eWOCE - Electronic Atlas of WOCE Data

R. Schlitzer, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany


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The World Ocean Circulation Experiment WOCE was the largest internationally coordinated oceanographic program ever conducted. It provides global ocean observations of unprecedented extent and quality for the decade from 1988 until 1998.

To facilitate their use, profile and sequence data from most WOCE data streams have been compiled in global or basin-wide datasets. When used with the Ocean Data View (ODV) visualization software, this compilation constitutes an Electronic Atlas of WOCE Data that permits graphical display and interactive analysis of the data in many different ways. With extensive interactive controls and the capability to add a wide variety of derived quantities, this electronic atlas complements the printed WOCE atlases.

An eWOCE Gallery shows more than 350 tracer distributions along sections from the WOCE Hydrographic Program (WHP). The gallery figures are accessed through interactive maps using your web browser. No additional software installation is required for viewing the gallery plots.

Configuration files for reproducing the gallery plots with Ocean Data View are provided with eWOCE. Starting from these template plots, users can easily produce (1) arbitrary property/property plots, (2) distributions on general iso-surfaces, (3) property difference distributions between repeats, (4) time-series plots, (5) geostrophic velocity sections and many other plot types. With eWOCE, the data can either be presented as color-shaded and/or contoured fields or as colored symbols or numbers at the measurement locations. In addition to the measured, basic variables, a large number of derived quantities can be calculated and analyzed just as the basic variables.

The eWOCE datasets can easily be extended with data from the World Ocean Database, the World Ocean Atlas 1994 or from many other data sources. As add-ons, eWOCE comes with a gazetteer of WOCE sections and with the GEBCO (General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans) gazetteer of undersea features, which allow easy identification of sections and topographic features. In addition to research applications, eWOCE can be used for teaching and training purposes.

eWOCE is part of the final WOCE data release package and can be found on DVD 2. (WOCE Data Products Committee. 2002.  WOCE Global Data, Version 3.0, WOCE International Project Office, WOCE Report No. 180/02, Southampton, UK; Nov. 2002).