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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1156

Carolinas Coastal Change Processes Project Data Report for Observations near Diamond Shoals, North Carolina, January-May 2009

Data-File Identifiers

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Data-File Identifiers

A three-digit mooring number is used to identify all files containing time-series data and is the key through which one can identify and (or) locate data records in the USGS Woods Hole Science Center time-series data-management system. Individual data files are labeled by four-digit numbers; the first three digits are the mooring number, and the last digit indicates the location of the instrument on the mooring. For example, 5541 identifies the topmost instrument on mooring 554, 5542 the next instrument down on mooring 554, and so on. As data files are processed, additional identifiers are added to the four-digit identifier to indicate sensors, processing steps, and averaging. A full description of the file naming conventions can be found in Montgomery and others (2008).

Time-Series Oceanographic Observations

The time-series data for the deployment at the basic sampling interval are included as individual files. The data format is the EPIC netcdf standard defined by the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). netcdf is a very general, self-documenting, machine-transportable data format created and supported by UCAR ( EPIC ( is a set of standards that allow researchers from different organizations to share oceanographic data without having to translate "foreign" data types into the local vernacular.

The naming convention for netcdf data files is as follows:

Table 2. Nomenclature summary using

Mooring number Relative position on platform Instrument identifier Sampling scheme (optional) Data type (optional) Version File extension
746 First three digits identify a unique mooring or tripod number.
  4 relative position, where 1 is the top instrument
    pt pressure-temperature logger
    adc T-RDI ADCP water flow
    wh T-RDI ADCP water flow data (older name)
    adv Sontek ADV and associated sensors
    pca Sontek PCADP and accessory sensors
    abs Acoustic Backscatter Sensor
    bt Brancker temperature logger
    mc MicroCAT temperature and salinity logger
    sc SEACAT temperature and salinity logger
    att Transmissometer
    rcm Aanderraa current meter
      1 First sampling scheme when multiple schemes are used
      2 Second sampling scheme when multiple schemes are used
        b Burst data (for instruments with burst and statistics files)
        s Statistics of the bursts (for instruments with burst data)
          -a USGS best basic version
          -a1h Hour-averaged best basic version
          -cal Provisional
            .nc netcdf file extension
            .cdf netcdf file extension

Description of variable names within files (Montgomery and others ,2008)

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