Primary tabs

Data from oceanography measurements and models.

Data Extent


UK Open Government Licence (OGL)

Other Access

The information on this page (the dataset metadata) is also available in these formats.


via the DKAN API

Climatology of Surface and Near-bed Temperature and Salinity on the North-West European Continental Shelf for 1971–2000

A 30-year (1971-2000) temperature and salinity climatology is presented for sur- face and near-bed regions of the NW European shelf seas, with a resolution of 1/6? longitude by 1/10? latitude. The data have been extracted from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) data centre and supplemented by additional records from the World Ocean Data Centre (WODC). From the original data, which are irregularly distributed in space and time, the mean monthly tem- perature and salinity are calculated, as well as the climatic mean annual cycle. The climatology presented here is an improvement upon all existing climatologies pre- sented in the literature for the NW European shelf; covering a wider area on a finer scale and including the surface and near-bed distribution of both temperature and salinity. Comparison of our data with existing climatologies shows good agreement, with differences occurring where our climatology is an improvement. This climatology, which will prove to be valuable to many users in the marine community will be regularly updated and made available to all users via the ICES data centre.

Berx, B, Hughes, S. 2009. Climatology of Surface and Near-bed Temperature and Salinity on the North-West European Continental Shelf for 1971–2000 dataset. DOI: 10.7489/1900-1

Data and Resources

Modified Date
Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-15.99609375 46.558860303117, -15.99609375 63.860035895395, 9.31640625 63.860035895395, 9.31640625 46.558860303117))
Temporal Coverage
Friday, January 1, 1971 - 00:00 to Sunday, December 31, 2000 - 00:00
UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
Monthly and annual
Berx, B. and Hughes, S.
Data Dictionary

This ZIP archive contains the ICES/WODC temperature and salinity climatology
for the 1971-2000 period on the NW European Shelf. Files are in ASCII format.

Details of the analysis can be found in the accompanying publication (berx-hughes_2009.pdf),
accepted in Continental Shelf Research.

There are also 4 directories containing the data. These are:
- nearbed_salinity
- nearbed_temperature
- surface_salinity
- surface_temperature

Temperatures are degrees Celsius, Values for land squares and areas beyond the continental shelf are set to NaN.

Each directory contains 16 files. All have the same structure (171 rows and 151 columns):
The first row contains the longitude of the grid, and the first column the latitude.
All columns to the right and below contain the variable for the longitude-latitude
coordinates specified. Variables are stored in the files as follows:

- ann_amp_????.txt : the amplitude of the annual cycle
- ann_avg_????.txt : the annual mean
- ann_phi_????.txt : the phase of the annual cycle
- ann_max_????.txt : the phase of the annual cycle, expressed as month of maximum.

- mon_jan_????.txt : monthly mean value for January
- mon_feb_????.txt : monthly mean value for February
- mon_mar_????.txt : monthly mean value for March
- mon_apr_????.txt : monthly mean value for April
- mon_may_????.txt : monthly mean value for May
- mon_jun_????.txt : monthly mean value for June
- mon_jul_????.txt : monthly mean value for July
- mon_aug_????.txt : monthly mean value for August
- mon_sep_????.txt : monthly mean value for September
- mon_oct_????.txt : monthly mean value for October
- mon_nov_????.txt : monthly mean value for November
- mon_dec_????.txt : monthly mean value for December

where ????, is the variable (tempB,tempS,saltB,saltS)

To reconstitute the annual cycle, the following formula can be used:
predicted = a + h sin(wt + phi)

where a = annual mean (from ann_avg_????.txt)
h = amplitude of annual cycle (from ann_amp_????.txt)
w = period of annual cycle = 2*pi/12
t = time to be predicted (in decimal months)
phi = phase of annual cycle

Ref: Berx, B., and Hughes S.L. 2009. Climatology of Surface and Near-bed Temperature and Salinity on the North-West European Continental Shelf for 1971–2000. Continental Shelf Research.

Contact Name
Marine Scotland Science
Contact Email
Public Access Level