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Open-File Report 2007–1194

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

Data Collection

To accomplish scientific research objectives, the USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program uses a variety of platforms and specialized instruments to collect data in coastal and estuarine waters.

The platforms section describes many of the the structures that can be placed on the seafloor to support data collection. Several instruments are usually mounted on each platform to acquire the data that satisfies research requirements. Instrumentation section describes the sensors used to make the observations available in the data collection.

Deployment and Recovery Documentation
Metadata (information about when, where, and how instruments were deployed and recovered) are recorded for each experiment. Information is entered into standard log sheets during instrument preparation, at deployment, and on recovery to document how instruments were prepared for an experiment, what sensors were deployed on the platform, and how they were configured. The data from the mooring logs filled out at sea are entered into a summary Excel spreadsheet that contains a tabular representation of the log. The paper logs are scanned and are archived in the Woods Hole Science Center Data Library. Information about maintenance, performance, and predeployment checkout and setup is recorded in an instrument log.

The following information is recorded on the mooring log sheets, for all mooring deployments:

  • Experiment name
  • Deployment date and time
  • Location of deployment (body of water and exact position)
  • Deployment ship and personnel
  • Scientific principal investigator (PI)
  • Mooring or tripod identifier
  • Instruments and serial numbers deployed on the mooring or tripod and their locations (height above bottom)
  • Water depth at the deployment position
  • Recovery date and time
  • Recovery ship and personnel
  • Comments about equipment condition or status

The following information is recorded for each instrument:

  • Serial number and model number
  • Firmware version
  • Orientation (up, down, sideways)
  • Sampling rate and schedule
  • Number of variables (or bytes) per record
  • Additional sensors that may be connected to a logger
  • Clock comparisons at beginning and end to assess drift

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