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Geographic Coordinates: User selects latitude/longitude bounding box, either using rubberbanding tool on a world map or by manual entry

Observation Dates: User selects time period from starting year/month/day to ending year/month/day. Optionally, a user can also select certain months (or days) for all years (or a given year range).

Dataset: Groupings of similar instruments used to take oceanographic data. The table Datasets in the WOD (pdf, 0.01 MB) gives a quick description of each dataset. WOD Introduction (pdf, 2.10 MB) gives a detailed breakdown of datasets. Also, see the WOD Documentation (pdf, 3.15 MB) for more information on each dataset.

Measured Variables: Characteristics of the water column recorded by the different instrumentation found in the datasets. See the list of depth dependent variables (pdf, 0.01 MB) and where variable(s) is/are stored. WOD Documentation (pdf, 3.15 MB) for a quick description of each measured variable.

Biology: Taxa counts, taxa descriptions, taxa biomass measurements of plankton from bottles and net tows. See WOD05 Introduction Chapter 16 (pdf, 1.5 MB) for further information.

Deepest Measurement: User can select only casts which make measurements at or deeper than a given depth.

Country: Country refers to the country of the institute or primary investigator responsible for the given measurements. When this information is not available, country refers to the flag of the ship from which the data was taken. A complete list of countries found in WOD09 can be found in WOD CODE TABLES

Ship/Platform: Physical base from which measurements were taken. Usually a ship, but can also be ice flow, airplane, moored buoy, etc. A complete list of ships/platforms found in WOD09 can be found in WOD CODE TABLES under s_3_platform.

Cruise: A specific deployment of a unique platform for the purpose of a coherent oceanographic investigation. For a more complete defintion of a cruise, please see WOD documentation in the glossary. In WOD, a cruise reference consist of two byte country code (CC) and cruise number (up to six byte); e.g., CC - NO and unique cruise number - 3402 = cruise reference NO003402. The cruise number is unique for each country code.
A cruise number of zero (0) denotes lack of cruise information. Cast grouped with a cruise number of zero (0) are related only in lack of cruise information.

Accession #: NODC unique number assigned to each submitted data set. All original data submitted is stored at NODC and can be accessed through NODC National Ocean Archive System.

Project: A group of cruises (or one cruise) performed for a specific scientific research purpose. A complete list of projects found in WOD can be found in WOD CODE TABLES.

Institute: Research group responsible for data from cruise. A complete list of institutes found in WOD09 can be found in WOD CODE TABLES

Data exclusion using WOD quality flags: User can exclude individual measurements and/or entire profiles based on the different quality control flags set during WOD quality control. See quality flag definition, for more information on quality control procedures, see WOD documentation, section III.

Data additions: Data additions will provide the user with all data added between the given versions of the World Ocean Database (WOD). The user selects the start and end point for which they want data additions. Entering "Beginning" as a start point will give all data found on the first release of WOD through to the end point. WOD98, WOD01, WOD05, and WOD09 refer to subsequent releases of the World Ocean Database, in 1998, 2001, 2005, and 2009, respectively. The date choices refer to quarterly updates since WOD05.

So, entering WOD05 as start point and Jan2008 as endpoint will give all data added since the release of WOD05 through the January 2008 quarterly update.