Ocean Data Inventory (ODI)

Please cite ODI as follows:

DFO (20xx). Ocean Data Inventory (ODI): database inventory of moored current meters, thermographs and tide gauges from the East Coast of Canada, 1960 to present. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada. http://www.bio.gc.ca/science/data-donnees/base/data-donnees/odi-en.php. 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. Ocean Data Inventory (ODI): A Database of Ocean Current, Temperature and Salinity Time Series for the Northwest Atlantic. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2004/097

The ODI Application

This application extracts information from the Ocean Data Inventory according to user specified spatial and temporal criteria. Output results consist of information for all of the deployments satisfying your criteria, and monthly statistics for the selected parameters (water levels excepted).

The query screen is the "home base" for the application. Requested 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. Products available from the database include maps of the station locations for selected parameters, station details for selected locations, and monthly statistics for currents, temperature and salinity. Displayed data pages can be saved as an Excel spreadsheet or a comma delimited (csv) file. Formatted reports can be saved as rich text format (rtf) for import into a word processor.


Gregory, D.N. 2004. Ocean Data Inventory (ODI): A Database of Ocean Current, Temperature and Salinity Time Series for the Northwest Atlantic. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2004/097

The ODI Database

The Ocean Data Inventory database is an inventory of all of the oceanographic time series data held by the Ocean Science Division (OSD) at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. The data archive includes about 5800 current metre and acoustic doppler time series, 4500 coastal temperature time series from thermographs, as well as a small number (200) of tide gauges. Many of the current meters also have temperature and salinity sensors. The area for which there are data is roughly defined as the North Atlantic and Arctic from 30° - 82° N, although there are some minor amounts of data from other parts of the world. The time period is from 1960 to present. The database is updated on a regular basis.

In addition to reporting the data record, the inventory includes monthly statistics for ocean currents, temperature and salinity. For temperature and salinity, the statistics include the mean, maximum, minimum, and standard deviation for a given month. Partial months are included. For vector (current) data, the statistics include maximum speed (without regard to direction), mean speed and direction, and the principal axis components for the data as observed (referred to as high frequency), and with the tide removed (low frequency). Tide removal is accomplished by applying a simple boxcar filter if necessary to subsample at hourly intervals, and then applying a Cartwright filter of 129 weights and a high frequency cutoff of 0.864 cycles/day. The principal axes analysis determines the orientation of the maximum and minimum variance and is a measure of the variability of the current. The direction corresponds to that of the major axis in degrees true. When used with the vector mean, and making some assumptions about the distribution, (i.e. mean +/- N standard deviations), the current extremes in both the sub-tidal (low frequency) and tidal (mid-frequency) bands can be estimated.

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 at the Bedford Institute, data have been obtained from the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center, St. John's, Newfoundland, Institut Maurice Lamontagne, Mont Joli, Québec, the former Bayfield Laboratory, Burlington, Ont. as well as other Canadian universities (Dalhousie, McGill) and US institutes and agencies such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the United States Geological Survey. A significant number of current series have been obtained from the oil and gas industry as part of the offshore drilling on the Scotian Shelf, Grand Banks, and Labrador Shelf.

Complete time series data 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 menu link at the left of the page. Requested data files will be placed on our anonymous ftp server.


All of the statistics have been subjected to a series of tests and assigned quality flags. The flags for vector (current ) and 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.
For currents, the maximum variability in the tidal range is used instead of the mean.
3 Constant value
Current mean speed = maximum speed
Temperature minimum = maximum
Salinity minimum = maximum
4 Extremes out of range
Current mean >= 1.0 m/s or maximum >= 2.5 m/s
Temperature minimum <= -2.5°C or maximum >= 30°C
Salinity minimum <= 1 psu or maximum >= 37 psu
5 Mean out of range
Current mean < threshold velocity or >= 2.5 m/s
Temperature mean <= -2.5°C or >= 30°C
Salinity mean <= 1psu or >= 37 psu

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 three or greater are rejected. Statistics which had a quality of two but no obvious spiking outside of the background variability are retained.