The Coastal Time Series (CTS) Application

Please cite CTS as follows:

DFO (20xx). Coastal Time Series (CTS): database of daily average temperatures from inshore moored thermographs for the East Coast of Canada. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada. Database accessed on –insert date here

Where xx is the year in which you interrogated the database

In addition please include the following in your list of references:

Gregory, D.N. 2004. Coastal Time Series (CTS): A Database of Coastal Temperature Time Series for the Canadian East Coast. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2004/096

The CTS Application

The Coastal Time Series (CTS) application extracts temperature data from the CTS database according to the user's spatial and temporal criteria. Output results consist of various products including maps of station locations and data summaries or plots of the data at various time scales (daily, monthly or seasonal).

The query screen is the "home base" for the application. Requested maps and data products are always displayed in a new browser window. Most of the fields on the query form are linked to help text that can be displayed at any time.

The products are always based on the current query criteria. Displayed data pages can be easily saved as an Excel spreadsheet or a comma delimited (csv) file.

Products available from the database include the individual daily observations, spatially-averaged daily time series, monthly time series, and annual cycle. The spatially-averaged daily time series is obtained by grouping all the series within the user specified rectangle or polygon. Values are averaged where series overlap in time. The monthly and seasonal products are obtained from the spatially averaged daily series.


Gregory, D.N. 2004. Coastal Time Series (CTS): A Database of Coastal Temperature Time Series for the Canadian East Coast. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2004/096

The CTS Database

Temperature data from coastal areas have been collected extensively from Newfoundland region since 1967 and the Scotian Shelf, Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St. Lawrence since 1978. The program, referred to as the Long-Term Temperature Monitoring Program (LTTM), is conducted mainly in support of various fisheries programs as well as to monitor any long-term changes of temperature. The Coastal Time Series database is a collection of all coastal thermographs held by the Ocean Science Division (OSD) at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. The data archive includes about 4000 coastal temperature time series from inshore areas on the Scotian Shelf, Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland coast. About 125 new series are added annually

All of the data reported in the inventory are held at the Bedford Institute, although a substantial amount of the data originated from other sources. In addition to research programs from various Divisions within the Bedford Institute and St. Andrews Biological Station, data have been obtained from Institut Maurice Lamontagne, Mont Joli, Quebec, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center, St. John's, Newfoundland, and provincial agencies.

The database consists of daily average temperatures generated from the original observations. The maximum, minimum and standard deviation are included with each daily observation. Sampling interval of the original observations range from four hours for the Ryan thermograph in use from 1967 to 1992, to hourly or halfhourly for the digital instruments today.

Complete time series data at the original sampling rate are available on request. Each time series is associated with an event specification (event_spec). Please specify this field with any request for data. Use the Contact Us button on the sidebar. Requested data files will be placed on our anonymous ftp server, usually within 24 hours.


All of the statistics have been subjected to a series of tests and assigned quality flags. The flags for scalar (temperature and salinity) data are:
Quality Description
1 Did not fail any of the tests
2 Extremes > four standard deviations from the monthly mean.
This test identifies spikes in the data, although there are many cases where the inherent variability will exceed four standard deviations.
3 Constant value (minimum value = maximum value)
4 Extremes out of range
-2.5 deg C.<= Temperature >= 30 deg C.
5 Mean out of range.
-2.5 deg C.<= Mean Temperature >= 30 deg C.

Time series that have any test failure are re-examined and repaired if possible (usually involving de-spiking of the data). Any statistics which had a quality of four or greater are rejected. Statistics which had a quality of two but no obvious spiking outside of the background variability are retained. Statistics with a constant value (quality =3) are also retained as not unreasonable because of the low accuracy (~ 1/2 deg C.) and relatively short (24 hour) averaging period of the earlier instruments.