Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Pride of Bilbao FerryBox 2005 - an overview of the data obtained and improvements in procedures

By M.C. Hartman, D.J. Hydes and J.M. Campbell


The collection of high quality, long term data from diverse environments is required if the interplay of the complex factors affecting phytoplankton bloom development is to be investigated. With this in mind the English Channel and Bay of Biscay between Portsmouth and Bilbao has been intensively monitored starting in 2002. In 2005 the ‘FerryBox’ suite of sensors measured temperature, salinity, fluorescence, oxygen and turbidity. The data are merged with position and can be viewed in real time at The ferry travels between Portsmouth and Bilbao completing a round trip every 3 days; measurements in water pumped in from 5 metres depth provide data which are collected every second. In 2005 the ‘FerryBox’ methods were improved to reduce the affects of bio fouling on the sensors; the sensors were systematically cleaned weekly and sensor calibrations made<br/>from samples collected during monthly ferry crossings. These showed that the fluorescence and oxygen sensors were stable and a high quality dataset was produced. Calibration of the fluorescence sensor was monitored using extracted chlorophyll suspended in solid Perspex blocks. The ‘FerryBox’ dataset has been mapped against time and latitude to show the occurrence of phytoplankton blooms, using fluorescence, along with calculations of oxygen anomaly. Such continuous monitoring allows us to pinpoint the timings of phytoplankton bloom initiation and duration. The detailed data from the FerryBox allows the occurrence of these blooms to be correlated with other changes in the oceanic system, such as tidal energy, light and fresh water run off.<br/>The methods used to process the data from the initial raw 1Hz ASCII files through to the quality controlled 5 minute set are documented together with the post processing resolution of system faults that caused errors in the measured salinity. The quality controlled data are archived as 5 minute<br/>averages and are held by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)

Topics: GC, QD
Publisher: National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles


  1. 02/06/2005 djh 12:00 Xing fit flow meter and adjust flow. Problem was alignment of minitracka. Flow left at 4LPM. Higher rate flow meter ordered.
  2. 02/09/2005 mch Cal Xing mch. First leg attempt to asses minitracka output. 2nd leg calibration samples 16/09/2005 mch cal Xing djh & mch. Clean sensors. Fluor check. Minitracka check using new blocks, no data download. Little fouling of optics.
  3. 11.6 Salinity Calibration table Period From To A B Period From To A
  4. 11/08/2005 mch mch Fluorimeter check, cleaned sensors. Heavyish build up of muddy sediment over sensor head. Downloaded engine room data.
  5. 13/10/2005 mch cal Xing djh & mch Sensors cleaned. Formazine standard used with turbidity sensor in housing, acrylic blocks and photo stops. Cal check of fluorimeter, Wind from South some white horses.
  6. 14/07/2005 mch Cal Xing mch & saw With djh onboard at outset. Wind Southerly steady breeze, second crossing with replacement minipack. 0900 sailing (0800 GMT). Little apparent fouling.
  7. 23/09/2005 mch cal Xing mch & mqurban. Formazine standard used with turbidity sensor in housing, acrylic blocks and photo stops. Cal check of fluorimeter, samples taken on Bilbao - Soton leg, strong wind from W, high turbidity generally.
  8. 27/10/2005 mch djh & mch data download. Removed sensors to SOC.
  9. 28/07/2005 mch Cal Xing mch, saw. fourth crossing with replacement minipack. Slimy transparent coating over lenses. One lugol sample taken.
  10. 30/09/2005 mch suh + djh. Clean Sensors. Fluor + minitracka check.
  11. (1983). 6.2 Salinity Salinity is calculated using the UNESCO
  12. (2005). 9.0 Anomalous long term fouling event 9.1.3 Abstract Regular cleaning of the Ferry Box system aboard the Pride of Bilbao during
  13. (2005). A map of oxygen anomaly with location (latitude) and time. 18 7.0 Calibration of the FerryBox System Made During
  14. (2005). A physical description of the logging and telemetry systems are available in the document
  15. clean dirty doi
  16. No high variations in any recorded values. Data downloaded from Bridge and engine room loggers 21/07/2005 mch Cal Xing mch, saw. Third crossing with replacement minipack. Little apparent overall variation. Temperatures from alcohol, IR and logger compared.
  17. Salinity Variation with distance from end of housing 04-4350-003 y =
  18. Table 2 Timing and corrections applied to salinity data during 2005 47 48 11.7 Data processing from Flash card to
  19. (2002). There has been a FerryBox system installed onboard the Pride of Bilbao ferry

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.