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Short Citation:
NMFS Office of Science and Technology, 2022: Fisheries Water Column Sonar Data 1990 - Present,

Item Identification

Title: Fisheries Water Column Sonar Data 1990 - Present
Short Name: NMFS Water Column Sonar Database
Status: In Work
Publication Date: Unknown

Water column sonar data are an important component of fishery independent surveys, habitat studies and other research. NMFS water column sonar data are archived here.


Provide a searchable inventory of NMFS water column sonar data archived at the National Centers for Environmental Information.


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None multi beam sonar
None split beam sonar
None water column backscatter

Temporal Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None 1990 to present

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None global ocean coverage

Physical Location

Location Description:

Sent directly to archiving location.

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Data Set Type: Files
Maintenance Frequency: Continually
Data Presentation Form: Table (digital)
Entity Attribute Overview:

Water column sonar data are collected by active acoustic (or sonar) technology and contain acoustic scattering information from the near-surface to the seafloor. Scientists use these data to assess physical and biological characteristics of the ocean, including the spatial distribution of plankton, fish, methane seeps, and underwater oil plumes.

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:

Entity Attribute Detail URL:
Data Set Credit: Cruises have specific citations that should be used when incorporating these data into your research, etc. Please see the ReadMe file provided during download or the "Cruise Details" for detailed information. The general archive should be cited as follows: National Geophysical Data Center (2014): Water Column Sonar Data Collection. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. doi: 10.7289/V5HT2M7C [access date].

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 217074
Date Effective From: 2012
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Anderson, Charles
Address: 325 Broadway, E/GC3
Boulder, CO 33149
Email Address:
Phone: 303-497-4742
Contact Instructions:



CC ID: 215726
Date Effective From: 2015
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): National Centers For Environmental Information (Boulder) (NCEI-Boulder)
Address: E/GC 325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Phone: 303-497-6826

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 215018
Date Effective From: 2015
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Anderson, Charles
Address: 325 Broadway, E/GC3
Boulder, CO 33149
Email Address:
Phone: 303-497-4742

Point of Contact

CC ID: 209724
Date Effective From: 2015
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Gallagher, Michael S
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way, NE
Seattle, WA 98115-6349
Email Address:
Phone: 206-526-4147


CC ID: 209725
Date Effective From: 2014
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Brown, Stephen K
Address: 1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282
Email Address:
Phone: 301-427-8112
Fax: 301-713-1875


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 215014
W° Bound: -180
E° Bound: 180
N° Bound: 90
S° Bound: -90

Global Ocean Coverage

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 215012
Time Frame Type: Continuing
Start: 1990

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

The raw data can be requested through the website ( Derived data products processed at NGDC will be available in the near future.

Data Access Constraints:

Data are available for free, but may require the requester to provide an external hard drive.

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 215017
Download URL:



CC ID: 216458
URL Type:
Browse Graphic
File Resource Format: html

Map based, graphical data holdings catalog.

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 216462
Activity Date/Time: 2015-09-08
Activity Type: data archive status
Responsible Party: Charles Anderson

Technical Environment


A variety of sonars are used by the data providers with Kongsberg's EM 122 (12 kHz) and EM 302 (30 kHz), Simrad's EK60 (18-710 kHz, split beam), and ME 70 (70-120 kHz, can be split beam) being most common. The configuration of each cruise's sonar system (e.g., beam type and angle) can be found in the file metadata.

Data Quality

Quality Control Procedures Employed:

Data includes links to sonar calibration files, sound velocity profiles and CTD data.

Data Management

Have Resources for Management of these Data Been Identified?: Yes
Approximate Percentage of Budget for these Data Devoted to Data Management: Unknown
Do these Data Comply with the Data Access Directive?: Yes
Is Access to the Data Limited Based on an Approved Waiver?: No
If Distributor (Data Hosting Service) is Needed, Please Indicate: No
Approximate Delay Between Data Collection and Dissemination: 90 Days
Actual or Planned Long-Term Data Archive Location: NCEI-CO
Approximate Delay Between Data Collection and Archiving: 90 Days
How Will the Data Be Protected from Accidental or Malicious Modification or Deletion Prior to Receipt by the Archive?:

Prior to submission, data are packaged using a data packager script, which combines metadata and data files with appropriate QC checks.


Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 215982

The data provider uses the WCSD Packager to create a Data Package from the Instrument Files and/or user entered cruise and instrument details.

Process Step 2

CC ID: 215983

The Data Package is sent to the WCSD Data Manager at NCEI in Colorado who ingests the data for archiving.

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity NMFS Water Column Sonar Data File

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 20873
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:20873
Metadata Record Created By: Jackie Locks
Metadata Record Created: 2013-11-08 17:56+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2019-06-04 13:14+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2015-12-22
Owner Org: OST
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year