As one of the four large JGOFS field elements, a network of Long-Term Time Series Observatories has been developed in order to document seasonal to decennal scale variations in key biogeochemical, physical and ecological parameters. Long-term time series measurements are crucial for characterizing the natural variability and secular trends in the ocean carbon cycle and for determining the physical and biological mechanisms controlling the system. Year-to-year variations in physics (e.g., upwelling, downwelling), bulk biological production, and ecological shifts (e.g., community structure) can drive significant changes in ocean carbon cycling and ecology. The biological and chemical responses to natural (e.g., ENSO, dust deposition events) and anthropogenic perturbations are particularly important with regard to evaluating the prognostic models used in future climate projections. Long-term time-series stations are also invaluable for developing and testing autonomous sensors and as focal points for process studies. The main stations are as follows:



BATS -- Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study

Description of the BATS project.


DYFAMED -- DYnamique des Flux de mAtière en MEDiterranée

Description of the DYFAMED observatory.


ESTOC -- European Station for Time-Series in the Ocean Canary Islands.

Description of the ESTOC project.


HOT -- Hawaii Ocean Time series station

Description of the HOT program.


KERFIX -- Fixed time-series station in the Southern Ocean near the Kerguelen Islands

Description of the KERFIX programme.


KNOT -- Kyodo North Pacific Ocean Time Series

Description of the KNOT programme.


OSP -- Ocean Station Papa

Description of the OSP research.


SEATS -- South East Asia Time-Series Station

Description of the SEATS programme.





In addition, some other stations could be of interest to JGOFS scientists, either for their particularities or their historical value:

Station E1 (English Channel, offshore Plymouth, 50º02'N 04º22'W) -- 1902 - 1987 and intermittently afterwards, until 2001, when a more continuous series was restarted.

Station E1 is situated approximately 20 nautical miles from Plymouth. The UK Marine Biological Association (MBA) started collecting data at E1 in 1902 and continued until funding was withdrawn in 1987. Throughout the years, various parameters have been measured at this station (temperature, salinity, nutrients, zooplankton, phytoplankton, chlorophyll, benthos). The length of the Station E1 series makes these data essential for showing environmental change over decadal scales. Through the Marine Environmental Change Network (MECN), sampling at station E1 has been restarted by a collaboration of Plymouth partners: MBA, PML and SAHFOS. Temperature, salinity, nutrients, phytoplankton and zooplankton are sampled on a monthly basis at E1. Contact:

see also

CARIACO -- Carbon Retention In A Colored Ocean Project

The CARIACO Project: “Understanding the Link between the Ocean Surface and the Sinking Flux of Particulate Carbon in the Cariaco Basin”, supported by the US NSF, the US NASA, and the Venezuelan CONICIT, studies the relationship between surface primary production, physical forcing variables like the wind, and the settling flux of particulate carbon in the Cariaco Basin, on the continental shelf of Venezuela, marked by seasonal and interannual variation in hydrographic properties and in primary production.

Contact: Frank Müller-Karger


CALCOFI -- California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations.

The CalCOFI story begins with the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a small silvery fish, the sardine. During the 1920s and 1930s more sardines were caught off the California coast than any other fish in North America. Then the annual catch plummeted from 550,000 metric tons in 1945 to just 100,000 metric tons two years later. CalCOFI was formed in 1949 to determine the cause of the sardine’s radical decline. It is now a collaborative effort among MLRG at Scripps, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), a regional branch of the National Marine Fisheries Service.


Ocean Weather Ship Station M
(Norwegian Sea, 66°N, 2°E)

Having performed daily oceanographic measurements in the deep Norwegian Sea since 1 October 1948, Ocean Weather Ship Station (OWS) Mike, at 66N,02E, can present the longest existing homogeneous time series from the deep ocean. Station M is operating above the eastern margin of the Norwegian Sea deep basin where a branch of the Atlantic current is entering the area, Figure 1. The location proved to be strategic both for studying the Atlantic inflow and the Norwegian Sea Deep Water. The OWS M is operated by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (DNMI) and the hydrographic programme is carried out by Geophysical Institute, the University of Bergen.

see also

POGO Fixed-Point, Time-Series Initiative (Time Series Working Group)

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) is a forum created by major oceanographic institutions involved in global observations, scientific research, operational services, education and training and aiming at the promotion of global oceanography, particularly the implementation of an international and integrated global ocean observing system.
The availability of long time-series data from the global oceans is recognised as a key element to understanding the role of the oceans in modulating the behavior of the earth system.
In this context, the Partnership resolved, at their second meeting in São Paulo, Brazil in  Nov-Dec 2000, to promote the advancement of long-term, fixed-point, time-series  observations, in co-ordination with the OOPC, CLIVAR and COOP. It was noted that  fixed-point time-series stations would complement the Argo float programme which is  already being implemented as a global observation programme. As part of the POGO  initiative, a Time-Series Working Group has been formed jointly with the OOPC.
Fixed-point time series are an essential element of the global ocean observing system. These "Eulerian Observatories" are uniquely suited for fully sampling 2 of the 4 dimensions (depth and time), thus complementing other components of the observing system (satellites, floats, ships). They resolve a wide range of temporal variability and sample the water column from the surface to the bottom. Fixed-point stations will resolve multi-disciplinary variability and processes like CO2 uptake, biological productivity, fluxes of heat, freshwater momentum and other properties between the ocean and atmosphere, and seismic and biological activity on the bottom.

see, Global Eulerian Observatories (GEO).

US NODC Coastal Ocean Time Series Database

The Coastal Ocean Laboratory of the US National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) has begun a project for developing a prototype coastal ocean time series database (COTSDB). The primary objective of this project is to integrate coastal ocean time series observations from a variety of instruments with different resolution, accuracy and response to spatial and temporal variability into a common database.