of the first quarter of 1978 and in the Mechanical Bathythermograph (MBT) and Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) files as of the first quarter of 1977. The SD file contained approximately 500,000 hydrographic stations, mostly Nansen casts. The MBT file contained approximately 785,000 observations and the XBT file approximately 300,000 observations. The data have been analyzed in a consistent objective manner at standard oceanographic depth levels. The data set was carefully screened and subjected to careful quality evaluation procedures including range checks, static stability check, and various statistical checks. Duplicate, obviously erroneous or non-representative data were eliminated. The analyzed fields were generated by means of an iterative difference correction scheme, details of which can be found in NOAA Professional Paper No. 13. This data set comprises monthly, seasonal and annual values of potential and in-situ temperature and salinity, at 33 levels on a 1 ° x 1 ° grid. The Hadley Centre has calculated potential temperature from the original data. In addition, PP format data has been interpolated from the original Levitus grid. Note the Hadley Centre comments: Salinity values at levels near the ice are not reliable due to ice melt.

OriginatorsHadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

Levitus, S. (1982) Climatological Atlas of the World Ocean., NOAA Professional Paper 13. US Dept of Commerce. Washington, USA.

Data web site
OrganisationHadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactDr. David A. Bennetts

Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
Met Office FitzRoy Road
United Kingdom
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1026013
Global identifier361
Last revised2009-11-30