NODC Mines Its Historical Archive
for Gulf of Mexico Data
Creates New Products Supporting NOAA's Deepwater Horizon Response
Following the Deepwater Horizon Incident on April 20, and realizing the magnitude of the event, staff at NOAA's National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) promptly extracted historical Gulf of Mexico data from its online archive and compiled it into a portal format for public access and availability. By May 5, and before new data started coming in, this first product was available online. "This is nothing new for us," states User Services and Communications Team Leader Andrew J. Allegra, "I knew where everything was because we help customers with requests for ocean data all the time."
The next step was the creation of a historical climatology across the well head for temperature, density, salinity, and oxygen by staff of the NODC Ocean Climate Laboratory. This data was immediately needed to compare these historical measurements against the forthcoming data currently being taken from the scientific cruises in the Gulf.
Another historical product, which proved to be quite useful, was the Ocean Currents Data webpage. This webpage portrays historical ocean current meter data from buoys for the Gulf region and can be displayed through a Google map interface.
New Deepwater Horizon Products
As data from the Deepwater Horizon cruises began to flow into the data center, NODC staff set up archive procedures, and a data management and web site plan, to permanently archive the data and allow public access to this data in the Ocean Archive System(OAS). All of the incoming data is set to Project Code "Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Event" within the Ocean Archive System and is available online.
User-friendly access and availability via Google Earth and Google Maps were added to the Ocean Profile Data Support Page. Scientists and public users can view and exchange data gathered from the aircraft, ships, gliders, and floats actively deployed in the .
Staff at the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), another Division of NODC, collect and quality control this data from the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). NODC staff in the Marine Data Stewardship Division in Silver Spring developed an automated process to directly archive OR&R's data.
NCDDC, located at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, is on the forefront of NOAA's response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident. NCDDC provides critical support to the interagency Joint Analysis Group (JAG) for Surface and Sub-Surface Oceanography, Oil and Dispersant Data by maintaining and hosting its website. Along with NODC's Ocean Climate Laboratory, NCDDC contributes data analysis to JAG reports.
NCDDC, together with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Program, created the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Research and Monitoring Activities Database, a single website for uploading and accessing information about research and monitoring activities. The database currently contains 162 contributions. The database can be found on iGulf, where NCDDC also includes NOAA Oil Spill Response information and links to other NOAA, regional, and state information in various areas, including weather, resilient communities, and economy.
See separate online article (hyperlink) for a more extensive description of NCDDC's numerous roles regarding this event.
Staff of the Library and Information Services Division, also a part of NODC, compiled an online bibliography titled Resources on Oil Spills, Response and Restoration. This comprehensive online publication contains over 522 full-text documents, 56 NOAA-related websites, 57 video links, and over 1,146 additional citations.
for the Gulf is the most recent NODC product supporting the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The NODC Satellite Oceanography Group created a view of sea surface anomalies and significant wave heights
taken by the Jason I and II satellites.
The National Oceanographic Data Center continues to contribute to products in support of NOAA's ongoing effort to provide prompt and accurate information to scientists and to the public regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.