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Research

Updated Website Provides Easy Access to Oceanographic Time-Series Data



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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program oceanographic and estuarine measurements have been available online since 2007, but an updated interface (visit “U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection”) makes browsing and identifying datasets of interest significantly easier and faster. 

The data were collected during USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program circulation and sediment transport studies and include measurements of currents, waves, water quality, light attenuation, and turbidity from many locations. The data support research for various circulation and sediment transport studies, including the effects of Hurricane Sandy and other coastal storms..

The website home page (see figure below) features an interactive map that allows users to easily browse the data holdings, identify sites of interest, and view the types of data included in each dataset. Boxes on the map indicate regional groupings of the experiments. A legend of experiment names and icons is below the map. Links to recent articles about the research are provided to the right of the map; selected publications associated with the data are provided on each experiment’s description page. A horizontal navigation bar above the map provides navigation between sections.

Home page of the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection
Above: Home page of the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection. The horizontal navigation bar provides navigation between sections, and the interactive map allows users to easily browse the data holdings and identify sites of interest and view the types of data included in the datasets. On the map, the same icon is used for all platforms in an experiment; the legend of experiment names and icons is below the map. The boxes on the map indicate regional groupings of the experiments. Links to recent articles about the research are provided to the right of the map, selected publications associated with the data are provided on each experiment’s description page. [larger version]

The “Overview” tab links to background information about the contents and formats of the data holdings and a link to the report by Montgomery and others (2016) that provides detailed documentation about the process required for data to be released in the collection. The report was updated in 2016 to document usage of the new web interface, the current workflow, and additional types of data released.

The “Experiment List” tab links to a sortable table of information about the experiments: the name, title, date, Principal Investigator (PI), region, and link to the experiment’s description page. This table is particularly useful for finding the most recent experiments or ones conducted by a particular scientist.

The example image below displays sites that were part of the Fire Island experiments from 2012 (black stars) and 2014 (blue stars). To see this view, you would start on the main map and click and drag the cursor to zoom the map to south of Long Island, New York. Clicking on any site icon displays a pop-up window containing the experiment name, the platform ID, and the duration of the data at that site. In the example below, the experiment name is “Fire Island 2012,” Mooring ID is 928, and the data was collected between January and February 2012. The “1 of 3” at the top left of the box indicates that more than one platform was deployed at the location. Clicking the arrow at the top right of the pop-up window will step through other platfoms at that location. Clicking on an experiment name displays a page with details about that experiment.

Zoomed-in view of the sites comprising the Fire Island 2012  and 2014 experiments
Above: Zoomed-in view of the sites comprising the Fire Island 2012 (black stars) and 2014 (blue stars) experiments. The pop-up window (displayed by clicking the icon) contains information specific to the site selected. [larger version]

Each experiment has a page showing details about the data collected, and they all take the same form: a description of the experimental program, how long it lasted, who conducted the study, related publications, field activity reports, release date, and data citation are on the left; data access links are in the blue panel at the right. For experiments that were assigned digital object identifiers (DOI) to permanently link to data, the experiment details page is the landing page for the DOI. A representative experiment page displaying the Fire Island New York Offshore experiment is shown at right. 

The Fire Island, New York, Offshore experiment details page shows the layout elements uniformly used on all experiment details pages.
Above: The Fire Island, New York, Offshore experiment details page shows the layout elements uniformly used on all experiment details pages. [larger version]

In the blue side bar, the “Catalog of Data” link displays a table of the file name, position, depth, and kind of measurement. Clicking on the file name in the table downloads the file. The “Data Access via THREDDS” links provide access to the data in EPIC and CF compliant forms via OPeNDAP protocols. A lot more information about the data storage format, conventions, and protocols is available in the file format and access sections of Montgomery and others (2016).

The smaller map displays only the sites where measurements were made in this experiment, with their duration. Below the map is a link to a kml file (viewable in Google Earth) that displays the types of data from each sensor available at that site.

The updated website presents the locations of all the Coastal and Marine Geology Program oceanographic and estuarine datasets on one map. The map-based browsing capability makes it significantly easier and faster to identify the suitability of data in the collection for use in answering a variety of scientific and management questions. Visit the site at: http://stellwagen.er.usgs.gov.

References:

Montgomery, E.T., Martini, M.A., Lightsom, F.L. and Butman, Bradford, 2016, Documentation of the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Measurement Database (ver 2.0, April 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007–1194, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20071194.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Data from Three Recent Studies Released in the USGS Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection
June / July 2016
Five New USGS Oceanographic Datasets Published Online—Uses Include Assessing Coastal Resilience to Storms
January / February 2015
Update on Oceanographic Study Offshore of Fire Island, New York
March / April 2014
Advancing Ocean and Coastal Data Sharing Capabilities—USGS Scientist Receives 2014 DeSouza Award
September / October 2014
Collecting Ocean-Circulation and Sediment-Transport Data Offshore of Fire Island, New York
July / August 2012
Unlocking Oceans of Model Data via Web Services
December 2010

Related Websites
Documentation of the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Measurement Database
USGS
U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection
USGS
Coastal Change Processes Project Data Report for Oceanographic Observations Near Fire Island, New York, February Through May 2014
USGS
Coastal Change Processes Project Data Report for Observations Near Fire Island, New York, January to April 2012
USGS

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in this issue:

Research
Scientists Bring Wave Action into the Picture

New Map Reuses Decades-Old USGS Data

Website Provides Oceanographic Time-Series Data

New Data Added to USGS Time-Series Data Collection

Fieldwork
Coastal Maps from Unmanned Aerial Systems

Future Fieldwork, August–September 2016

Outreach
USF Oceanography Camp for Girls

Staff
Student Trainee Gains Work Experience at USGS

Publications
Geological Perspective on Conservation of Atlantic Coral Reefs

Polar Bear Outlook Favorable Under Certain Scenarios

June / July Publications

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

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