Monday, 15 December 2014

GEBCO_2014 Grid released

The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) is pleased to announce the release of its latest global terrain model at 30 arc-second intervals — the GEBCO_2014 Grid. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) maintain and distribute bathymetric grids on behalf of the GEBCO community.
The grid marks a significant update to the previous release (the GEBCO_08 Grid) and benefits from contributions from numerous data providers and mapping programmes. The updated regional compilations included in GEBCO_2014 encompass 19% of the world ocean area. These additions, mostly based on multibeam data collected using modern equipment and navigation techniques, provide substantially higher-resolution details on a 30 arc-second spacing than previously released versions of the GEBCO grid.
GEBCO 2014 Grid for the Atlantic Ocean area ©
There is more detailed information in the documentation accompanying the data set.
Regional compilations included in the new grid:
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) v1
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) v3
  • European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) Bathymetry 2013 data set
  • Baltic Sea Bathymetry Database
  • Australian Bathymetry and Topography Grid, June 2009
  • Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) Synthesis from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • Japan Coast Guard Grid for the North Western Pacific Ocean region
  • Updates of the South China Sea Region and waters off Chile using data supplied from Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs)
  • Bathymetry of the North American Great Lakes
  • North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Cadiz region
  • South Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea region
As with the previous release, the GEBCO_2014 grid is accompanied by a Source Identifier (SID) Grid. This indicates whether cells in the GEBCO_2014 Grid are based on soundings or existing grids or are based on interpolation.
The grid is available to download in netCDF form; it is planned to make the data available in Esri ASCII raster and data GeoTIFF formats in the near future. The grid is also available in the form of a shaded relief image via a web map service.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Excellent progress in SenseOCEAN

The first annual, FP7 funded, SenseOCEAN project meeting shows excellent progress on the development of technologies that will enable the real time acquisition and processing of biogeochemical ocean data from a greater range of platforms than ever before.
This four year project, led by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), saw world leading SME’s and research organisations from across Europe come together in the Technical University of Graz, Austria, in order to discuss progress on the development of a cost effective, integrated, in-situ, multifunctional sensor package for observing biogeochemical cycles in the ocean.
SenseOCEAN ©
By the time this project finishes, in 2017, the SenseOCEAN consortium aim to have developed a modular sensor system, which will be deployable on a range of platforms, including; profiling floats, deep-sea observatories, autonomous underwater vehicles and fishing vessels. Ultimately these sensors will be launched as commercially available products.
Dr Doug Connelly, project co-ordinator of SenseOCEAN, said "this project really is at the leading edge of sensor development. By taking sensor technology from the lab to the market, this project places the EU at the forefront of this technological development".
Previously many oceanographic data collection missions have been limited by the need to get instruments back in a workable condition, in order to extract data from them. The real time data processing technology being developed by SenseOCEAN will greatly expand the volume and speed at which data can be recovered from these missions.
The role of the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) on SenseOCEAN is to run a quality control check on the data and to develop a means of using the internet to link different data sets in order to show how they are connected. Dr Adam Leadbetter, Vocabularies Manager at the BODC, explains that "this innovation, called 'linked data' has the potential to vastly improve public access to oceanographic data, as well as to enable the easier production of more accurate marine data products and reports to policy makers. For example, a documentary on life in the ocean could contain a direct link to the data on which it is based".
Dr Graham Allen, Head of BODC, said "As part of SenseOCEAN BODC will extend our Real Time Marine Data Delivery System to manage biogeochemical observations. This enhances BODC's ability to acquire and deliver data in real time to other projects and interested parties; significantly increasing the accessibility of marine data".

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Marine Environmental Data and Information Network Coordinator

Dr. Clare Postlethwaite has been appointed coordinator of the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN).

Dr Clare Postlethwaite ©
Clare joined MEDIN two years ago as a member of the Core Team with responsibility for metadata and data standards. During this time she has worked with members of the marine community from across the public and private sectors. She believes MEDIN’s goal is to make it easier to share marine data for both data collectors and data users and looks forward to working on ways to achieve this goal.
Clare completed her PhD in Oceanography in 2002 and her background in oceanographic research means that in addition to the data management experience she has acquired since working for MEDIN, she also has experience of generating large marine data sets and the problems associated with reusing other people’s marine data.
MEDIN is a partnership of UK organisations committed to improving access to marine data. Our partners are both public and private sector. MEDIN reports directly to the Marine Science Coordination Committee (MSCC).

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ocean Data Interoperability

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) recently took part in the 3rd Ocean Data Interoperability Platform (ODIP) workshop in Townsville, Australia.

ODIP is a transcontinental collaboration between marine data management experts from the EU, Australia and the USA, scheduled to last for three years (01 October 2012 - 31 September 2015). ODIP focuses on knowledge sharing and collaborative development activities to harmonise and enhance ocean data management globally.

Users of the NERC Vocabulary Server ©
It provides BODC with an opportunity to promote our global systems, exchange expertise with other partners and participate in the development of international systems. Development activities include
  1. Prototype 1 — Data centre interoperability
    This activity aims to establish interoperability between the EU SeaDataNet Common Data Index (CDI), the US National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) data discovery and access services.
  2. Prototype 2 — Research cruise metadata
    This activity aims to link the EU, US and Australian research cruise programmes to provide cruise information at an international level. The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) will provide a global cruise metadata repository.
  3. Prototype 3 — Sensor Observation Services (SOS)
    The SOS activity aims to develop standards-based automated machine-to-machine data delivery and collection system. Such systems can potentially enhance real-time data delivery. BODC is working on a prototype SOS installation as part of the SenseOCEAN project.
  4. Vocabularies
    BODC plays a big part in vocabulary interoperability and this is an area that's becoming increasingly important. ODIP aims to increase the uptake of, fills gaps in and interlink existing vocabulary and persistent identifier services.
  5. Data publication and citation
    This aims to share data publication techniques and practices to ensure a consistent global approach to data publication. At the workshop, BODC presented the update to our Published Data Library and recent progress on the citation of dynamic data.
  6. Data Ingestion
    This aims to exchange knowledge with a view to improving data submission and ingestion efficiencies through the introduction of web forms. BODC presented its work on a secure file access area project.
The 4th ODIP workshop will be hosted by the British Oceanographic Data Centre in Spring 2015. A proposal for EU Horizon 2020 funding to continue ODIP has recently been submitted. If successful, it will provide a seamless continuation of ODIP activities and bring more partners in, increasing the expertise shared.

Friday, 25 July 2014

New Head of BODC

We are delighted to welcome Dr Graham Allen as the new Head of the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). Graham will be taking up his post on the 4th August 2014.

Dr Graham Allen ©
BODC's mission is:
To develop, coordinate and provide specialist data services for the UK and international marine science communities, to facilitate innovative use and re-use of data, and to ensure long-term curation of valuable and unique marine data resources.
As Head of BODC, Graham will be responsible for ensuring BODC's work facilitates research outcomes of the highest quality, as well as making sure the data and knowledge derived from it informs stakeholders such that they derive maximum impact from marine science, benefitting the environment, society and the economy.
Graham comes to the BODC with an early career background as a physical oceanographer, having gained his PhD from the University of Wales, Bangor in 1995. In recent years he has managed diverse teams in the commercial IT business sector, most recently as General Manager for product development at a New Zealand company providing software systems to the global oil retail industry.
Graham commented, "I am excited about returning to oceanography after having spent the last few years in commercial software management. Whether business or environmental, data are expensive to collect and manage so we should always look to maximize its value through re-use. The BODC team have clearly established themselves as world leaders in the management of marine data and I am looking forward to working with them."

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

UK Polar Network workshop

Recently the UK Polar Network held a workshop on communicating with the public called "Science and Society: Do they have to be Poles apart?" at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. The aim of the event was to provide early-career scientists (Masters/PhD students and young post-doctoral researchers) with insights, training and resources for use in communicating science to the public.

Delegates get hands on with deconstructable models of the Arctic and Antarctic ©
The topics, delivered by a range of presenters, covered:
  • What is outreach, why do it and what approaches can you take?
  • Can outreach make better scientists?
  • Press releases and working with the media
  • Science and the national media
  • Social media and blogging
  • Film and photography in the field
  • Interactive education and outreach
  • Effective science communication and associated moral dilemmas
British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) data scientist Matt Donnelly contributed to the event, running a session on data management sponsored by the Software Sustainability Institute.
The session began with a small group task to identify threats to successful research, which produced a reassuringly wide range of answers. It became clear that, while some students had thought of and addressed some aspects of good data management practice, everyone had areas they identified as needing attention. The session continued with an explanation of basic data management practices and how they underpin the reliability of research and therefore public confidence in science.
Public outreach was highlighted as an ideal opportunity to convey not just what has been discovered but also the robustness of the methods used. The session continued with a brief overview of NERC's environmental data centres and how to submit data to them, as well as the extent of BODC's data holdings and how to access them. The session finished with a second small team exercise challenging attendees to come up with ideas for Citizen Science projects based on their own research or fields, which produced some interesting ideas.
UKPN's review can be found on their web site.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) festival

Earlier this year a team of five scientists, including British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) data scientist Matt Donnelly and oceanographers from the University of Liverpool, worked together to provide ocean sciences sessions to primary school children as part of a local Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) festival.
Volunteers mix salt and food colouring into a flow tank for a demonstration of density©
Held at the Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum in Cheshire, around 60 children from a range of local schools had the opportunity to learn about
  • the concepts of water density and salinity, and how they relate to the Mersey Estuary and ocean circulation through the use of flow tanks, fizzy drinks cans and food colouring
  • the sizes, shapes and life of zooplankton through the use of microscopes
  • the important role of phytoplankton in the marine environment and way in which zooplankton graze on them
The sessions proved a success with the children who quickly grasped new concepts whilst getting hands on with the equipment. They asked a wide range of questions on the science, what we do with the information collected and working at sea.
It was a great opportunity to bring the fascinating world of oceanography 'into the classroom', and discuss the detailed work undertaken by BODC and researchers alike.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

POLCOMS 40-year North Atlantic model run

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) are pleased to announce the availability of a 40 year hindcast simulation of currents, potential temperature, salinity and sea surface height for the northwest European continental shelf.
As part of Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) National Capability work, the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System (POLCOMS) was used to derive potential temperature, salinity, sea surface height and both baroclinic and barotropic currents for the Atlantic margin of the northwest European shelf from 1960 to 2004.
Sea water salinity from POLCOMS 40 year run ©
The work was carried out by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) Shelf and Coastal Impacts team in the Marine Systems Modelling Group. The data were generated as part of research looking at multi-decadal trends and variability in temperature over the northwest European continental shelf.
The dataset consists of
  • 25 hour average east and northward velocity components (m s-1), depth averaged, for each model depth level across the model domain
  • 25 hour average potential temperature (°C) and salinity for each model depth and sea surface height (m) across the model domain
The model simulation starts at 00:00 UTC 01 January 1960 and finishes at 24:00 UTC 31 December 2004.
The full dataset is now available for download at the BODC numerical modelling portal.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Ocean Acidification expert meeting

On 23-24 April 2014, the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) participated in an expert meeting on the management of ocean acidification biological response data, hosted by the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) at the IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco. The meeting brought together a group of over twenty data managers and scientists, some in person, others by video conference, from 10 countries around the globe.

Delegates at the expert meeting on the management of ocean acidification biological response data. ©
Issues discussed involved improving the data reporting guidelines for scientists (to ensure essential information is captured, allowing reuse of data sets), providing best practice for data curators, advice about data policies and management plans, common vocabularies and how best to make data available to the community.
BODC is committed to ensuring that data collected by UK scientists relevant to expanding understanding of the potential impacts of ocean acidification, are managed in an effective manner to ensure long-term worldwide availability.
More information about the workshop can be found on the OA-ICC website.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

New GEBCO World Map available

The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) World Map is a shaded relief map of the global ocean floor, created using GEBCO data.
The third release of the map is now available to download as PDF and GeoTIFF (a version of TIFF that has georeferencing information embedded in it).
GEBCO World Map viewed in Google Earth©
The new map uses bathymetry data from the latest version of GEBCO's global bathymetric grid, the GEBCO_08 Grid (version 20100927), which has a 30 arc-second resolution. It also includes the names of sea floor features from the IHO-IOC GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names. As with previous versions of the map, it uses NASA Blue Marble imagery for the land and the coastline is taken from the World Vector Shoreline dataset.
The map is featured in the Google Maps Gallery and can be used in Google Earth.