List of Variables

The list of variables listed below has been chosen concerning the mandatory attributes and the coordinate variables of the OceanSites NetCDF (OceanSites NetCDF Manual).


Discovery and identification
Name Example Note
site_code site_code=”CIS” (OceanSITES specific) Name of the site within EMSO ERIC.
platform_code platform_code=”CIS-1” The unique platform code.
data_mode data_mode=”R” Indicates if the file contains real-time, provisional or delayedmode data. The list of valid data modes is in data mode reference table.
Discovery and identification
Name Example Note
geospatial_lat_min geospatial_lat_min=59.8 The southernmost latitude, a value between -89 and 90 degrees; may be string or numeric.
geospatial_lat_max geospatial_lat_max=59.8 The northernmost latitude, a value between -90 and 90 degrees.
geospatial_lon_min geospatial_lon_min=-41.2 The westernmost longitude, a value between -180 and 180 degrees.
geospatial_lon_max geospatial_lon_max=-41.2 The easternmost longitude, a value between -180 and 180 degrees.
geospatial_vertical_min geospatial_vertical_min=10.0 Minimum depth or height of measurements.
geospatial_vertical_max geospatial_vertical_max=2000 Maximum depth or height of measurements.
time_coverage_start time_coverage_start=”2006-03-01T00:00:00Z” Start date of the data in UTC. See note on time format below.
time_coverage_end time_coverage_end=”2006-03-05T23:59:29Z” Final date of the data in UTC. See note on time format below.
data_type data_type=”OceanSITES time-series data” From data type table: OceanSITES specific.
Conventions used
Name Example Note
format_version format_version=”1.3” (OceanSITES specific) OceanSITES format version; may be 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.
Publication information
Name Example Note
update_interval update_interval=”PT12H” (OceanSITES specific) Update interval for the file, in ISO 8601 Interval format: PnYnMnDTnHnM where elements that are 0 may be omitted. Use “void” for data that are not updated on a schedule. Used by inventory software.
Name Example Note
date_created date_created=”2006-04-11T08:35:00Z” The date on which the data file was created. Version date and time for the data contained in the file. (UTC).

Date_created is the time stamp on the file, date_modified may be used to represent the ‘version date’ of the geophysical data in the file. The date_created may change when e.g. metadata is added or the file format is updated, and the optional date_modified MAY be earlier.

Coordinate variables

NetCDF coordinates are a special subset of variables. Coordinate variables orient the data in time and space; they may be dimension variables or auxiliary coordinate variables (identified by the ‘coordinates’ attribute on a data variable). Coordinate variables have an “axis” attribute defining that they represent the X, Y, Z, or T axis.

As with data variables, OceanSITES recommends variable names and requires specific attributes for coordinate variables: units, axis, and, where available, standard_name are required. Missing values are not allowed in coordinate variables.


Data mode reference table

Value Meaning
R Real-time data. Data coming from the (typically remote) platform through a communication channel without physical access to the instruments, disassembly or recovery of the platform. Example: for a mooring with a radio communication, this would be data obtained through the radio.
P Provisional data. Data obtained after instruments have been recovered or serviced; some calibrations or editing may have been done, but the data is not thought to be fully processed. Refer to the history attribute for more detailed information.
D Delayed-mode data. Data published after all calibrations and quality control procedures have been applied on the internally recorded or best available original data. This is the best possible version of processed data.
M Mixed. This value is only allowed in the global attribute “data_mode” or in attributes to variables in the form “:DM_indicator”. It indicates that the file contains data in more than one of the above states. In this case, the variable(s) _DM specify which data is in which data mode.

Data type table

Data type
OceanSITES profile data
OceanSITES time-series data
OceanSITES trajectory data