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Short Citation:
Office for Coastal Management, 2024: Current Magnitude and Direction,

Item Identification

Title: Current Magnitude and Direction
Status: Completed

Monthly and annual U and V vectors were summarized for 14 unique depth levels from daily means using the HYCOM and NCODA Global 1/12-degree Reanalysis. The U vector (m/s) is to the East and the V vector (m/s) is to the North. Current magnitude (m/s) was calculated using the daily U and V vectors. Descriptive statistics of mean, variance, standard deviations, minimum, and maximum were calculated for each month from the twenty years of data using the daily means (1992-2012). Mean, variance, and standard deviation was calculated for the annual summary period (1992-2012). The mean direction in degrees (with 0 = North) was calculated from the summarized U and V vector means, and represents the direction that the current is moving toward. The 1/12-degree global HYCOM+NCODA Ocean Reanalysis was funded by the U.S. Navy and the Modeling and Simulation Coordination Office. Computer time was made available by the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program. The output is publicly available at


To support ocean planning activities pursuant to the Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States, the Energy Policy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Supplemental Information:

Bureau Code: 006:48, Program Code: 006:055


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None coastal
None planning
None renewable energy

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
None Exclusive Economic Zone
None Outer Continental Shelf
None Territorial Sea
None United States of America

Physical Location

City: Charleston
State/Province: SC

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Data Presentation Form: Map (digital)
Entity Attribute Overview:

annualMean, annualStdDev, annualVarience, directionAnnualMean

Distribution Liability:

Data Set Credit: U. S. Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment, National Ocean Partnership Program, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Support Roles

Point of Contact

CC ID: 1115099
Date Effective From: 2018-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1115109
W° Bound: -179.919999
E° Bound: 179.920001
N° Bound: 74.64
S° Bound: 14

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Use Constraints:

For coastal and ocean planning

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1115101
Download URL:

Distribution 2

CC ID: 1121153
Download URL:

Ocean Reports

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows, ArcGIS Pro, Azure SQL

Data Quality



Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Compiled to meet 10 meters horizontal accuracy at 95% confidence level

Completeness Report:


Conceptual Consistency:

These data are logically consistent



HYCOM and NCODA Global 1/12° Reanalysis

CC ID: 1115106
Contact Name: U. S. Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE), National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP)
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2018-08-01
Citation URL:
Citation URL Name: Source Online Linkage
Citation URL Description:

URL where the source data were originally accessed.

Source Contribution:

HYCOM Current Speed and Direction

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1115107

(1) A daily snapshot (1200 hours data file) of the HYCOM + NCODA Global 1/12° Reanalysis data was downloaded from the HYCOM website in NetCDF format. The data range spanned from 10/2/1992 to 12/31/2012. Global temperature, salinity, u and v grids were extracted from the daily HYCOM NetCDF files for each of the available z-levels (depth).

A current magnitude grid was created for each u/v grid. Mean, minimum, maximum, variance and standard deviation grids were calculated for each variable-depth-month combination by combining all of the daily files for each variable-depth-month (e.g. temperature-40m-January). Mean, minimum, maximum, and standard deviation were also calculated by combining daily files across the entire time span (annual).

(2) Data were extracted from netCDF files and stored in CSV files for each variable, statistic, and depth level (38 depth levels)

(3) 14 unique depth levels were created as values were identical (2-125, 150-250, 300-350, 400-500, 600, 700, 800, 900-1000, 1250, 1500, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000) and stored in a single CSV.

(4) CSVs for each statistic (mean, min, max, var, stdev) were combined into a single csv file for each month. (Therefore each variable has 12 monthly CSV and 1 annual CSV.) Note: for annual no min or max statistics were generated.

(5) All CSV files were exported as feature datasets.

(6) Direction in degrees was calculated from U and V mean vectors (not calculated for max, min, std, var). Direction is the direction the current is moving to.

(7) All CSV files were clipped by the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

(8) Any record with Null for all Depth levels was removed.

Process Date/Time: 2018-08-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 66127
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:66127
Metadata Record Created By: Brianna Key
Metadata Record Created: 2021-12-22 03:15+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-05-30 18:10+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2021-12-22
Owner Org: OCM
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2021-12-22
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2022-12-22