NCEI Standard Product: World Ocean Database (WOD)

The World Ocean Database (WOD) is the world's largest publicly available uniform format quality controlled ocean profile dataset. Ocean profile data are sets of measurements of an ocean variable vs. depth at a single geographic location within a short (minutes to hours) temporal period in some portion of the water column from the surface to the bottom. To be considered a profile for the WOD, there must be more than a single depth/variable pair. Multiple profiles at the same location from the same set of instruments is an oceanographic cast. Ocean variables in the WOD include temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrients, tracers, and biological variables such as plankton and chlorophyll. Quality control procedures are documented and performed on each cast and the results are included as flags on each measurement. The WOD contains the data on the originally measured depth levels (observed) and also interpolated to standard depth levels to present a more uniform set of iso-surfaces for oceanographic and climate work.

The source of the WOD is more than 20,000 separate archived data sets contributed by institutions, project, government agencies, and individual investigators from the United States and around the world. Each data set is available in its original form in the National Centers for Environmental Information data archives. All data sets are converted to the same standard format, checked for duplication within the WOD, and assigned quality flags based on objective tests. Additional subjective flags are set upon calculation of ocean climatological mean fields which make up the World Ocean Atlas (WOA) series.

The WOD consists of periodic major releases and quarterly updates to those releases. Each major release is associated with a concurrent release of a WOA release, and contains final quality control flags used in the WOA, which includes manual as well as automated steps. Each quarterly update release includes additional historical and recent data and preliminary quality control. The latest major release was WOD 2018 (WOD18), which includes nearly 16 million oceanographic casts, from the second voyage of Captain Cook (1772) to the modern Argo floats (end of 2017).

The WOD presents data in netCDF ragged array format following the Climate and Forecast (CF) conventions for ease of use mindful of space limitations.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated October 24, 2019, 07:46
Created October 23, 2018, 23:04
access_constraints ["Cite as: Boyer, Tim P.; Antonov, John I.; Baranova, Olga K.; Coleman, Carla; Garcia, Hernan E.; Grodsky, Alexandra; Johnson, Daphne R.; Locarnini, Ricardo A.; Mishonov, Alexey V.; O'Brien, Todd D.; Paver, Christopher R.; Reagan, James R.; Seidov, Dan; Smolyar, Igor V.; Zweng, Melissa M. (2016). NCEI Standard Product: World Ocean Database (WOD). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://accession.nodc.noaa.gov/NCEI-WOD. Accessed [date].", "When using temperature, please also cite: Locarnini, Ricardo A.; Mishonov, Alexey V.; Antonov, John I.; Boyer, Tim P.; Garcia, Hernan E.; Baranova, Olga K.; Zweng, Melissa M.; Paver, Christopher R.; Reagan, James R.; Johnson, Daphne R.; Hamilton, Melanie; Seidov, Dan (2013). World Ocean Atlas 2013, Volume 1: Temperature. S. Levitus, Ed., A. Mishonov, Technical Ed.; NOAA Atlas NESDIS 73, 40 pp.", "When using salinity, please also cite: Zweng, Melissa M.; Reagan, James R.; Antonov, John I.; Locarnini, Ricardo A.; Mishonov, Alexey V.; Boyer, Tim P.; Garcia, Hernan E.; Baranova, Olga K.; Johnson, Daphne R.; Seidov, Dan; Biddle, Mathew M. (2013). World Ocean Atlas 2013, Volume 2: Salinity. S. Levitus, Ed., A. Mishonov, Technical Ed., NOAA Atlas NESDIS 74, 39 pp.", "When using oxygen, please also cite: Garcia, Hernan E.; Locarnini, Ricardo A.; Boyer, Tim P.; Antonov, John I.; Mishonov, Alexey V.; Baranova, Olga K.; Zweng, Melissa M.; Reagan, James R.; Johnson, Daphne R. (2013). World Ocean Atlas 2013 Volume 3: Dissolved Oxygen, Apparent Oxygen Utilization, and Oxygen Saturation. S. Levitus, Ed., A. Mishonov, Technical Ed., NOAA Atlas NESDIS 75, 29 pp.", "When using nutrients, please also cite: Garcia, Hernan E.; Locarnini, Ricardo A.; Boyer, Tim P.; Antonov, John I.; Baranova, Olga K.; Zweng, Melissa M.; Reagan, James R.; Johnson, Daphne R. (2013). World Ocean Atlas 2013 Volume 4: Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, silicate). S. Levitus, Ed., A. Mishonov, Technical Ed., NOAA Atlas NESDIS 76, 25 pp.", "Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose."]
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