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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

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

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This report describes the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection (previously named the USGS Oceanographic Time-Series Measurement Database), and the processes required for data released on the Web site at The collection of oceanographic time-series measurements described in this report preserves and provides access to observations collected by investigators at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC), other USGS Coastal and Marine Geology centers, and colleagues since 1975. The data in this collection were obtained as part of studies designed to improve our understanding and predict the fate and transport of sediments and other suspended materials in the coastal ocean. Most of the field experiments were carried out at locations along the East and West Coasts of the United States, but field programs were also carried out in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore of Hawaii, and in the Adriatic Sea. Some of the measurements from selected experiments are documented and distributed in USGS open-file reports, data series reports, or other publications, but the database is the permanent repository and distribution center for all of the data. Inclusion in the online database is also considered the formal data release. Starting in 2015, experiments are assigned a dataset Digital Object Identifier (DOI) that can be cited when the experiment is added to the database. If an open-file report or data series report is written for that experiment, it will have its own DOI and citation. Data from older experiments will be assigned DOIs as time permits.

One of the goals in establishing a database is to facilitate use of the data by a wide range of users. This report provides the information needed to select and retrieve data and the open-source software required to read the data files. It also describes the various instruments and instrument systems employed to collect the measurements; the methods used to process and prepare these data for distribution; the availability of the data; and how the database is managed.

This report includes:

  • a description of the database and contents
  • documentation of the instrumentation and platforms employed to acquire the measurements
  • documentation of the data processing for each instrument
  • description of the quality-control, review, and approval process
  • description of the data-storage format
  • description of the conventions used
  • instructions on how to access data in the database
  • links to the oceanographic time-series measurement database
  • description of the organization of the Web site and experiment pages
  • links to sources of software to read and plot data in the database

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 06-Dec-2017 13:16:59 EST