Monthly and annual mean seawater temperature, salinity and density from 26 tide gauge sites during 1855-1993 (NODC Accession 0000817)

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Tidal observers at primary tide gauges of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the NOAA National Ocean Service) routinely measured seawater temperature and density throughout most of the 20th century with select sites well before. All available records for 26 sites have been digitized, although more paper file records may still exist for others. Students at Florida Institute of Technology provided the key entry and quality control. The purpose was to study trends in sea water temperature and density in support of increasing the scientific understanding of low-frequency changes across a wide spatial domain of the coastal United States.
  • Cite as: Maul, George A.; Davis, Andia M.; Simmons, Jeffrey W. (2010). Monthly and annual mean seawater temperature, salinity and density from 26 tide gauge sites during 1855-1993 (NODC Accession 0000817). Version 2.2. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
gov.noaa.nodc:0000817
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Distribution Formats
  • Originator data format
Ordering Instructions Data may be searched and downloaded using online services provided by NCEI using the online resource URLs in this record. Contact NCEI Information Services for custom orders. When requesting data from NCEI, the desired data set may be referred to by the unique package identification number listed in this metadata record.
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Information Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Time Period 1855-01-01 to 1993-12-31
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 60.12
S: 24.9
E: -66.99
W: -152.52
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2010-12-15
  • revision: 2015-08-21
Edition 2.2
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
Tidal observers at primary tide gauges of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the NOAA National Ocean Service) routinely measured seawater temperature and density. Many records extend back to the early part of the last century, the longest record extant being San Francisco (Carvalho and Maul, 1997). For the most part, these records have not been digitized nor analyzed for climatic signatures to our knowledge. Unfortunately, many of the 81 or so USA tidal station temperature records have missing data and/or are too short for analysis of linear trend. Modern tide gauges typically have seawater temperature sensors reporting in their data-stream, but the traditional analog systems relied on the skill of the observer to measure, record, summarize, and report temperature and density. The missing records are probably not the fault of field observers, and may well yet be discovered in misfiled reports.

Herein, records that span most of the last 100 years are entered into spreadsheet files, and are made available. Most of the digitizing is the product of work-study students at Florida Tech. Quality control and quality assurance utilize standard methods including plots and visual outlier detection. All data were converted from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Data were provided as photocopies (and more recently digitized records) of the station sheets filed with each tide station folder. In most cases the data included monthly and annual mean temperatures, monthly and annual maximum and minimum temperatures, monthly and annual mean seawater density and maximum and minimum density. Almost all data in the photocopies are hand entries; monthly and annual means were mechanically calculated. Temperatures and densities from the tidal station sheets were placed into spreadsheets manually. Plots of monthly data were made to determine errors or outliers. Finally the digitized tables were compared to the photocopies to ensure accurate copying. As with meteorological stations, tide gauge stations are moved from time to time. The usual emphasis in sea level continuity is through benchmark checks by differential leveling. No such practice seems to have been emphasized with the seawater temperature or density observations, but considering the tradition of excellence within the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey since its founding by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, it is reasonable to assume the historical information is reliable. Quantifying the standard errors associated with these monthly or annual means is problematic. The observer traditionally visited the tide gauge on a daily basis, and recorded the data by hand on summary sheets and on the marigram itself (USC&GS, 1929). Temperature and density typically are from bucket samples and thus represent true sea surface observations. Well-designed and calibrated thermometers are usually read at least to the nearest one-degree F or to the nearest 0.5 degree C, and estimating the number of observations per month to be 30, it seems reasonable to assume the monthly mean standard error is less than +/- 0.1 deg C. Observer error then is probably negligible for the purposes of determining trends.

The bounding latitude/longitudes are the extremes from the 26 fixed positions for the tide gauge stations.

In this accession, NCEI has archived multiple versions of these data. The latest (and best) version of these data has the largest version number.
Purpose To study trends in sea water temperature and density in support of increasing the scientific understanding of low-frequency changes across a wide spatial domain of the coastal United States.
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Maul, George A.; Davis, Andia M.; Simmons, Jeffrey W. (2010). Monthly and annual mean seawater temperature, salinity and density from 26 tide gauge sites during 1855-1993 (NODC Accession 0000817). Version 2.2. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
Cited Authors
  • Maul, George A.
  • Davis, Andia M.
  • Simmons, Jeffrey W.
Principal Investigators
Collaborators
Contributors
Resource Providers
Publishers
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science and Services Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > OCEAN TEMPERATURE > WATER TEMPERATURE
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > SALINITY/DENSITY > DENSITY
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > SALINITY/DENSITY > SALINITY
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NOS/OCS > Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS
Platform keywords NODC PLATFORM NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • BUOYS
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • HYDROMETERS
  • THERMOMETERS
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN > GULF OF MEXICO
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN
None
  • Astoria, Oregon
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Boston, Massachusettes
  • Breakwater, Deleware
  • Cedar Keys, Florida
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Continental United States coasts
  • Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Eastern United States coasts
  • Eastport, Maine
  • Galveston, Texas
  • Ketchikan, Alaska
  • Key West, Florida
  • Kodiak Island (Women's Bay) Alaska
  • La Jolla, California
  • Los Angeles Harbor, California
  • New York (The Battery), New York
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Port Townsend, Washington
  • Portland, Maine
  • San Francisco, California
  • Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Seward, Alaska
  • Sitka, Alaska
  • USA Tide Stations
  • United States Alaskan coast
  • United States Gulf coast
  • Western United States coasts
Project keywords NODC PROJECT NAMES THESAURUS
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Maul, George A.; Davis, Andia M.; Simmons, Jeffrey W. (2010). Monthly and annual mean seawater temperature, salinity and density from 26 tide gauge sites during 1855-1993 (NODC Accession 0000817). Version 2.2. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
Access Constraints
  • NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Fees
  • Digital data may be downloaded from NCEI at no charge in most cases. For custom orders of digital data or to obtain a copy of analog materials, please contact NCEI Information Services for information about current fees.
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • 2010-12-15T18:41:38 - NCEI Accession 0000817 v1.1 was published.
  • 2015-08-21T17:53:25 - NCEI Accession 0000817 was revised and v2.2 was published.
    Rationale: Updates were received for this data set. These updates were copied into the data/0-data/ directory of this accession. These updates may provide additional files or replace obsolete files. This version contains the most complete and up-to-date representation of this archival information package. All of the files received prior to this update are available in the preceding version of this accession.
Output Datasets
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • bucket
  • hydrometer
  • thermometer
Platform
  • FIXED PLATFORM
Last Modified: 2018-04-12T21:11:17
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