Data processing for a small-scale long-term coastal ocean observing system near Mobile Bay, Alabama Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016. The Authors. The oceanographic community routinely collects time series data of hydrography, water current velocity, and other basic physical, chemical, and biological properties of the marine environment. Such data are essential for establishing baseline characteristics of marine and estuarine ecosystems. However, the task of taking the raw data files as downloaded from a variety of instruments from multiple manufacturers, and converting them into file formats that can be used to address specific research questions, can be highly complex and time consuming. To illustrate some of these complexities, we have thoroughly documented the data processing steps for a small coastal ocean observing system near Mobile Bay, Alabama, that has been in operation since 2004. Our goals were to produce documentation and data provenance in sufficient detail for full science reproducibility of all studies that use data from this system, provide a template for other ocean observation operations, and highlight a need for better recognition of the significant amount of time and expertise often required to do both the data processing and the documentation for long-term observational systems.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Tzeng, M. W., Dzwonkowski, B., & Park, K.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Tzeng, Mimi W||Dzwonkowski, Brian||Park, Kyeong

publication date

  • December 2016