Types and Repositories of Available Data

Geospatial data are considered a national capital asset. National policy and international standards guide data management best practices to ensure timely and broad public accessibility to these data.

Since the inception of NOAA’s ocean exploration program in 2001, data management by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) has been guided by the 2000 President’s Panel Report (pdf, 2.6 MB) recommendations which prioritized rapid and unrestricted data sharing as one of five critical exploration program components.

More recently, Public law 111-11 [Section XII Ocean Exploration] (pdf, 42 KB) reinforced and expanded OER data management objectives, continuing to stress the importance of sharing unique exploration data and information to improve public understanding of the oceans, and for research and management purposes.

Once data from OER-supported expeditions have been quality control checked, they are freely available via different archived data collections, including:

NCEI – Multibeam Bathymetry Database

By locating the expedition in the OER Digital Atlas and following the appropriate data link or by locating NCEI’s multibeam survey holdings through their website, individual cruise multibeam pages look like the image below. To find NCEI multibeam data holdings from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer expeditions, enter "Okeanos Explorer" in the "Ship" field on the multibeam survey search page of the database.

National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) – Multibeam Collection

A user can select individual files from the list or request to receive all files through a download link sent via email.

NCEI – Trackline Geophysical Data Viewer

Singlebeam and sub-bottom profile data are maintained in a separate area at NCEI. By locating the expedition in the OER Digital Atlas and following the appropriate data link or by navigating the NCEI Trackline Geophysical Data Viewer website, the user will land on a page similar to the one shown below.

National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) – Trackline Collection

The user can select data files and request to receive a download link via email.

NCEI – Physical, Chemical, Biological Archives

By locating the expedition in the OER Digital Atlas and following the appropriate data link or by navigating to NCEI’s cruise accession holdings through their Geoportal, individual cruise pages look like the image below.

NCEI – Physical, Chemical, Biological Archives

If the submitted cruise data is archived and publicly accessible, there will be a link indicating “Download originator data for accession.” NCEI does not allow for bulk downloads of more than 2 GB. If the entire cruise data set is more than 2 GB, individual files can be downloaded instead; this is the reason that the Digital Atlas has selected data sets available for download.

NOAA Central Library - Documents, Images, and Video Highlights

Visit the NOAA Library and Information Network Catalog and search on a cruise title or expedition number, ship name, etc., to receive a list of all NOAA Central Library holdings related to the search, including relevant documents, images, and video.

NOAA Central Library - Documents, Images, and Video Highlights

Each file must be downloaded individually as the NOAA Central Library does not allow for bulk downloads.

 

List of Archived Data Types

The list below includes all data types that are archived following a cruise on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Please note that certain geospatial data related to submerged cultural heritage sites may be restricted and unavailable for download.

Archived data are typically available within one to six months after a cruise is completed. The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research data management team also creates ISO standard metadata for all Okeanos Explorer data housed in the archives.

Data Type

Archive Center

Raw multibeam track files National Centers for Environmental Information
Quality-control checked multibeam track files National Centers for Environmental Information
Bathymetric products National Centers for Environmental Information
Multibeam summary reports National Centers for Environmental Information
Raw singlebeam data National Centers for Environmental Information
Water column sonar data National Centers for Environmental Information
Sub bottom profiler data National Centers for Environmental Information
Water column profile data (used for multibeam calibration) National Centers for Environmental Information
Shipboard oceanographic and meteorological sensor data National Centers for Environmental Information
Ship navigation data National Centers for Environmental Information
XBT cast data National Centers for Environmental Information
Sound velocity data National Centers for Environmental Information
CTD cast data National Centers for Environmental Information
CTD summary forms National Centers for Environmental Information
ROV collected still imagery NOAA Central Library
ROV collected video clips NOAA Central Library
ROV dive tracks National Centers for Environmental Information
ROV dive summary forms National Centers for Environmental Information
Project instructions document NOAA Central Library
Data management plans NOAA Central Library