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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1219

Carolinas Coastal Change Processes Project data report for nearshore observations at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, February 2010

Data File Identifiers

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Data File Identifiers

A 3-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 Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center time series data management system. Individual data files are labeled by 4-digit numbers: the first three digits being the mooring number, and the last digit indicating the location of the instrument on the mooring. For example, 8771 identifies the topmost instrument on mooring 877, 8772 the next instrument down on mooring 877, etc. 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 (see field mooring log for mooring numbers) at the basic sampling interval are included as individual files. The data format is the EPIC netCDF standard defined by the National Oceanographic and Amospheric Administration (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 which 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 in table 1.

Table 1. Nomenclature summary using

[A description of variable names within files can be found in Montgomery and others (2008). ID, identification number or identifier]

Mooring ID Relative position on platform Instrument Identifier Sampling Scheme (optional) Data Type (optional) Version File Extension
877 First three digits identify a unique mooring or tripod number.
  1 relative position, where 1 is the top instrument
    adc T-RDI ADCP water flow
    wh T-RDI ADCP water flow data (older name)
    adv Sontek ADV and associated sensors
    abs Acoustic Backscatter Sensor
    aqd Nortek Aquadopp Acoustic Profiler
      1 First sampling scheme when multiple schemes are used
      2 Second sampling scheme when multiple scheme 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

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