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U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data

This server contains time series oceanographic data collected by USGS investigators and collaborators as part of experiments to study circulation and sediment transport in the coastal ocean. The experiments were typically one month to several years long and were carried out between 1975 and the present. The data are presented by geographic region with the maps below showing the locations where data are available. Next to them are a list of the experiments in that region and their dates. Click on the experiment name to view more information about each experiment and for links to the data. Measurements include current velocity, temperature, pressure, conductivity, light transmission (beam attenuation) among others. The experiments often focused on observations near the sea floor, but most also obtained some data in the water column. Data is provided at the fastest instrument sampling interval and often as hourly averages. Experiments longer than a few months entailed multiple, sequential instrument deployments; the data for these experiments are available as separate records.

The data are stored in Network Common Data Format (netCDF) files using the Equatorial Pacific Information Collection (EPIC) conventions defined by the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. NetCDF is a general, self-documenting, machine-transportable data format created and supported by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). EPIC is an early set of standards which allow researchers from different organizations to share oceanographic data. The files may be downloaded or accessed using the Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol (OPeNDAP). The OPeNDAP framework allows users to access data from anywhere on the internet using a variety of different client-server methods. In addition, the data are served via Thematic Realtime Environmental Distributed Data Services (THREDDS) on each project's page. We plan to also release the data conforming to the Climate and Forecast convention (CF). CF is an extension of conventions used by the Cooperative Ocean/Atmosphere Research Data Service (COARDS) for the standardization of netCDF files. CF is widely used by climate modelers, and providing the data in this way will promote its use by other investigators.

Documentation of the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Database is available in U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1194. This report describes the instruments employed, data-processing techniques, and data-quality assessment methods used to collect and process the data. The report also provides more detail about the storage format, typical file contents, and distribution and visualization methods for the data.

Update History:
18 Aug.2015- modified several file names to conform to rules; updated index

A tripod being readied for deployment
Available data sets (listed by region and experiment)
Click on experiment for description and links to data
Maps showing mooring locations

Gulf of Maine

Gulf of Maine Study Area

Coastal Massachusetts

Coastal Massachusetts study area

Middle Atlantic Bight

Middle Atlantic Bight study area

South Atlantic Bight

South Atlantic Bight study area

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico Study Area


California study area


Hawaii study area


International study area
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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 27-June-2012 11:24:40 EST