Skip Navigation
USGS - science for a changing world

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Documentation of the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Measurement Database

image of next button.Go to online Time-Series Database

Appendix 1. File naming convention

USGS netCDF filenames have the following form:

999i[A][bbbb]-c[cc][_dd].ee ==> or or

where square brackets [ ] indicate optional elements.

The numbers and letters in the file name are as follows:
999i USGS mooring number. The first three digits are a number assigned to a platform (mooring or tripod), roughly chronologically as they are deployed. The fourth digit identifies a datalogger or instrument on the mooring or tripod with number 1 at the top and increasing with depth. The relevant depth is that of the measurement volume. In the case of multiple loggers at the same depth, an order is chosen by importance or to suit the investigator.
[A] An optional capital letter that identifies a portion of the deployment. These letters are used when a mooring was redeployed but a new mooring number was not assigned, or when the data set was broken into multiple time sections for processing.

bbb One or more lower-case letters that identify the measurements are contained in the data set or identifying the instrument type. These identifiers were gradually adopted between 1990 to 2000 to identify files as more instrument types were used to collect data. Some standard sensor codes used in the names are shown below.

Code Description
adc Data from a RDI ADCP
wh Data from a RDI WorkHorse ADCP
aqc Data from Sontek Aquadopp current profiler
v, vm VACM, VMCM, BASS, MAVS data
rcm Aanderra RCM data
advb Burst data from an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV)
advs Statistics data from an ADV
advq Quality information associated with processing of ADV data
pcab Burst data from a Pulse Coherent Acoustic Doppler Profiler (PCADP)
pcas Statistics data from a PCADP
pcaq Quality information associated with processing of PCADP data
adwp Waves data from RDI ADCP
aqwp Waves data from Sontek ADCP
arwp Waves data from Nortek ADCP
sc Seabird Seacat data
mc Seabird Microcat data
p Pressure data from any type of instrument
pt Pressure and temperature data from a modified current meter
cs Conductivity and salinity data from a modified current meter
att Attenuation data from a transmissometer
var Variances and covariances calculated from burst BASS data from a MIDAS logger
psd Pressure standard deviation calculated from burst BASS data from a MIDAS logger
im Imagenix sonar data
abss Acoustic Backscatter Suspended Sediment data
obs Optical Backscatter Sensor data

- a hyphen separates the bbb and ccc fields.

ccc Lower case letters that identify processing stage. Some of the standard processing level codes are:

Code Description
a Best Basic Version (BBV)
a1h Hour-averaged BBV
cal Calibrated, or translated into scientific units, implys "provisional" status
e Edited
terp Interpolated
lp Low-pass filtered BBV
q Fully processed but of questionable quality
trm Trimmed
clk Clock fixed

[_dd] Optional tag for other uses. For example, _d0, _d1, and _d2 are used to indicate relative positions of sensors attached to a single logger. During processing, this position may be used to differentiate data created with pre- or post-cruise calibrations, or by omitting suspicious data from one of a BASS's four axes. This section is sometimes also used to indicate that the data were processed in more than one section.

ee File type extension. The suffix ".nc" is typically used for files with EPIC variable names with time and time2. The extension ".cdf" commonly indicates older files with time variables derived from older dataloggers. NetCDF files translated from data that were originally stored in Buoy Format often have ".cdf" extensions. In some cases, ".cdf" is used to indicate provisional status.

image of next button.Return to Top   image of next button.Go to Next Topic
Skip Navigation

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USAGov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey

Page Contact Information: WHSC Webmaster
This page last modified on Thursday, 12-Feb-2009 13:04:53 EST