National coastal baseline survey

Data set information

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Data holding centreEnvironment Agency Head Office
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time period1993-1997
Geographical area

Coastal waters of England and Wales within the three nautical mile limit


Variable fluorescence parameters; Chlorophyll pigment concentrations in water bodies; Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column; Dissolved metal concentrations in the water column; Nitrate concentration parameters in the water column; Phosphate concentration parameters in the water column; Salinity of the water column; Silicate concentration parameters in the water column; Temperature of the water column; Concentration of suspended particulate material in the water column; Nitrite concentration parameters in the water column; Dissolved trace metalloid and inorganic selenium concentrations in water bodies; Transmittance and attenuance of the water column


Fluorometers; discrete water samplers; particulates samplers; salinity sensor; elemental analysers; nutrient analysers; transmissometers; dissolved gas sensors


The National coastal baseline survey was carried out from 1993 to 1997 to provide a national overview of water quality within coastal waters. Water samples were collected using a coastal survey vessel for laboratory analysis for chemical determinands such as dissolved metals, nutrients, chlorophyll-a and suspended solids, at approximately 15 km intervals around the coast. Variation in water quality between these points was assessed using continuous monitoring with electronic instrumentation mounted on a Towfish system behind the vessel. Parameters measured included temperature, salinity, fluorescence and transmission. To provide a two dimensional overview of the coastal zone, remote sensed imagery was collected of the entire coastal zone between 1993 and 1995. Imagery of specific geographical areas was collected in 1996 and 1997. The instruments used were the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) and a digital thermal video system.

OriginatorsEnvironment Agency Head Office
OrganisationEnvironment Agency Head Office
ContactPublic Enquiries Unit

Environment Agency Head Office
Horizon House

United Kingdom

Telephone+44 1454 624400
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1097001
Global identifier877
Last revised2009-10-19