I work for the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and one of my responsibilities is the management of the AMT data sets. As part of a network of national marine data centres, BODC’s roles include providing a long-term archive for, and access to, marine data generated by UK scientists and we have been doing this for over 40 years. We maintain inventories of UK cruises and the data that have been collected on these cruises. We also ensure that data have all the supporting information necessary to make them useable in the future. Since it is not cheap to send a group of 30 scientists away to sea for 6 weeks, it is important that previously collected data be available for future use not only by the scientific community but also the wider public who fund the work as tax payers.
The AMT programme has been running since 1995 and there have been 22 cruises to date (AMT6 and AMT6b occurring at the same time if you are questioning why this cruise is AMT21!). Obviously the programme has generated a large amount of data comprising repeat physical, chemical and biological measurements in the Atlantic Ocean over these last 16 years. At the end of this cruise, once the scientists have returned home and worked up the samples they will then submit them to BODC and we will make them available to other interested parties. Clearly each scientist will want to investigate their own data first and so access to this data is limited to AMT participants for 2 years after the cruise. After that the data are publically available.
However as a participant on this cruise my role has also been to process the CTD and underway sensor data. I calibrate the salinity, oxygen and fluorometer sensors on these two systems against sample measurements collected from water samples. This provides accurate figures of water chemistry and biology that the scientists can then use. As we have moved along the cruise transect the ocean profiles have then been collated to generate a picture of how the water body we have passed over and sampled has changed.
Once we are back in the UK I will add the data sets collected on this cruise to the inventory and wait for the data to start rolling in ……
If you have any interest in data sets collected by the AMT programme, the AMT data inventories can be found at: